How to Reduce Average Call Handling Times in Call Centers

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The last thing that most call centers want, is to present their customers with a lengthy call handling time. After all, the more time your clients spend waiting on the phone, listening to on-hold music, the more chances you have of losing their business. The average hold time is only 38 seconds!

Call handling time is one of the most important metrics for any call center to measure. However, though many organizations know just how valuable this factor is when offering good customer experience, few understand how they can reduce their handling times effectively. To help you make the most out of your business, and improve customer satisfaction, we're going to give you some simple tips on how you can minimize call center handling times today.

1. Focus on Agent Training

First, agents who have been properly trained will be able to significantly reduce average call handling times within a standard call center. The reason for this is that they'll know exactly what to expect, and how to respond when certain interactions come their way. A comprehensive training program should not only inform agents on how to speak to customers to ensure their patience and long-standing business, but also provide information on where to look for answers to difficult questions, and how to use the latest software adopted by the business. If an agent knows exactly how to handle themselves on the phone, then they'll be well equipped to ensure efficiency when dealing with each call.

2. Record Every Call for Training Purposes

Speaking of training your agents, one of the best ways to determine where you're going wrong with your customer service, and which areas you might need to improve, is to record all the calls that you receive. Not only will call recording help you to fight back against certain legal concerns and customer problems, but it will help you to monitor trends in customer satisfaction so that you can adjust the way you handle calls daily. Additionally, you can use your recordings to monitor the performance of your agents to make sure that your workers are constantly working on improving their handle time and enhancing customer satisfaction.

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3. Streamline the Internal Workflow

If you can streamline your internal processes, so that everything in your call center runs like a well-oiled machine, you'll find that the change has a positive impact on your call handling times. Consider the way that your business works today, and think carefully about the processes that might not be adding value to your customer's experience. You might discover that certain tasks can be automated to free up more agent time, and that using crucial internal communication systems can help workers to find the best solution for answering tough questions without leading to confusion or frustration on the behalf of the customer.

4. Make Call Routing Simpler

When you're streamlining your internal processes, and ensuring that your staff are well educated and perfectly trained for the task at hand, you'll often find that call routing is a big part of what contributes to your handling times. People don't like being handed from one person to another in a call center - particularly if it doesn't give them an answer to their question or concern. Because of this, it's crucial to make sure that all customer calls are routed to the right people immediately. Leveraging the right call center software can help with this, reducing transfers and frustration, and enhancing customer satisfaction significantly.

5. Keep Customer Information Up-to-Date

Finally, when your agents don't have access to the latest information about the customer that they're working with, then they're going to end up spending longer handling a call. Handle time always increases when your agents are forced to look further for the accurate information they need to appease a customer, so keeping your software and data up-to-date is crucial for efficiency and performance. Make sure that your staff members are equipped to handle any call that might come through by ensuring that all your information is regularly updated and backed-up too.

Reducing your Call Handle Time

Reducing call handling time in call centers is a big issue for many companies, but it's not something that you should strive for at the expense of your customer satisfaction or experience. With the above tips, you should be able to enhance the way that you interact with your customers, and limit handling time simultaneously.
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