Have you ever felt a spike in frustration during a customer service call? You’re not alone! A staggering 74% of Americans have faced product or service issues in the past year, as highlighted by the 10th edition of the National Customer Rage Survey. That’s right; these pesky problems have skyrocketed since 1976.
However, we all face the frustrating problem of discontent over our customer service experience. The need to ramp up is more relevant today than before. But here’s the silver lining – in the hyper-competitive business environment, we can still improve customer experiences by tracking Key KPIs like Average Talk Time (ATT).
This blog spotlights ATT and how mastering this metric can improve customer experience and a winning business edge.
What is Average Talk Time?
Average talk time (ATT) is the average amount of time a customer service representative spends on a call with a customer. It is calculated by dividing the total talk time for a given period by the number of calls handled during that time.
“You can’t just ask customers what they want and try to give them that. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”
How to Calculate Average Talk Time?
The formula for calculating average talk time is:
Real-Life Example of Average Talk Time
Let’s say that a customer service representative handles 10 calls daily; the total talk time for those calls is 60 minutes. The average talk time for that day would be:
ATT = 60 minutes / 10 calls = 6 minutes
Difference Between Average Talk Time and Average Handle Time
Average handle time (AHT) is the average time it takes to resolve a customer issue. It includes the time the customer service representative spends on the call with the customer and the time the representative spends on hold, researching the issue, and documenting the call.
ATT and AHT are similar metrics, but the two have a key difference. ATT only includes the time the customer service representative spends on the call with the customer. AHT includes the time that the representative spends on all aspects of handling the customer issue.
How can the OKR Methodology be Used to Track the ATT KPI?
OKRs, which stands for Objectives and Key Results, is a goal-setting methodology that can provide clarity, focus, and alignment within organizations. When used appropriately, OKRs can help companies track and achieve strategic objectives, including KPIs such as Average Talk Time (ATT). Here is a step-by-step guide:
Define Your Objective
What do you want to achieve by tracking ATT? For example, reduce ATT by 10% in the next quarter.
Identify Your Key Results
What specific outcomes do you need to achieve to reach your objective? For example, reduce the number of calls transferred to other departments by 5% in the next quarter or increase the number of calls resolved on the first contact by 3% in the next quarter.
What actions will you take to achieve your key results? For example, you might need to provide customer service representatives with more training on how to resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently, empower customer service representatives to make decisions without having to escalate calls to other departments, or implement a new customer relationship management (CRM) system to help customer service representatives track customer interactions and resolve issues more quickly.
Once you have defined your objective, key results, and initiatives, you can track your progress and make necessary adjustments.
Example of using OKRs to track ATT
Objective: Improve the customer experience by reducing average talk time.
Key Result 1: Reduce average talk time by 10% in the next quarter.
Key Result 2: Reduce the Number of calls transferred to other departments by 5% in the next quarter.
Key Result 3: Increase the Number of calls resolved on the first contact by 3% in the next quarter.
- Provide customer service representatives with more training on resolving customer issues quickly and efficiently.
- Empower customer service representatives to make decisions without escalating calls to other departments.
- Implement a new customer relationship management (CRM) system to help customer service representatives track customer interactions and resolve issues more quickly.
In addition to tracking your progress toward your key results, it is also important to communicate your OKRs to your team and stakeholders. This will ensure everyone is aligned and working together to achieve the goals.
Average Talk Time (ATT) is an Essential Metric Because
Identify areas for improvement
By tracking ATT over time, customer service managers can identify areas where customers spend more time on the phone than necessary and develop initiatives to improve the customer experience, such as providing more training to customer service representatives or empowering them to make decisions without escalating calls to other departments.
Reducing ATT can reduce costs for customer service organizations in several ways. First, it can reduce the time that customer service representatives spend on the phone, freeing them up to handle more calls. Second, it can reduce the number of calls that need to be escalated to other departments, saving time and money.
Improve customer satisfaction
Customers are more likely to be satisfied with their customer service experience if they can spend a short time on the phone. By reducing ATT, customer service organizations can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Ensuring your customer service operations are streamlined and efficient is vital for customer satisfaction and the bottom line. Average talk time serves as a mirror, reflecting both the efficiency and effectiveness of your service representatives. By harnessing the insights provided by ATT and implementing strategic initiatives, businesses can offer quicker, more satisfying resolutions for their customers, ultimately building trust and loyalty.