What Is the Meaning of After Call Work (ACW)?
After call work (ACW) is one of the most important responsibilities when working in a call center. It refers to the tasks required from a customer service representative after a call has ended and how long it takes for a representative to complete their post-call tasks. Generally, it should take them no more than 20–30 seconds to finish up—if an agent takes longer than this, they risk decreasing their overall efficiency. However, some call centers may have a slightly longer standard for completing ACW; the main goal is to get these tasks done as soon as possible, while still allowing time for accurate completion. Call center representatives should be trained to complete these post-call tasks as quickly as possible so that they can utilize the extra time to enhance their performance.
Common After Call Work in a Call Center
Since most call centers are based on customer support, it’s important for representatives to keep track of customer feedback. Common after call work in call centers include, but are not limited to: logging a call disposition ode, writing call notes, updating information in a help desk, providing feedback on customer sentiment, and sending an e-mail to the caller. When providing customer service over the phone, it can also be a great opportunity to gather customer reactions to your business. Making notes on complaints or compliments that a customer had can help your business analyze its shortcomings from the perspective of the consumer. ACW, such as sending a follow-up email to the customer, can also help you gauge how helpful your customer service initiatives are and identify the areas you need to improve in. Updating information in a help desk can also help you recognize any technical issues that may be persistent with your products or services—if you’ve began receiving a flood of questions or complaints regarding one specific issue, it may be a sign of something you may need to look into. ACW in call centers plays an extremely important role in being able to keep track of customer insights and identify areas for improvement.
How to Reduce After Call Work Time
As we’ve discussed, ACW is an integral part of a successful call center, however, spending too much time on it can decrease the efficiency of your staff. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help reduce after call work time, and maximize your staff’s productivity. Here are four tips to find out how to reduce after call work time in your call center.
Effectively Train Call Center Agents
One useful tip to help reduce after call work time is to optimize call center agent training. Don’t hesitate to put in the time and effort to thoroughly train your representatives before putting them on the phones. This isn’t the type of position where one should be learning on the job; agents often spend too much time figuring out your interface and fiddling around looking for the right button or tab to enter their ACW information. Eliminate this wasted time by making sure that all agents are familiar and comfortable working with your software and business tools before leaving them to their own devices.
It’s also helpful to inform representatives of the metrics that managers use to measure the overall efficiency of the call center. When agents realize that managers can use after call work metrics as a point in their routine performance evaluation, it can encourage them to work as proficiently as possible and motivate them to complete their ACW faster. Properly training and preparing call center agents can help shave minutes and even hours off of ACW time per week.
Reduce the Number of Tasks
An initial investment in software that’ll make the lives of your agents easier is another way to reduce ACW time. The more streamlined your software is and the easier it is to input information, the faster you agents will be able to complete their tasks. It’s recommended that you integrate with business tools, so that instead of having agents spend time updating customer relationship management (CRM) or help desks, they will automatically sync. Though the initial investment in advanced software may seem expensive, it’s guaranteed to save you money and time in the long run.
Make Notes During a Call
A simple tip that you might think goes without saying, is to make notes during a call. However, many agents wait until after the call is over to make notes, and instead choose to focus on the quality of the call itself. When working in a call center, the ability to multitask it key. Agents should be able to ensure the quality of their call as well as take notes simultaneously. This will help save time, and make sure the information they jot down is correct, since they won’t have time to forget it.
Design an Efficient Business Process
Streamlining your business processes can significantly cut down ACW time for call center agents. Take a look at the step-by-step processes that your agents go through, and see if you’re able to eliminate any redundant steps that take up unnecessary time. Are there any processes that that can be automated, or removed altogether? Working to streamline your business process can make your call center more efficient, and relieve some of the pressure on your representatives and prevent them from burning out.
3C Contact Services is an inbound call center fully staffed with trained call center agents who are prepared to handle a wide array of duties. From customer retention to help desk and technical support, our representatives will provide unparalleled service to your customers. With advanced software and efficient business processes, you can be sure that you customers will be taken care of. Contact us today for more information.