Call centers in India strive towards providing the best call center service for international and domestic clients. When it comes to customers, understanding their needs comes first, and then finding the appropriate resolution is the next most important thing. If we go about searching for the hotspots for the best call centers in India, Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, and Chennai come to our mind first. Ever wondered how they operate?
Average Call Handling Time (ACHT) of a Call Center
India is a diversified country with different cultures and ethnical persuasions but there is one thing common in Indians - their assiduous nature. Call centers in India are a great example of that, especially call centers in Bangalore. There are two sacrosanct parameters that every call center in Bangalore follows - quality and time management. Call centers in Bangalore try hard to lead the best quality calls in the shortest span of time.
Today, we are going to discuss one of the most imperative call center metrics - the average call handle time (ACHT). It is a measure of the average time taken by an agent to finish a call which is subject to the adherence to a variety of quality parameters set by the management. The metrics determine the efficiency, productivity, and performance of the agent and the whole process. Also, responsible for improving customer satisfaction.
●Call centers in India are particular about maintaining the AHT because it determines everything about their efficiency. But why is AHT considered such a big deal after all? The key reason is time management.
●Time determines almost everything in business. The lesser time you take to finish a task ultimately reflects your agility. We all know time is money when it comes to business.
●When you are dealing with a sales-oriented business, the first thing you will do is to ensure no prospect is missed. Every prospect has the potential to give you business. You can afford to lose a window of sales opportunity.
●The problem with having too many calls waiting in queues for getting assistance, they won’t wait for such a long time. They will probably switch to a different service provider who attends to them first.
●Many call centers in India even compromise the quality of AHT because it helps them to mitigate the risks of losing a prospect. Having said that, we can all know how important it is to maintain proper AHT.
●Maintaining AHT requires a skill set that can only be developed through experience. The ability to understand customers’ language and contemplate possible problem scenarios can help in finding the best possible resolutions faster.
The objective of maintaining a low AHT is simple - agents must be able to speak to as many customers as possible. Engaging more customers in the conversation is more important than anything. It takes a lot of effort by leads and the marketing team to grab the attention of the target audience. The rest of the work falls on the shoulders of agents who act as the face of the organization whenever a prospective customer lands on the call flow.
Also, an important thing we all need to be mindful of is that customers generally do not like to be kept waiting for long hours. It directly impacts the customer satisfaction rate negatively. Customers appreciate the services that are more responsive to their needs and proactively look forward to the solutions that work best for customers. It is not just about finding a solution, rather it is more prudent to provide a satiable solution.
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Proven Techniques for Reducing AHT Without Compromising Quality
We can truly appreciate a reduced AHT only when the quality is not compromised. The majority of companies knowingly or unknowingly make the blunder of degrading the quality of the call in their pursuit of lowering the AHT. Most of all, even if you are assiduously listening and providing a solution to the customer, you must never do it in a haphazard or rushing manner, as it will reflect badly in the customer’s eyes
Due to managerial pressure, agents usually end up closing the calls quickly, eventually hurting the first-call resolution parameter. As a result, customers most often feel startled and fail to process the information especially if it was elaborate and intricate. Thus, they call again and again until they are able to get a clear and satisfying answer. So, in order to eliminate all these complications, let us understand the following techniques.
Leverage the Call Recording Feature
There is no better way to acquire insights than recording the calls. The managers and call auditor use the feature of call recording to listen and analyze the whole interaction that took place between the caller and agent. The call recording feature facilitates managers to track down the challenges faced by the agent while taking over the call. Once the problem is identified, managers can create strategies to overcome those hurdles.
Regular Coaching and Training Sessions for Agents
One thing that all the call centers in India should be mindful of is the challenges that all the agents go through. A typical agent working in a call center in India is not just taking calls, but also feeding customer inputs, gathering information, and obtaining details from the customer-relationship management (CRM) portal. It is natural that agents might possibly skip out on a few things. So, they need to be kept abreast of those things regularly.
To ensure the performance of the agents stays consistent at all times, it is paramount that they must be given proper training and coaching regularly. Managers and call auditors are aware of the problems and shortcomings. So, they must conversate the ways to fulfill those inadequacies. The agents must be fully knowledgeable of the product knowledge and parameters that ensure the shortest AHT without hampering the call quality.
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Streamline the Agent’s Workflow
The managers of call centers in India have always strived for a streamlined workflow for their agents. Anything that inflates the agent's time and energy in a mundane and less productive should be resolved best ways.
Oftentimes, agents inadvertently put customers on hold because the server is too slow or the CRM has too many hiccups. Anything that eats up the time of the agent and customer should be removed effective immediately.
Agents must be provided with a comprehensive CRM which is faster and more accessible. Whether an agent is trying to access the knowledge base, customer details, or making a transaction, everything should be processed quickly.
Develop a Complete and Interactive Knowledge Base
One of the surefire ways to close a call shortly is by rendering the solution faster and it can only be possible if you have good expertise. Expertise can only be achieved through knowledge and experience. Agents must have proper knowledge of the business process and should be provided with enough support during tough scenarios.
It is understandable that not everything can be mugged up or memorized at once. So, at least you must have access to the knowledge in cases where you are completely blocked. Therefore, creating perfect knowledge is utterly important so that agents can independently handle customers’ complex without an expert’s intervention.
Using CX Technology for Effective Call Routing
Call routing is a universal method for routing the customers’ calls to a more relevant and dedicated agent for effective resolution. The functionality comes from CX technology - the functionality helps reroute incoming calls on the basis of callers’ input.
Features such as ACD, skills-based routing, and intelligent IVR can transfer calls more strategically to agents more suitable for attending to a caller or the caller’s concern. For example - we are always asked to choose from different language options.
Once we choose our preferred language option, an agent is assigned who speaks our language. This way both are able to communicate well and problems get resolved quickly.
Evaluate Call Types
Rational evaluation of the agent’s performance is also equally necessary. Not all calls are the same - some calls do not need so much time to finish and some calls are more complex and need more time. Usually, agents are in a dilemma of finishing every call in a stipulated time, which is not fair at all. Some business processes are extensive so customers usually have complex issues. Inevitably they are going to take more time to resolve.
Every call center in India must construct KPIs and other metrics based on the complexity of the process. A general inquiry might only take a few seconds to finish but it doesn’t mean the next call is going to be just as simple as the previous one. Keeping this phenomenon in mind, the AHT constraints must fall between these two scenarios. Also, it is good to have a strategy planned for calls that are anticipated to consume a lot of agents’ time.
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Hence, these are some failproof things we can do to reduce AHT. All of these techniques are practically tested and recommended by eminent call centers in India. In addition, every call center in India must identify the best-performing agents who despite having the same resources and skillset as any other agents, perform exceptionally well. They could set an example of how to finish calls sooner while maintaining quality.