A lot of businesses are struggling with an average hold time (AHT) right now because there has been a major increase in call volume and more customers
have to wait longer for their service
requests to be picked up by call center agents
due to a lack of staffing or excessive demand from customers
that need service
Here are 11 tips you can implement today that will help reduce your AHT
Start with the basics. Understand your AHT and how it's affecting your business
so you can get a better sense of where to start.
Make sure customer service agents
are trained on best practices
for reducing AHT such as active listening, empathy building, time management skills, etc.
Request a customer service
software that has a built-in AHT feature with detailed reports to help you identify areas of improvement.
Add additional staff during peak hours, have someone covering the phones while your agents
are on their lunch break, or take scheduled breaks when possible. This will reduce wait times for customers
and will also help agents
stay more focused on the call if they know there is a break coming up.
Utilize software that automatically classifies customer service
data and assigns it to different queues so your staff can prioritize requests quickly and efficiently according to their availability.
Have automated suggestions ready for customers
, such as a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and links to articles that address common customer issues.
spend more time on the phone with customers
, instead of writing up notes or following up emails which takes much longer than picking up the phone for another call. This can also dramatically improve customer satisfaction
Make it as easy as possible for customers
to ask questions and provide feedback.
Provide a way for your customer service
team to listen in on their calls so they can pick up any common problems or issues that might arise during the phone call, like poor audio quality or excessive background noise. This will also help reduce AHT because you'll have a better idea of what needs to be fixed.
Share your AHT report with the rest of your team on a regular basis so they are aware if there is an issue that requires their time and attention. This will also provide them with insight into how long customers
have to wait for service
, which can help them in prioritizing the workload.
Make sure that the AHT report is available to all stakeholders within your company so they can provide feedback and help drive improvements.
In order to reduce AHT, a majority of these tips will need to be implemented in tandem with one another for best results. As always, if you have any other questions about how to improve your AHT, just let us know in the comments below.