21 Jul Improve your average talk time
As a call center, your biggest considerations would have to be metrics and your team’s overall performance. These two go hand-in-hand, and are things you should always stay atop of. Your success and efficiency at achieving customer resolutions will always be dependent on how well you manage your metrics. For this article, we’re tackling average talk time and looking at certain steps you can take as a business to improve and elevate your performance!
Average Talk Time is an important measure that refers to the amount of time your call center agents spend on the phone. It is oftentimes confused with Average Handling Time, which is measured differently.
How to compute for average talk time
Using the Reporting Portal, you can compute your Average Talk Time by the following formula:
Interpreting data using the Reporting Portal
We have provided users of the Nautilus Contact Center Solution with all the tools they need to run their business. At the forefront is our powerful Reporting Portal, which records all calls and interactions in real time.
Our Distribution Tab offers a wide range of sub-tabs with different filters to help you find the numbers and data that you need. For Average Talk Time, we suggest you look at your Distributions Summary.
From here we can see that this team has a total of 119 calls, 64 of which were answered. That’s an answer rate of 53.78, which is very low by industry standards. Their Average Talk Time is 26.86 minutes, and the total Talk Times is at 1719 minutes. How should we interpret this data?
Numbers give you insights into company efficiencies and deficiencies. In this case, there are two possible scenarios: First, there might not be enough agents to handle calls. Second, your agents might be spending too much time on every call.
Factors that affect your talk time
- Team size — this refers to the number of agents you have available to handle your calls. Ideally, you should have enough agents on board to take on specific tasks assigned to them. In most cases, contact centers have at least two queues: Sales and Support. With bigger operations, they can have as many as five queues. Making sure that there are enough bodies on the floor to handle calls is very important.
- Seasonal call drivers — some months are busier than others. Stay abreast of when these months are using our Distribution Summary tab. Using the Reporting Portal, you can break down data to show the trends throughout the year. Knowing when your business is at its busiest lets you plan your operation throughout the year, and lets you make the proper staffing and employment decisions.
- Repeated inquiries — the worst thing that can happen to your call center business is when customers get passed around between queues just to find a resolution. They are likely to ask and relay their inquiries to different agents, wasting theirs and the company’s time.
- Dead air — this usually happens when your agents aren’t familiar with their scripts. This can be remedied by roleplaying calls, coaching them on how to improve their performance, and making sure that they know all the possible scenarios that could come up during a call.
- Lengthy scripts — some businesses need to revisit their call scripts and make sure that there aren’t any unwanted parts. A quick and modern solution is to incorporate certain parts of the call inquiry and data gathering in the IVR. Self-service solutions are known to help automate certain processes of the call and lead to faster call resolution.
Suggested tips to improve ATT
- Provide fun incentives for improved numbers. Contact centers around the world make use of the wallboard, one of many different technologies available to them, to keep everyone aware of their numbers. They give everyone incentives as they track and push to lower the overall average talk time of their business as reflected on the wallboard. The gamification of this challenge makes for a fun activity that involves everybody!
- Make it competitive. Another interesting way to lower your business metrics is to keep everyone involved by way of competition. You can offer incentives like snacks, leave credits, and some cash incentives.
- Visibility equals accountability. The more people are aware of their lacking numbers makes them more in tune and responsible. Promoting a proactive and involved workplace is a great solution to help your numbers.
- Train your agents to handle inquiries better. The better they are at their jobs, the faster they can find resolution. As a result, this also lets them handle more calls in total. The more calls they take at shorter intervals, your more your average talk time decreases.
- Automate simpler processes — Nautilus’ Contact Center Solutions provides an Integrated Voice Response attendant that you can modify to your liking. On one hand, it speeds up basic processes like, say, data gathering. Callers can input their account numbers so that by the time they reach an agent, their profiles are already pulled up. In the most ideal situation, callers can find their own solution thereby causing a call deflection.
As a contact center, efficiency is always part and parcel of your daily operations. Eliminating deficiencies helps you run a smoother business and lets you reach call success faster! Mastery and an advanced level of product knowledge also plays a significant part in cutting down the amount of time your agents spend on the phones. Are they proficient enough at their jobs? If they are, it should show on their numbers. If they’re lagging behind, use said numbers to help guide them towards the right path.
It’s all about getting to know your numbers, keeping your agents happy, and maximizing all the tools available to you. Once you figure out how to do all three, your business will reach elevated heights and numbers.
The Call Journey