Make Sure Multi-play Doesn’t Multiply Average Handle Time

​In the dynamic world of communications, service providers, in their continuing quest to expand their customers' wallet share, are launching a growing number of new services at an accelerated pace. Multi-play services have evolved significantly over the last decade, becoming much more sophisticated, expanding to triple-play, quad-play and beyond. 

This is good news for consumers, as multi-play provides a major benefit - a single point of contact.

However, what is good for the goose... isn't always good for the gander.

'One focal point' for multiple services also means an increase in the amount of calls a contact center gets and, most importantly, it could potentially prolong the average handling time.

The weekly cost of a contact center with 50,000 calls a day is:

Average handle time (AHT) is a call center metric for the average duration of one transaction. It is typically measured from the customer's initiation of the call and includes any hold time, talk time and related tasks that follow the transaction. AHT is a prime factor when deciding call center staffing levels. 

When a customer calls the contact center, they could want to address an issue or raise a question which is relevant to more than one service.

Therefore, when service providers lay down their 'multi-play' strategy, they need to keep in mind that, for the demanding consumer, good customer experience is the key to capturing their attention and holding it. Thus, if average call duration for a single service is ~4 minutes, then with more services offered, that time should increase.

The Recipe for Success:

Below are four must-have ingredients for a successful roll-out of a multi-play offering: 

  • Know your customer - While there are some logistical necessities for providing any kind of service, the personal touch is the differentiator. Customers value the human side of service.   
  • Ensure consistent experience – NICE Systems research shows that customers are interacting with service providers over an average of 5.8 communication channels (NICE Customer Experience Survey 2014), while a McKinsey & Co. study (2013) showed that almost 60% of customer interactions are part of a broader multi-channel engagement. Since customers don't count channels, you need to ensure their experience is consistent and coherent. They need to always be able to connect with an agent or self-service portal that already knows their backstory.

  • Increase your First Call Resolution (FCR) – On average, organizations are achieving a 70% FCR rate. Though this sounds positive, it actually means that 30% of customers called multiple times. These customers contribute to approximately 55% of the call volume! An effective way of increasing FCR is by  predicting and addressing customers' needs based on insights from previous interactions.  
  • Act in real time – Multi-plays means that your agent will need to be knowledgeable about more services. This takes time and effort, and requires (in many cases) a huge investment. To bridge this gap, service providers need to guide their agents in real time and provide them with an automated next best action.

    The digitally enabled world presents an unprecedented opportunity for you to deepen the relationship with the new generation of customers. Don't let it pass you by.

    To learn more about how to create a perfect experience, click here