While businesses have seen an increase in email and chat for sales and customer service in recent years, there is no denying that phone calls are still the primary way to reach people. In fact, nearly two thirds of customers call businesses rather than reach out through email or chat. This means that you need make sure that your average handle times don’t leave them on the phone for an extended amount of time. That oftentimes just leads to frustration.
Average Handle Times
Average handle time is determined by the amount of time it takes an agent to conclude a call with a customer. Staying on the phone with a customer for too long typically means that their problem isn’t getting solved in a timely fashion. It also means other customers are stuck on hold for a longer period of time. Depending on the industry, the average is between five and ten minutes. Nevertheless, it is always a good rule of thumb to try to get your time down regardless of what it is. If it is too high, it may mean your agents are inexperienced or you lack automation or call routing. Here’s how you can help improve it:
As mentioned earlier, inexperienced agents can extend handle times. Therefore, training them can improve your handle times. If you provide your agents with technical knowledge or scripts, it can help agents assist customers better.
A great way to automate your call operation is to create an auto attendant. Auto attendants can actually handle simple customer queries and negate the requirement for a human interaction. They can also collect pertinent information that will help expediate handle times.
By building a knowledge hub, you can provide your customers a database that addresses their concerns without having them call in. If your customers can handle their concerns without having to call in, it will free up your agents to handle other calls.