You probably already think enough about Average Handle Time, or AHT for short. Maybe even a little too much. AHT is the average length of time it takes an agent to complete a call. While this is an important metric for internal operating costs — shaving 10 or 20 seconds per call across thousands of interactions can add up to significant savings — managers often get in trouble by thinking of it as an end-all-be-all. Placing too much emphasis on reducing AHT at all costs can be detrimental to the overall customer experience and even disincentivize agents from spending time with customers to properly resolve their issues with empathy. The results sometimes look a little like this:
of interactions involve a time-consuming diagnosis
of customer-assistance occupations are automatable*
of common call center tasks are automatable*
Many contact centers, therefore, have opted to favor outcome metrics such as First Contact Resolution or Net Promoter Score, with secondary emphasis on AHT.
Whatever metrics you’re using to measure agent success, Agent Assist offers powerful tools to aid them, without harming the customer experience. By improving the underlying systems, such as implementing unified agent desktops or automation, contact centers were able to see significant reductions in AHT, generating significant savings for the company.
There’s nothing worse for a customer than having to give the same information over and over across multiple channels (well almost nothing worse). Agent Assist assures that journey data is available at every step — including information from self-service experiences and previous calls. The platform turns this data into real-time guidance and conversation starters for agents.
So much of what agents do is working to uncover what exactly the customer needs. In fact, 67.4% of interactions involve some form of diagnosis — a time-consuming process without the right tools. Agent Assist gives them the right tools to understand the root of a problem, including through sidebar discussions that work naturally into a conversation.
Real-time guidance can prescribe a flow for an entire conversation, including call scripts that truly respond to the customer’s needs and still help agents execute and continually move to the next steps.
Nothing hurts AHT — and ultimately the customer experience — quite like agents being bogged down with mundane tasks. With RPA, everything from knowledge search to call resolution paperwork is taken care of, so agents can focus on providing an empathetic experience to customers.
Even your very best agents make mistakes. Agent Assist can track agent actions in real-time with desktop automation bots — turning every agent into your best agent. Error-free calls mean happier customers and quicker call resolutions.
The results speak for themselves. AT&T and Priceline.com used Agent Assist to eliminate 90% of errors.
One of the key areas where contact centers set their agents up for extended calls is with their knowledge management systems. While other solutions guide agents to the right knowledge article, Agent Assist uses RPA to automate the task entirely.
These days, the contact center experience is about more than answering the phone. Uniphore can guide agents to the right digital assets — like sharing photographs of a product or location coordinates — that customers can use to address problems.
Agent Assist can track agent actions and generate a standardized interaction summary for future review. This kind of automation makes it easy to find insights and cut down on after-call work, so agents can focus on helping the next customer.
One of the largest drivers of contact center AHT are poor transfers between agents. Agent Assist ensures each new agent has the proper context from the last interaction, cutting time while boosting CX.
Ultimately, when agents are happy, productivity reins. With multiple mundane processes automated, easy knowledge and added context, agents can focus all of their energy on solving problems and moving on to the next customer.
Uniphore’s Agent Assist can put you on the right path. By giving your staff technology that works for, not against, them.
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