What is After Call Work, (ACW)
A collective set of tasks executed by call center agents after finishing the conversation with the customers is termed as After Call Work. ACW typically includes updating the database with information collected during the call, which will help in the future interactions with the customer, and notifications to other divisions on further action to be taken, and of course adding the solution to the knowledge base if the issue is resolved. After Call Work is a component of a critical call center KPI, the Average Handle Time. While on ACW, the agent would not be able to accept any call, and is also often called Post Call Processing or Wrap up.
Average Handle Time = (Talk Time + Hold Time + Wrap up Time) / Number of calls Handled
With Customer experience being a top priority item in a call center, and the Average Handle Time being a critical KPI, After Call Work, is the only parameter that can be effectively reduced.
Reduce After Call Work
Well there are several ways in which ACW can be reduced, and they are
Put a Customized CRM system in place
An integrated CRM system is intended to track and store customer data to facilitate easy and efficient customer interactions. Analyze the call center process and customize the CRM system with new menus and fields and List of Values that can reduce the After Call Work considerably.
Mentor and Coach Agents to Multitask and use call texts effectively
Mentor the agents in a step by step manner on how to use call notes and logs. Encourage them to enter data in the system during the conversation itself, and to put the customer on hold politely if necessary. In fact if it helps in the issue resolution, most of the customers would not mind being put on hold.
To save time, coach the agents on timesaving abbreviations and acronyms, while typing the call texts. Also an agent in all probabilities might get the call about the same issue over and over again. Mentor them about the all around benefits of REUSING the call texts. Reusing call texts benefits both the customers and the agents themselves.
Optimize Business Processes
There are several steps a call center agent has to undertake to complete their tasks. The management has to carefully analyze each step to find out and eliminate any unnecessary or redundant step. This has to be a periodic and continual process and every time, a change is made, the agents are to be trained to follow the changed process. This will increase the agent satisfaction too.
Gather and Analyze Feedback
Agents must be instructed to gather the feedback from the customer before disconnecting the call. Irrespective of whether it is positive or negative, the agents should be entering this in the call texts. But only gathering and recording the feedback will not do. All these feedbacks ought to be sifted through and segregated into good, neutral and bad. This in the long run will not only reducing the ACW, but also will boost the overall efficiency of the call center and customer satisfaction. There are intelligent analysis softwares which do this very fast.
Use a Knowledge Base
It is always better to have the solution ready at hand, when the customer explains a problem. So initially a Knowledge Base has to be created by making a list of commonly occurring problems and their solutions. And as and when new problems and their solutions come from the customers over a period of time, they are to be updated in the base. This system is to be integrated with the CRM and other call center software, so that all the information is available to the agents in real time.
After Call Work has its impact on several other call center metrics, so nothing like it if a call center is able to reduce it.