How to Increase Your Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

Stumble it!

Recently we talked about effective strategies to answer the phone, but wouldn’t you like to keep your callers on hold LESS so they don’t have to wait?  Here are a few quick tips that will help increase your average speed of answering calls (ASA).

1. Differentiate departments, but cross train.  If your operators work for specific departments, sales, support, service, etc, then you can easily see how time can be better spent with cross training.  If your support consultants answer only for support callers, and support calls are slow on Friday, then you could have a few of your support consultants answer the phone for Sales on Friday when it’s busy.  Likewise, you could have your Sales department help your Support department on the weekends when Support gets the majority of phone calls.  This saves you from hire more call center consultants.

2. Allow scheduled breaks.  If your call center employees are frequently away from their desks taking unscheduled breaks, it’s time to institute scheduled breaks.  These breaks should last about 10 minutes and happen every 2 hours.  This gives employees a chance to use the bathroom, get a drink, stretch their legs, make a personal phone call, or whatever else they would like to do.  Without frequent breaks, employees will start using your time instead of theirs.

3. Talk to employees.  Many times your best idea isn’t your own.  Ideas can come from unlikely sources like that woman you hired last week who had never worked in a call center before.  This woman may have an idea that could increase your average speed of answer that you have never thought of.  New employees see your call center in a much different way than you do.  A good way to find this ASA ideas is to schedule a short 5-10 minute meeting with new employees.  It is a good idea to meet with them after they’ve worked 2 weeks.  This way they’ve already been trained and have been working the phones.

I hope those quick tips help increase your average speed of answer this week!

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