Average handle time has always been a mystery score to settle with!
No matter how hard you try, your customers shall always point out that one valid reason bringing you down again. There are innumerable ways to avoid it and overcome the situation all of which are centered on customer satisfaction.
An issue is likely to put your customer in a bit of pickle and they might allege you, your brand, service level, and the products too in rage. To control, satisfy, and retain them for the long term is the true essence and end result of successful CSAT strategy and reduced AHT.
What is AHT?
AHT or Average Handling Time is the call center metric that takes into consideration average time by a single agent on a single query. This includes complaints received via mail, messages, and calls as well.
This is the time bracket right since a complaint ticket is successfully raised up until it is fully resolved and closed by both agents and the users leaving no hoops jumped.
Factors that contribute to the calculation of AHT
Platforms for raising tickets:
- Social media handle
- Text messages
- Customer service calls
Metrics that collectively form Handle Time:
1. Call talk time
Call talk time is the total time taken by an agent right from getting assigned to resolving ticket to closure.
2. Wait/hold time
Wait/hold time is any time spent by the customer on the other end for assignment, solution search, application, etc.
3. Wrap/follow-up time
Wrap/follow-up time is the time spent in concluding the conversation. It usually involves apology for loose ends (if any), promotion on upcoming launches, sales pitch, etc.
A summation of all these metrics under the average calculation reveals the Average Handle Time.
Despite a considerable increase in the usage of self-service platforms and AR/VR/MR assistance in automated resolution technologies; many industrial sectors have constantly found call time to take up the highest space on the graph followed by mails and chats depending on the nature of the business, the scale of operation, employee efficiency, customer base, etc.
Data doesn’t lie:
Typical surveys with even basic entries can, at any time show your AHT to fall between 6-10 minutes per ticket.
Why is it essential to control AHT?
Rising Average Handle Time figures lead to customer churn not just in the short run but in the long run as well.
A popular opinion among the customers is “I can always find better.” and if you don’t become that better alternative soon, your competitors will.
Higher customer churn starts a negative market buzz about your services and no organization would team up with you thinking it’s a wrong way to outsource.
Even if your contact center is an integral part of the brand itself, the customers would form an opinion that says “They just don’t care!”
Higher Average Handling Time indicates directly towards lower CX, CSAT, ASAT, SOP adherence, SLA, etc.
Your journey mapping gets infiltrated and it takes 10 great services to start making your mark but just a tiny glitch to tumble it all away.
What is co-browsing?
We were just discussing AHT and its vivid presence in your organization and its success. Why would we suddenly make a leap towards co-browsing?
Co-browsing actually holds over half a ton of solutions to your Average Handle Time problems.
Let us learn more to find out how?
Going by the name, co-browsing actually means two people browsing together over a single system, only, it takes place in different geographical locations via the internet connectivity and shared screen.
The owner of the device with an issue connects through a common browsing platform with the agent whereby the agent sends them a secured request for allowing access to their systems for the agent in particular. The access permission is usually through codes or direct acceptance and lasts for an entire session.
It means that once the session is over, permission renewal is required or the agent cannot use the device without being authorized to do so.
How is co-browsing feasible in reducing average handling time?
Co-browsing helps the agents as they don’t have to explain miniature steps to the customers. Sometimes, a step can be essential but the means to carry it out is different for each device owing to model and OS differences.
The time spent by the agent in searching about that model, and its properties increase the AHT extravagantly, and even if the agent is efficient at their job, get their rating reduced due to mounting Average Handling Time.
Accessing the screen makes explanations short and working easy. Many times the users of devices are not familiar with back ends, coding, programming, and other technical aspects for the least. The agents on the other hand are trained experts who know what they are doing and can do it right if given the right atmosphere of minimal intrusion.
The separation by screen and connection over a video call is as good as a physical presence. With changing times and work cultures, it saves the contact center costs of traveling and of office space as well. Your agents can work in shadow, i.e., working from their place of comfort, and still be present to assist your client at all times.
The automation of services helps in easing the process of co-browsing as well. Many sets of solutions must occur in a pre-decided order for every machine that faces a particular problem. For such instances, a coded workflow can be prepared which just needs to be plugged in by the agent and the rest shall happen automatically. It is almost like installing and running software.
Who needs co-browsing the most?
Businesses that have complicated operating procedures require the most use out of automated and co-browsing assistance. Such places have almost all complicated queries and they are different from one another. The time taken too is huge and FCR is usually not a possibility.
The only chance is to explain to the customer how complicated the issue is, without throwing them off and to resolve it as well in the minimum time frame.
Following industries have, over a period of time, registered the highest deployment rates for co-browsing in customer service sectors:
- IT and software
With changing scenes of customer habits and preferences, the lifestyle, and timings to have changed to 24/7. Customers know that the solutions can be delivered quickly and just a few, highly complex issues require a physical visit.
The average age of the digital population is increasingly showing that the senior citizens of today are the retired/retiring senior executives of yesterday.
The above phenomenon is another reason establishing the importance of having a robust customer service mechanism that suits your pockets, and your metrics alongside your customers’ needs to heard and valued.
This is all possible with a little advancement and a flexible structure to inculcate future developments as well without having to build a standing army for constant beck and calls!