Average Handling Time or AHT is a metric that is associated with agent efficiency. It is a key metric when calculating the cost per contact of a contact centre.
Why Is Average Handling Time Important?
As a business, resolving a customer query quickly is linked to great customer experience (CX). However, providing great CX is not the only benefit to AHT. Another benefit is that the cost per contact is greatly reduced and the overall cost of the Contact Centre is lower where the AHT rate is favourable.
Here Are 8 Ways To Achieve Average Handling Time
- Add screen pop to your call routing platform
- Route calls to the correct agent.
- Keep up to date knowledge bases.
- Automate the ID&V process.
- Ensure you can find customer account information without the need for the account number.
- Employ highly trained agents.
- Enable Self-Service options.
- Ensure you have an onmi channel platform that allows the customer to communicate on their chosen channel.
- Minimise internal transfers.
How Can You Check Average Handling Time?
Open you call logging software. For Amazon Connect you will find the AHT under real time or historical reporting.
When reviewing Average Handling Time there are number of factors that might affect your results. These are:
- Are you looking at just a single channel? For instance, if a customer phones in but later contacts via another channel (like chat) will that count?
- What period of time will you measure? Hour, Day, Month etc.
How Can Amazon Connect Improve Your Average Handling Time?
Enable Self-Service In Amazon Connect
Another reason why a customer might be required to make multiple calls is the opening hours. If a customer phones in out of hours they may need to phone in the next day. By enabling self-service could service the customer when no agents are available.
Amazon Connect Profiles
When a call arrives at a live agent, Amazon Connect Profiles automatically opens and provide rich information on the calling customer. This dramatically saves time and therefore reduces Average Handling Time. By automating ID&V and then screen popping the data to the agent will reduce AHT by at least 40 seconds. This provides a massive saving for the contact centre.
Amazon Connect Wisdom
At AWS re:Invent 2020 Amazon Connect Wisdom was introduced. This is a supplementary product that taps into knowledge bases real time and presents relevant content to the agent. This empowers the advisor with the answers to customer queries they would not have otherwise known. Additionally, if the customer query was out of domain, they may have had to escalate to a more skilled agent which could have also mean an increase in internal transfers.
Voice Of The Customer
By running VOC programs, you will be able to get very valuable insight into what the friction points are in a customer engagement. By improving the customer journey you may improve the AHT.
What Else Is Important To Improve Average Handling Time?
Technology plays a huge part in improving Average Handling Time. However, as a business if you review process, procedures and other factors you can also improve AHT. An example of this would be to understand what a customer needs when they contact your business. If they need an account number, ensure this account number is clear on any white letters or emails you send makes a big difference. Also ensure the terminology you use is consistent between systems and teams.
Air On The Side Caution
In your strategy to improve CX, do not push for a reduction in AHT too hard. You may find that advisors try and close a call down quicker than is ready. A knock on effect of this is that the caller may not be satisfied and may call back in pushing up first call resolution rate.
To Conclude, Average Handling Time…
is a great metric to improve. By making gains here you can improve customer experience and lower the overall contact centre costs. Technology, process, procedures and environment are all factors to review when you look to make improvements.
If you enjoyed this blog post why not read our related article on First Call Resolution by clicking this link