The success of your business depends on customer experience. Creating a positive and satisfying experience is the mark of a modern company that caters to its consumer - and that’s exactly what today’s customers are searching for.
What is the first step to crafting a positive experience for your consumer? If you’re running a contact center, the process begins by making yourself available and accessible whenever and however the consumer needs you. This means making it easy to call your center and get through to an agent. Weak connections, a lack of appropriate staff, and excessive hold times can all impact this factor in your success.
Ultimately, this first step toward success can be measured by your company’s ASA, or average speed of answer. Here, we’ll show you why it’s a big deal and how you can keep yours low enough to keep consumers happy and coming back!
What is Average Speed of Answer?
What does average speed of answer mean and why is it so important to your contact center’s success?
Average speed of answer is defined as the average amount of time it takes for a live agent to answer an incoming call. To find it, your center’s management team can so a simple equation: the total amount of hold time per day in your center, divided by the total number of calls that same day.
As an example, if the total amount of hold time your center experiences in a day amounts to 7200 seconds - or two hours - and the total number of calls you receive that day is 240, the equation would be as follows:
7200/240 = 30
Your average speed of answer would be 30, meaning it takes 30 seconds on average for your agents to be connected to a caller. For the average person looking at that metric, it may not seem like a concern; 30 seconds isn’t very long, right? However, when you’re the consumer sitting on a line in silence waiting for a live person to answer your questions for 30 seconds or more, it can seem like a very long time! Reducing your ASA is vitally important to providing an excellent customer experience.
The Importance of ASA to Your Business’s Growth
Answering calls quickly can make for better experiences for your consumers - but how? Here are just a few of the reasons you need to focus on ASA:
- More productive agents - The faster your agents answer calls, the more calls they can handle in a day. This is a simple equation that can add up to a big leap in their individual productivity - and mean major benefits for your business.
- Better brand image - An attractive company is one that cares for its customers and provides them with great service and response. Whether your company has its own service department or you are acting as the outsourced communications department for another brand, putting your best foot forward by answering the phone promptly can deliver better brand image.
- More loyal customers - When a consumer receives excellent customer service, they are more likely to forgive small errors that might have led them to seek that customer service in the first place. Answering a phone promptly and providing excellent answers to questions or solutions to problems can offset a bad experience with a product or service. Creating a loyal customer can be as easy as picking up a phone quickly and getting right to work making things better.
- Satisfied customers - Of course, the primary goal of all customer service is to satisfy the needs of the consumer. For call centers, this begins and ends with the phone call, and there is no better way to start a great, productive conversation with a customer than by answering their call quickly.
Reducing Your Average Speed of Answer
With all of these advantages, you’re probably wondering how to reduce your company’s average speed of answer. Some of the best approaches include:
- Overhauling your IVR - One hurdle that could be holding you back from providing excellent service through offering short wait times is your interactive voice response system. IF it is not clear and easy-to-use, it can do more harm than good in directing callers to the agents who will eventually help them. Evaluate it first when making changes aimed at improving your ASA.
- Skills-based routing - Making sure the right agents are handling every call that comes in is crucial to keeping things moving quickly and smoothly. Using skills-based routing, you can direct calls to the appropriate agents every time - and keep your queue on the move as a result.
- Agent monitoring for productivity - Are your agents slacking off on the job? Determine whether every member of your team is pulling their weight - and bring them up to speed, if they’re not - by utilizing agent monitoring. This will motivate agents to achieve and keep them on-task, keeping your call queue moving.
- Cut the queue whenever possible - While it might not always be possible, using tools that help you sort and prioritize the calls that are coming in can be a boon. For VIP customers or those who are dealing with more urgent issues, having their calls moved up in line can be very satisfying. This can also help move other calls along quicker since more complicated calls are being taken care of promptly.
For the tools and technology you need to reduce and maintain a low average speed of answer - as well as provide all-around great customer service - turn to the experts at ChaseData. We have everything you need to set your center up for success and give your customers an excellent experience, every time they call. Give us a call when you’re ready to learn more!