An online travel platform was growing quickly, more than doubling its number of outsourced TTEC associates, and wanted to boost productivity by reducing average handle time (AHT) and solving inquiries faster.
Associates helped customers with various aspects of online reservations, including modifications, cancelations, payment inquiries, and complaints. They worked toward benchmarks for productivity and AHT that were industry standards but were not rooted in science. This made it difficult to gauge how meaningful the benchmarks were and what the target AHT should really be.
We first focused on improving productivity in the voice channel, since most (more than 70%) of customers’ inquiries came there.
To establish more meaningful benchmarks, we assessed the AHT among calls with tenured associates and the AHT of calls with newly hired associates. We also did a series of mock calls with associates to gauge the AHT of an ideal call per contact type when every part of the interaction went smoothly.
Since associates will not always achieve an ideal scenario, we averaged the ideal call AHTs with the AHTs of tenured and new associates to set new baseline AHT targets for each group and contact type.
With new benchmarks set, we listened to calls to identify deficiencies and inform our training and process improvements. We noticed associates struggled to multitask and capture call notes, for instance, so we streamlined processes to help. We also designed training materials to help associates who were missing benchmarks and established a routine to give real-time assistance to those struggling with excessive AHT.
With these improvements, the client saw productivity rise and AHT fall. Associate productivity rose 36%, which generated $1.4 million in savings for the client. Customer experience also improved as AHT fell by 29%.
The client was so pleased with our results, we expanded the process to other channels.