The question of how to reduce AHT is a critical consideration when evaluating your call center metrics. It also impacts your overall customer satisfaction and retention levels. So how exactly can you reduce Average Handling Time, without lowering your quality of service or hiring tens of new staff members (because both of those results are expensive in more ways than one). Well, rest assured, you’re not alone. This is a conundrum facing many industries, from energy, oil, and gas, to office equipment, transportation, and manufacturing.
If your business relies on over-the-phone customer service in any capacity, reducing AHT is an excellent way to reduce customer churn, improve customer loyalty, and leave customers feeling happy with you as their provider.
So what does AR enabled video communications have to do with reducing AHT? And how can you reduce AHT within a matter of weeks?
That’s what we’ll be diving into today.
AHT stands for average handling time. This metric is calculated using the total talk time, plus total hold time, plus total wrap up time of your customer service representatives, and dividing it by the number of calls handled.
As we touched on earlier, when you reduce AHT, you:
AR enabled video communications, otherwise known as video collaboration software, entails leveraging augmented-reality enabled technology to more easily accomplish a set task, like solving a customer problem, in a shorter period of time.
When your customer service representative is ready to connect with a customer, they can reduce talk time and eliminate kinks in communication by seeing for themselves what a customer is up against.
The use of shared video screens solves many problems.
This feature allows for greater collaboration, better communication (they won’t have to rely on customers trying to explain certain features or wires or buttons themselves. They can simply flip the camera around and show them!), and more personalized customer touch points. Thanks to this merged reality, customers and service representatives eliminate the amount of time spent getting up to speed. They expedite the timeline on which they work together to create a solution.
A final note here: shared video screens are also extremely important when it comes to reducing customer frustration levels. This is because customers usually become most aggravated when they feel they’re not being heard or empathized with. So, being able to see facial expressions and read nonverbal cues will go a long way in communicating empathy. And doing it in a subtle, authentic manner that customers can easily recognize and receive.
Thanks to other highly useful features, such as 3D annotation, service representatives can double check they understand the source of a problem by circling items on screen, highlighting points of interest, and literally pointing with their hands to certain locations to check they have the right idea.
This level of video demonstration is essential to ensuring that before staff invest too much time in understanding a problem, they can know with almost certainty that they’re dedicating efforts to the right outlet. From there, they can easily visualize the problem right in front of them, and solve it just as easily as if they were in the room with the customer.
Merged reality, combined with the fact that customer representatives can record calls, means they can recognize an issue that requires on-site help almost immediately, thereby reducing AHT, while also creating a seamless hand off process to on-site technicians.
In this case, if they need to order an in-person service call, they can simply forward the video recording so that any workers called out have the right tools, knowledge, and information beforehand to ensure a successful mission.
This works to increase customer satisfaction levels, while reducing AHT, as customers can know with full confidence every step of the way that your staff has a complete understanding of the issue, which they won’t have to repeatedly explain to each new stakeholder.
Check out our checklist and facts to consider!
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