Critical services rely on lower handle times to deliver better customer service to their patrons. Long handle times can translate to poor customer service, which can adversely affect your business.  Microsoft report shows that 58% of customers consider customer service as an important aspect when it comes to brand choices or

to establishing brand loyalty. Even just one bad experience can drive away 61% of customers, according to the same report.

Your average handle time (AHT) is a key metric that determines your efficiency. It can also serve as a benchmark, especially if you’re planning to reassess your customer service goals. But how do you lower handle times without compromising on the quality of your service?

5 Ways to Lower Your Handle Times

Call Centre Helper notes that the industry standard for AHT is around 6 minutes and 3 seconds. However, your AHT can be affected by various factors, such as the size of your team and the industry you’re in. Successfully lowering your handle times lets your customers know that you value their time. It also reduces operational costs and helps your customer service team become more productive and efficient.

1. Determine what causes long handle times

Knowing what causes long AHTs can help you come up with a strategy to lower your handle times. To do so, you’ll need to monitor interactions between your customers and customer service personnel to begin identifying potential issues.

2. Conduct call centre training for agents

Old and new agents alike can benefit from retraining. To beef up your training, you’ll need to consider your expectations, performance benchmarks, and key points such as product or service familiarization and best practices when handling calls. Review complicated calls and what could have caused them. Lastly, let your agents ask questions. Providing them with guides like cheat sheets or resources also helps.

3. Use customer service tools

Customer service tools, like helpdesk software and project management tools, not only make your agents’ lives easier but also help improve your AHT and efficiency.

4. Leverage data

Data is your friend. Use it to train your agents or to find out the factors that affect the quality of calls. Data is also a great resource that lets you know more about your customers, what they need or what they’re looking for, and whether they have a history of calls with you.

5. Have dedicated contact response personnel

A dedicated contact response team helps your business prioritize customer service calls and give them a human touch. They’re well-versed with your product or service and can respond to queries or concerns live. They can also improve the productivity levels of your other departments since your other employees won’t have to take time away from their work to answer calls. If you’re on a tight budget, a cost-effective solution would be working with a virtual receptionist.

Improving Your Handle Times with Optimized Call Centre Services

Quicker calls are a great way to boost your customer service levels, but this doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice the quality of your service. Improving your call centre management lets you provide high-quality customer service all year round. On Call Centre is a fully bilingual call centre and answering service provider headquartered in Ottawa. Our in-depth knowledge of various industries and more than 50 years of experience equip us with the right tools and skills to help you meet your customer service goals. Get in touch with us and start transforming the way you do business. 

At On Call Centre , we deliver exceptional customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year—sometimes 366. On Call Centre has been providing tailored, fluently French/English bilingual answering services and call centre services to small business owners (professionals, trades) and customer support departments (government, high tech, property management, healthcare, emergency clients) serving Ottawa , Montreal and Toronto —and all over Canada —for almost 50 years.