Average Handle Time (AHT) is one of the most critical metrics in the call center business. From the time a customer dials to the completion of their call, a higher than expected AHT could result in an unhappy customer.
If it’s not obvious why that matters, know this: fifty-four percent of customers break ties with companies due to bad service experiences, according to a recent study.
Utilizing and modifying inbound call center software is a great way to minimize customer wait times and increase satisfaction.
But call center software is only part of the solution.
If the way a call center uses that software is inefficient, it’s up to managers to use their skills and knowledge to optimize the way their center leverages those tools to meet their customer satisfaction goals.
So, how exactly can managers “fix” their inbound call processes to make customers happier?
Let’s find out…
Track KPIs to Reveal Areas of Opportunity with Workforce Optimization
A call center manager needs to know their business inside and out to run an effective and efficient operation.
Implementing a Workforce Optimization (WFO) system is a vital first step towards achieving this goal.
The right WFO system provides indispensable tools that improve the inbound call process and more.
These tools include measurement and tracking of a variety of common call center KPIs like:
- Average Speed of Answer (ASA)
- Average Abandonment Rate (AAR)
- Average Handle Time (AHT)
- First Call Resolution (FCR)
Beyond KPI tracking, Workforce Optimization systems also provide tools that help managers improve those KPIs.
Tools like customer call recording and transcription.
Like a coach reviewing a player’s performance at half-time, managers can use this info to provide agents with targeted feedback, so they continuously improve and avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.
Customer call recording and transcription, as part of a comprehensive WFO system, also helps determine common customer issues and feedback.
This allows call centers managers to make other adjustments to other parts of their call center software suite to quickly resolve customer concerns.
Which leads us to our next fix…
Fine-Tune IVR To Boost Average Handle Time
While an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system can greatly increase customer satisfaction by quickly answering common questions, sometimes they’re not set up in the most effective manner.
When this happens, customers can get caught in a web of preprogrammed steps that do not solve their problem – increasing their aggravation and creating a terrible experience.
Luckily, modern IVR systems enable call center managers to track where customers hit roadblocks. Then, once managers identify these inbound calling problems, they can optimize IVR options.
For example, if customers routinely hang up in frustration after selecting a particular option, managers can remove or modify that step.
What happens when a call center starts to experience a spike in calls about a particular problem, for which there currently isn’t an IVR option?
Instead of letting agents get bogged down by similar calls, a manager can quickly adapt by easily creating a new option addressing the customer issue.
That means happier customers, more time for agents to solve tougher, more unique problems and yet another net reduction in AHT!
Fully Utilize Modern Call Center Software’s Integrated Suite of Tools
Earlier, we learned how WFO tools like call recording and transcribing leads to higher quality service levels.
But managers armed with more sophisticated tools like Agent Gateway can support their teams in accomplishing much more.
It’s not enough for managers to utilize one or two call center performance solutions, here and there.
They need all options, seamlessly integrated, at their disposal to track and fully optimize their operations.
For instance, it’s important to know which agents are repeat offenders in excessively transferring customers and subjecting them to long hold times.
This is a fundamentally bad practice that ruins the customer experience.
Another example: what if all agents are currently busy when a customer calls?
Rather than making customers wait on hold, queued call back lets them hang up while holding their place in line to balance agent response capacity with the customer’s service experience.
Queued call back is an easy customer service fix that’s featured in modern call center software suites like Agent Gateway.
Agent Gateway also provides many other solutions to transform struggling agent performance like:
- Customized scripts and responses to increase FCR rates.
- Manager-to-agent messaging to coach them through difficult situations.
- Context-based troubleshooting tips to improve AHT.
When fully utilized, managers and agents have every resource they need to perform at the highest level.
Implementing Effective Inbound Call Center Software is Only One Piece of the Puzzle…
Obtaining the right data and knowing how to use it is the only way to ensure inbound call center software facilitates an extraordinary customer experience.
A call center may have one piece of the puzzle in place by implementing this software.
But if managers don’t measure, evaluate, and make changes to their call center as a whole using these tools, their chances of fulling optimizing their processes to deliver that extraordinary customer service are slim.
With all of the data to track and features available with modern call center software, it can be hard to know what should be monitored and how that information can be used to improve call center performance.
Need help putting all the pieces together?
We compiled a free report on Business Intelligence (BI) that shows how to deploy the best tools to unlock previously unimaginable call center productivity.
Inside you’ll learn how the right, holistic call center system (including inbound call center software) not only increases customer satisfaction but also…
- Saves time.
- Maintains compliance.
- Predicts, evaluates, and identifies next steps.
Find it all in our free BI report right now!