In a call center, call time is one of the most important metrics for gauging efficiency. Call time does not just include the time agents spend speaking with a customer, but the entire time the customer spends on the call, from the moment the agent picks up the phone until the issue is resolved and the call is ended.
All call centers measure this call time as a key performance indicator, meaning that it is a factor business owners and managers can use to evaluate how successful and productive their call center is operating. It is important to keep call time as low as possible while still maintaining customer satisfaction. Lengthy call times can frustrate customers and reduce the number of calls agents are able to take each day.
Knowledgeable Agents Reduce Call Time
The more information an agent has, the better equipped they are to solve a customer’s problem from the get-go. A customer does not want to be put on hold or transferred around several times. One skilled agent with vast knowledge of the business will be able to provide customers with the answers they seek in a quick and decisive manner.
- Ensure your agents and staff know a great deal about the products you sell.
- Customer service agents should be well versed in common product questions.
- Continuously train agents and staff to keep the knowledge fresh.
There are tools available to streamline common customer questions. These can be useful if your call center handles many similar questions daily. These products can help you build a script for your agents to work off of, which will save them time when handling calls. However, your agents should still use friendly and personable tones, so customers feel like their calls are welcome.
Agents Should Gather Pertinent Info Up Front
It is important that a customer’s problem is well understood at the beginning of the call. Your call center agents should gather as much information as possible so that there is less need for holds and transfers. Having the information up front will reduce the time your agents have to handle the call. You can help your agents with this task by providing beneficial tools, such as:
- Thorough contact forms for agents to fill out while on the call
- Customer relationship management software
- Internal screenshot and chat software
This kind of information gathering can help your agents solve the problem on the first contact with the customer. It eliminates the need for other agents to reach back out and prolong the call time.
Do Not Lump All Call Times Together
Your business’ call center will handle many types of calls, and they will all require different call times to solve. You should not base your average call time on all calls received, or your data will be skewed.
- Sales calls
- Customer service inquiries
- Technical support
- Bill payment
Separate call types into categories and give them each their own average call time so you can have a more accurate assessment.
Record Calls and Request Agent Input
Most call center calls are recorded, and yours is likely no different. You can analyze call data by listening to these recorded calls and making assessments based on the quality of these calls. When call handling times go long, you can find trends and pinpoint areas where your staff can work to cut these times down.
- Greetings might go too long.
- Agents might struggle with customers who want to chit-chat.
- New agents may be learning the ropes.
There are several call center software options available that record calls. If specific agents are struggling with their call times, you can delve deeper into their performance.
It is also important to get input from your agents. They are the ones taking the calls, so they are the ones who will likely have suggestions on how to improve their own experiences. By analyzing the recorded data and taking agent recommendations into account, you can make great improvements and reduce your call time.
About Endicott Call Centers
Endicott Call Centers is a national call center company with omni-channel services. We are fully equipped to help you with your business and with any particular circumstances. We draw on decades of experience to help you make the right decisions for your business.
Endicott offers full-service virtual receptionists and a wide variety of other services to help you run your business more efficiently. With Endicott, you have access to:
- Highly-trained, professional Agents & Receptionists
- Customized scripts
- Live agents 24 hours a day
- 100% US-based locations
- English & Spanish Speaking Agents
- HIPAA-compliant For Medical Support
- 24/7 Solutions for Dentists, Legal offices, eCommerce, and many other industries.
- Full access to call management and tracking tools that enable you to regularly monitor and evaluate our performance and help you manage your business effectively
Please request a quote or call 800-947-3227 to learn more about our solutions for creating exceptional customer service experiences for your clients. We’re happy to offer our insight into what your customers and employees seek from your company.