Average Speed to Answer is a commonly used metric that allows call center managers to evaluate their team’s efficiency and ability to effectively satisfy customers. Though it’s one of the most commonly cited contact center metrics, many managers find Average Speed to Answer difficult to define. Below is the definition we use and benchmarks across industries to help you level set your contact center performance.
The Average Speed to Answer is the average time the agent took to answer inbound calls. This includes time while the agent’s phone rings, but does not include the time the caller spent in the IVR or waiting queue. This KPI is associated with efficiency and accessibility and is a contributor to customer satisfaction.
In Talkdesk, this metric is easily accessible within the Agent tab, as well as the Scheduled tab in the “Agents” and “Calls” reports. The Average Speed to Answer for Talkdesk users was 8.97 seconds in 2017. Here’s what the numbers looked like by industry:
Once you have determined your Average Speed to Answer, it’s important to understand what that number means to understand how it may be impacting your business.
High Average Speed to Answer could indicate:
Insufficient staff training
Inaccurate call volume projections
Excessive After Call Work time
Poor call forecasting
Low Average Speed to Answer could indicate:
Sufficient staff training
Accurate call volume projections
Appropriate amount of after call work time
Adequate call forecasting
There are numerous ways having a high Average Speed to Answer can adversely impact your business, some which are not immediately evident. Customer satisfaction suffers, but with that often comes reduced agent satisfaction as stress increases. Call center costs can increase as well, as frustrated callers typically increase handle time and are more likely to demand escalations to management.
To reduce the Average Speed to Answer, utilize after call work scheduling so that agents have a short window of time to complete work associated with the previous call before receiving additional calls. Using Talkdesk, you can also automate many of the common after call work tasks, which increases productivity. You can also train agents on the importance of having a low Average Speed to Answer and provide them with a dashboard that empowers them to make data-driven decisions to keep this KPI within an acceptable range. Finally, it falls on the shoulders of the supervisor to ensure agent scheduling is optimized and call forecasting is as accurate as possible.
To learn more about Abandonment Rate and the other metrics in Talkdesk’s 2018 Contact Center KPI Benchmarking Report, click the button below.