Improving ASA (average speed to answer) can have many positive impacts on your call center, and one method of improvement is through a callback system. ASA has a direct correlation to important call center metrics such as call abandonment rate, efficiency and customer satisfaction. By decreasing ASA, call centers can improve these metrics and create a better overall customer experience.
ASA Definition and How It’s Calculated
A basic definition of ASA is the average amount of time it takes a customer service agent to answer a call. It known throughout the customer service industry as one the most crucial KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for a contact center due to the effect it can have on other vital metrics (for example: abandonment rate and customer satisfaction). ASA does not include the time it takes a caller to navigate an IVR. Simply put, ASA is equal to the total wait time for answered calls divided by the total number of answered calls.
Measuring ASA with Service Level Goals
ASA is commonly measured and presented in terms of Service Level. For example, if a service level is 80-20, this means that 80% of calls were answered within 20 seconds. When creating a strategy for ASA improvement, the first important step is to measure the current service level of your call center prior to implementing your strategy, and then set attainable goals according to these baseline measurements. One thing to keep in mind when creating your goals is that service levels commonly vary from industry to industry. For example, retail call centers might have an average service level around 70-30, while 911 operators will have a much higher service level like 100-3. This is due to the nature and urgency of the calls.
The Benefits of ASA Improvement
As stated earlier, improving ASA can have lasting impacts on other vital call center metrics. Some major benefits include but are not limited to:
- Customer satisfaction
The fact of the matter is that nobody enjoys waiting on hold – so the longer the wait, the more frustrated callers and customers will likely become. By answering call quickly, agents are able to jump right into solving a customer’s problem or giving them solutions instead of having to spend even more of the customer’s time apologizing for the long wait. In addition to this, the agent has to deal with a frustrated customer during the rest of the call. Callers and customers appreciate when calls are answered promptly, and they will quickly realize that the company they chose to do business with values them and their time.
- Reduction in abandonment rate
Abandoned calls are obviously not good for business. Customers who abandon a call are often frustrated and tend to develop negative feelings for the company they tried to contact. This can result in these customers not calling back in the future, turning to competitors for their needs. A high call abandonment rate often equates to numerous lost business opportunities.
- A better work environment
Agents that have to handle a high number of upset callers (due to long wait times, etc.) tend to experience elevated stress levels and become fatigued at a faster rate. This can drastically affect call center productivity and agent motivation, and can be detrimental the call center’s overall well-being. When agents that are able to solve customer problems quickly and make them happy, they will feel better about their jobs and the impact they have on the company.
- Increase in FCR (first call resolutions)
Agents have a higher probability to resolve a caller’s issue on the first call when wait times are lower. Callers are generally easier to work with, and agents can get right to the issue presented instead of having to explain why the wait was so long.
How Callback Can Help You Hit Your ASA Goals
Callback gives callers the option to be contacted when an agent is available to speak instead of having to wait on the phone. It also allows users to choose which communication channel they prefer to use, including web pages, social media, phone, and chat. A high volume of calls can result in long queues of callers, but with callback, those people can go about their business, resulting in shortened queues as well as a decrease ASA.
Call back software is one of the best tools to help contact centers improve their ASA. Improving this metric tends to have a snowball effect on other important contact center metrics like overall efficiency, customer satisfaction, and first call resolutions. If you’d like to hear more about our callback software that makes this possible, reach out to our team for details regarding your business.