In order to evaluate and enhance the contact center’s quality of service in your startup, you have to monitor various key performance indicators (KPIs). The average speed of answer is one of the most important KPIs that allow assessing the efficiency and agent accessibility of your contact center.
Average speed of answer (ASA) is a metric that measures the average amount of time an agent takes to answer an incoming call. Any startup that aspires to score high on the CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score), must attempt for a low ASA. Maintaining a low ASA indicates agent efficiency and translates into good performance.
However, before we discuss the ways to reduce ASA in your contact center, let us first understand how to calculate ASA.
How to Calculate Average Speed of Answer
Average speed of answer is measured from the second a call gets connected to the customer’s end till the moment it is answered by a contact center agent. This includes the time the caller spends waiting in a queue. But, it excludes the time the caller spends interacting with an interactive voice response (IVR) system.
A common formula to measure ASA is:
Average Speed of Answer = Total Waiting Time for Answered Calls/Total Number of Answered Calls
Below are 5 tips to reduce average speed of answer in your contact center without compromising on customer satisfaction:
- Improve Call Volume Prediction
An effective way to reduce ASA in your startup is to forecast call volume with better precision. This will allow managers to accurately staff agents in order to handle the expected call volume. Such a measure will go a long way in reducing the ASA. A sufficiently staffed team that is well-prepared to cater to the predicted volume of incoming calls will be able to answer calls in a better manner, resulting in a low ASA.
- Enhance Agent Training
The measure of ASA in your startup depends on the ability of your agents to handle calls effectively. Agents must possess the skills needed to meet the caller’s requirement effectively. Well-trained and efficient agents will be able to reduce handle time and respond to more calls, thus lowering the rate of ASA. This makes it imperative to optimize agent training and equip them with the skills necessary to resolve caller issues with élan. It is important that agents become well-versed with the product features, contact center software, business tools, and other aspects required to resolve customer issues before they start taking calls. Moreover, they must be aware of the next line of action to follow if they don’t know how to address a caller’s issue.
- Optimize Workforce Management
Efficiency is the keyword that helps to reduce ASA in your contact center. In order to increase efficiency, you have to make sure that the right agents equipped with the right skills are attending to the inbound calls in your center. By optimizing your workforce management, you can achieve the objective of reducing ASA. Also, you have to consider factors like agent scheduling, schedule adherence, and occupancy rates while optimizing your workforce.
- Reduce Agent Attrition
Any contact center is as good as its agents. When a team is hired and trained to perfection, the aim of a startup should be to retain them on board and prevent attrition. Trained and experienced agents will be able to respond to customer calls in a timely fashion, thus reducing ASA for the contact center. Moreover, seasoned agents will be able to decrease handle time, enhance the quality of customer service, and improve first call resolution. These factors will invariably decrease ASA in your contact center.
- Optimize Call Routing
Apart from the agents, the contact center software can also be an effective tool to reduce ASA. Ensure that your contact center software has effective routing functionality. This will enable the caller to be routed to an agent who is most capable of addressing the issue. Such a scenario will result in reduced handle time as well as improved first call resolution. The final verdict will be a lower ASA in your contact center along with increased customer satisfaction.