Scott Malby – Channel Manager

From my experience working in contact centre environments for the past 6 years, average handling time (AHT) is one of those KPIs that operations managers are constantly striving to improve. Thanks to this, huge amounts of time and money are invested in trying to shave as many seconds off calls as possible.

The added complexity of reducing AHT comes when also trying to maintain the right level of customer service. And then of course the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) comes into play, requiring companies to be compliant and secure data to avoid breaches. Combine all three and you have a pretty complex operational challenge.

It would be easy to assume that having such important issues to focus on would mean that contact centres struggle to address what could easily be viewed as competing priorities. But the three aren’t mutually exclusive.

Bridging the gap comes down to implementing the right payment method. Semafone uses DTMF masking so that customers can type their personal information, such as payment card numbers or bank details straight into their telephone keypad without the contact centre agent being able to see or hear the numbers. The technology also passes this information straight to the payment service provider (PSP), bypassing internal systems entirely.

This means that:

  • Quality is improved: Agent and customer stay in contact throughout the entire duration of the call.
  • Security is improved: Agents don’t have access to sensitive card data & the data is also sent straight to PSP so there’s nothing stored on any network or system. If it’s not stored, it can’t be stolen!
  • AHT reduced: Companies using Semafone’s patented payment method have seen some impressive improvements in AHT.

For example, one of the world’s largest telecommunications providers saw a 26 second decrease in AHT after implementing Semafone. And this comes down to the fact that the solution:

  • Facilitates pre-authorisation LUHN and BIN* checks, which avoids agents having to re-submit incorrect card details, or submitting invalid expired cards to begin with.
  • Eliminates the need for agents to verbally repeat card information back to customer.
  • Removes the confusion around misheard or misinterpreted card information.

So, the 3 leading metrics for enhancing call centre performance, quality, security and AHT, are all addressed by the introduction of Semafone technology. Sounds like its high time you got in touch to find out how we can help you!

Take a look at our handy AHT page to find out more.

Reducing AHT, Improving Security, and Increasing Customer Satisfaction – Are Not All Mutually Exclusive!

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