Semafone Blog

Contact Centres: Reduce AHT to Keep Your Customers From Waiting

By Mick Beadle, Channel Sales Director

Running a successful contact centre relies on a whole host of factors. Without a doubt, one of the most important of these is high quality customer service. In fact, our own Predictions for Contact Centers in 2017 highlighted the continuing importance of customer experience within the contact centre, including the need to provide more personalised services to callers. This means two very important things; firstly, that customers must receive friendly, efficient and helpful service, and secondly, they need to feel that they can trust you with their personal data.

Efficient service is key

People are more time-strapped than ever before. Therefore, to keep your customers happy you need to be able to handle their calls quickly and efficiently. And one way to measure this is to cut down your average handling times (AHT) for calls. Not only will this demonstrate to your customers that you value their time, but it will also help you keep costs down and improve the productivity of your contact centre

But don’t rush, there is a better way

While it is important to ensure you aren’t wasting precious time on prolonged calls, you mustn’t let your customers feel as if they are being rushed to end a phone conversation with a contact centre gent. After all, a dissatisfied customer is one who is unlikely to call back or recommend your services.

So, what’s the solution?

Thankfully, there is a way that you can reduce the time taken to process a customer’s enquiry, while also providing excellent customer service. And this comes down to allowing the contact centre agent to remain in constant communication with the caller throughout the entire payment process. If you have a payment solution that allows customers to type in their own debit or credit card details during the call, you will find that there are less errors or errors are found much earlier in the process. Furthermore, agents can use the time that customers are entering their details to conduct wrap up tasks, which can shave significant seconds from the call. This approach means you can reduce AHT, reduce costsincrease productivity and improve  your customer experience all at the same time.

Get it right first time

When calling a contact centre to seek the help of a customer service agent, the last thing customers want is to be bounced from one person to another. Being left waiting on the line is frustrating, especially if they are unsure about whether the next person that they speak to will be able to take their payment. Or worse, if they’re destined to be switched to an automated system; if a customer has called to get the help of an agent, it’s unlikely that they’ll be impressed by the fact that they’re left to fend for themselves during the payment process. All these things will only add to the time and effort that it takes customers to do something that should be a straightforward process.

A personal touch makes all the difference

A friendly voice on the other end of the line can go a long way in improving how your customers feel about the level of service, especially if they come up against any payment problems during the call. Every second counts when it comes to providing the best experience for your customers – a no-fuss, efficient interaction with an agent is going to leave a lasting positive impression.


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