After call work (ACW) is a lot like holiday shopping. You leave your “interaction” at the mall and arrive home with your arms full of boxes and bags and gifts. You wouldn’t simply throw it all in a heap for the recipients to sort out later, would you? Of course not. Instead, you carefully wrap each one and add a nametag for the proper context, lest Grandpa accidentally picks up the Justin Bieber sweatshirt you (reluctantly) purchased for your niece. Context is key. After call work provides the context or “wrapping” for your interaction.
Simply stated, ACW is any task an agent must complete after an interaction with a customer is done. It’s time-consuming, often tedious, and consumes precious minutes that your agents could be using to talk to customers. Despite its pitfalls, it’s a necessary evil. Without it, valuable information would be lost, and gaping holes would be left in the customer journey. Whether it’s dispositioning a call, entering information into a CRM or sending a follow-up email to the customer, ACW provides the necessary context to ensure a good experience for your customer the next time they interact with you. Since it’s unavoidable, how do you ensure that the time your agents spend in an after call work status is productive and efficient?
Make it a Game
The first step in ACW efficiency is clear communication and consensus from your agents and supervisors. Talk to your team about why after call work is necessary, but also how excessive time in an ACW status affects the bottom line and impacts the entire organization. Next, turn it into a game. Offer an incentive to agents who reduce their ACW stats by a certain percentage (and without compromising completed tasks, of course). Talk to agents who are consistently completing after call work quickly and completely and ask them to share their “secret sauce.” Make sure you monitor your customer satisfaction scores closely during the process and nip any “corner cutting” in the bud. With practice and some healthy competition, ACW efficiency will soon become second nature to your agents.
Make it Simple
Have you reviewed your ACW task list recently? What are you asking agents to complete? How long have you given them to adhere to their ACW status? Don’t ask them to do anything you couldn’t do yourself in the time you allow. If you can eliminate steps or tasks, do it. Look for ways to automate steps. Instead of using a platform that requires multiple entries into multiple systems, consider a platform that is fully integrated with your CRM and unified communications. Every second you save means more time for your agents to interact with customers.
Small adjustments can go a long way toward reducing ACW and making your agents’ lives easier. Keep the context; dump the complexity. And if you do accidentally give your Grandpa that Justin Bieber sweatshirt, send me a picture.