Why capping AHT and agents’ wages would be two big mistakes for managing contact centers, leading to attrition and failures.

By Colin Taylor

When working to deliver good customer service, there are many tactics you shouldn’t employ even though on the surface they may look like they fit the bill of improving customer service and supporting your limited budgets.

Here are two of those tactics you should avoid:

Capping handle time for agents.

Trying to manage by AHT (Average Handle Time) will ultimately fail. The shorthand of getting calls completed faster so you can handle more calls sounds reasonable at first blush, but it is not. Calls and interactions need to be as long as is needed to resolve the customer inquiry.

Trying to speed up these interactions, but interrupting or failing to offer an explanation, will frustrate the customer and the agent alike. Satisfaction will drop for both parties. In addition, an incomplete understanding of the customer situation or perspective will lead to misdiagnosis of the problem and lower First Contact Resolution (FCR) rates.

Capping or freezing wages.

This may be a short-term gain for the organization, but stagnant wages, especially in a robust economy, are a recipe for disaster.

When agents recognize that their income and/or upward mobility is threatened, their morale, engagement and employee satisfaction will drop, as will their commitment to helping customers.

Happy employees are required to create happy customers. Make your employees unhappy at your peril. Customer satisfaction and revenues will drop, FCR will decline and the staff will look for work elsewhere. This will create additional problems for the organization with agent turnover and staff retention.

Please Contact ApexCX for all your customer experience needs.

(Jan 22, 2020)