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5 Proven Ways to Reduce Average Handling Time

Posted by Sukriti Saini
call center agent

“Time is what we want most but what we use worst.”

The above-mentioned quote is very rightly said by William Penn. This quote will imply to every aspect of the life of every individual be it professionally or personally. However, this quote stands all the more true for the individuals working in a call center. Here’s how.

Every call center service provider in India or abroad is bombarded with endless calls which the customers who have some query, complaint or issue make in the expectation of receiving some assistance, solution, and help. Hence, the Inbound call center employees are expected and asked to complete each call as soon as they can, so that they can attend another call. On top of that, Inbound call center managers use the AHT (Average Handle Time) tool as a measure of efficiency and diligence of their agents. For the same, each call that a call center agent receives is recorded.

 All this clearly explains the plight of the call center agents and how jam-packed their everyday schedule is. In fact, some days they even have to cut down on their break time in order to complete their targets.

Hence, in this blog post, we are going to mention some proven ways in which you as an agent can reduce the average time you are taking to handle a call. Take a look!

•    Follow the rule of acknowledging, answering and asking-

You should persistently follow the method of acknowledging what the customer is saying, proposing a solution of the problem and then asking the question in order to know if there is something else too that a customer has called for.

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For instance, one can address the caller briefly by saying ‘Welcome to XYZ. How may I help You, Ma’am / Sir?’ then after listening the caller’s concern one can answer and ask ‘Is there anything else, I can help you with?’

If the caller denies then end the call with ‘Thank you for calling. Have a good day.’

Basically, you should try to construct your sentences in such a way that they even after being short are able to convey what you are saying without being impolite.

•    Strive to cut down on after-call work and not during the call –

The key to reducing average handle time is to not to emphasize too much on reducing the actual call time actually. In fact, a caller, in reality, will quickly notice your attempts at ending the call soon. This will do no good but will only lead to deteriorating the image of the Inbound call center you work in and the company on whose behalf you are handling the calls.

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So, it is considered better to lessen the time that you are spending on after call work which primarily includes logging in the disposition codes, writing call notes and sending an email to the caller etc. You can reduce the time of doing these tasks by streamlining them during the call itself.

•    Try to resolve every customer query in single call-

Focusing on first contact resolution (FCS) helps both the call center and the employees in more than one way. It not only reduces the frequency of calls from the same customer but also increases the overall efficiency of the Inbound call center as the time spent on a single problem of a particular customer reduces considerably. Moreover, this also makes the callers waiting to connect to a caller in getting connected in less time. This, in turn, helps an agent in attending more calls and in achieving the targets.

•    Focus on areas that don’t hamper the experience of the caller-

You should aim to improve your ability of multi-tasking. It may take you some time to grab it but gradually you will be able to ace this trait. It is recommended to analyze your work style so as to know where you are devoting more time than required.  Moreover, to complete your targets and increase your efficiency, you should take small breaks whenever you feel fatigued instead of taking one long break. Precisely, you should direct every action of yours towards minimizing the time you take in doing tasks other than that of attending a call.

The foretold points are the ones which if followed religiously, will definitely diminish the time which you take to handle calls. So, let us know in the comments section below how did you like this post and other ways that you can think of for reducing average handle time. 

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