How your call centers can make the most of average handling time

Customers tend to avoid contacting customer service whenever possible. They want to be assured that if they do contact the company’s customer support hotline, their concerns would be resolved as soon as possible. They want to be assured that they won’t waste time on bureaucracies. And it is your call center’s duty to give them a fast and seamless customer experience.

One of the most commonly prescribed key performance indicators (KPI) is the average handling time or AHT. It measures the average duration of a customer journey, from the start to the end of a call. While this performance metric has its advantages and disadvantages, its efficiency can’t be denied. After all, the more customers you can handle per day, the better the customer satisfaction scores are and the more cost savings for your call center.

Here are some ideas on how you can reduce your call center’s AHT.


1.     Call center technology is vital.

female call center agent busy answering customer support calls

Newer interactive voice response (IVR) systems and other call center tools offer more efficient ways to handle customers. Such technologies can intelligently route customers to the right support agents who can solve their exact concerns. Some of these tools can also serve as self-service outlets for your customers which eliminates the need to talk to a representative. Not only does this help save costs, it also helps ensure that support agents can quickly start assisting customers with more complex problems faster.


2.     Use templates for more common problems.

Some customer problems can be solved in a few minutes. In such cases, templates can be useful to cut down the time so your agents can handle more customers. Other time-saving solutions include creating a Frequently Asked Questions page, developing a knowledgebase, or providing automated solutions via your IVR system.


3.     Don’t forget about FCR.

smiling young customer support agent answer calls in a call center

First contact resolution (FCR) is a performance metric that ensures that each customer’s problems is truly resolved within their first transaction. Seeking to achieve high scores for this KPI can also help lower your contact center’s AHT rates.


4.     Be concise.

Quicker greetings and more concise conversations help in reducing the handling time of your call center. With customers wanting their problems fixed as soon as possible, a faster customer interaction can be helpful for both you and your customers.


5.     Train your agents for efficiency.

call center manager training call center agents on best average handle time

A well-trained customer service agent can fix the customers’ problems in no time, leaving them satisfied. This of course can be assured if your employees are equipped and empowered to handle customer issues with speed and accuracy. Training your employees to be both effective and efficient in handling customers ensure reduced handling times.



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