Call handling times are key to customer satisfaction and a contact centre really should be monitoring its times. Average call handling times are something all businesses can improve on and there are many tips and tricks for driving them down. Here are five top tips for getting those average call handling times down and seeing real improvements in your customer satisfaction as well as your overall ability to handle more calls
1. Skills Based Routing
This is one of the key elements of all effective contact centres. All calls should be routed by skillset, ensuring that the right handlers answer the right calls. If a call has to be passed from person to person before the customer actually gets to speak to someone that has the right skills set then the system clearly isn’t effective. Customers will be frustrated by the process and your call handling times will be much higher than they could be. Skills-based routing is quick and efficient and the right staff members will speak to the right customers.
2. Anticipate Questions
In all types of calls and client accounts there will be some questions which are consistently asked again and again. They almost become stock in their frequency and therefore it is easy to train call handlers in answers which will satisfy the query and can be delivered quickly and efficiently. Each client account and type of call should be at call handlers fingertips and the answers to stock queries should be ingrained. Should new questions or queries arise, this knowledge base should be added to so that future similar queries can be handle quickly, this will drive down the call handling times.
3. In-call Data Collection
Call handlers with sufficient skill and a little bit of training should be able to cut down the time it takes to detail their calls, as well as make them. The data which is processed after a call is made (wrap time), mainly through inputting the call’s information into the computer system can be handled much more quickly. With a little skill this data can be typed in whilst the call is taking place without disrupting the customer as well as cutting down the time spent on each individual call.
4. Interview your Handlers on the Phone
When you hired your call handlers did you interview them on the phone? If you didn’t then how could you possibly know they’d be a good handler? Phone interviews should be a standard element of the interview for all potential employees and whether you get them to trial a case study in your offices or simply ask them general interview questions over the phone you should get a sense of their naturalness on the phone. Some people respond well to training but a phone interview assessment amongst other elements of an interview should help bring out the best in future call handling specialists.
5. Motivation Matters
Keeping your team motivated will help them perform more effectively. You could have in-office championships or awards for the employee who has the lowest call times. Prizes are a real motivator but so is healthy competition and the more your employees see the benefits of performing well, the more motivated they’ll be to keep on working to get the best targets. Within a couple of months of your new incentives your average call times will be looking much better.
Average call handling times are a figure that many businesses like to show off and this is only possible if they’re looking good. Keep these tips in mind and you should soon see improvements in your averages.