How Call Lengths Can Impact Customer Satisfaction
There’s an art and science to knowing just how long to stay on the phone — especially in a busy call center. If the call lasts too long, you risk losing valuable time that could have been spent doing something more productive. Plus, the party on the other end of the phone could think you must not be busy to be able to talk so long.
On the other hand, cutting a call short can also have negative consequences. The customer might feel like they didn’t get a chance to communicate with you or obtain important information. Or worse, the caller could have missed an opportunity to provide a solution, recommend an option, or share an anecdote that would have left them feeling heard, appreciated, and willing to engage.
In a call center, call lengths impact customer satisfaction; here is a look at two call center quality metrics and why they are so important to customer satisfaction.
Average Handle Time (AHT)
This is one of the call center quality metrics that is most often used. Ideally, if calls can be handled quickly, your call center is running efficiently and profitably. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. If you use incentives to motivate your agents to constantly keep a low AHT, they’ll be eyeing the clock and striving to keep every call short instead of focusing on the desired outcome for the call, including the client’s. As a result, your agents may be:
• Accidentally missing or purposefully skipping opportunities to upsell or cross-sell
• Not taking the time to build rapport or use common courtesies
• Omitting the step of updating the client’s account information
The goal is to keep a steady balance between your AHT metrics and the level of service your agents are providing your customers.
After Call Work (ACW)
Often referred to as “wrap time,” this call center quality metric emphasizes having your agents move seamlessly and quickly from one call to another. While working so diligently may, at first, seem like a great way to ensure no bottlenecks form and no downtime is wasted, everyone needs a few seconds of silence, reprieve, and solace before dealing with the next project, customer, or call — everyone, including your agents. Giving your agents the freedom to choose to take just a few seconds between calls is a benefit that will both help and inspire them to excel. While three calls in a row may have been completed successfully, perhaps the fourth call was with a rude customer. Once that call is over, your agent should be able to take a few seconds to breathe before trying to provide professional service to the next caller.
By implementing advanced call center technology, you’ll be providing your agents with the tools they need to make every moment of every call count.
Make sure to download your free copy of the TCPA Compliance Checklist eBook to keep your agents and call center on track with the new TCPA regulations.