How Phone Interpretation Impacts Average Handle Time

Oct 12, 2016

WHEN YOUR AGENTS NEED AN INTERPRETER, HOW LONG DO THEY WAIT BEFORE ONE JOINS THE CALL?

88% of contact center leaders told ICMI that their KPIs improved or stayed constant when they introduced phone interpretation. In our last blog, we explored how interpretation may positively impact your contact center’s First Call Resolution (FCR). But FCR is only one of several metrics that contact center leaders improved—1 in 5 of those experiencing improvements also noted shorter Average Handle Time (AHT).

Partnering with a quality phone interpretation provider may help you reduce your AHT, too. 

 

REDUCING AVERAGE HANDLE TIME (AHT) WITH QUALITY PHONE INTERPRETATION

To trim the Average Handle Time of your non-English calls, it’s important that your agents are able to reach an interpreter quickly and easily. How does your current interpretation service perform in these key areas for making the connection process fast and simple?

Staffing

A quality interpretation provider should ensure that interpreters are available to service your non-English calls.

Offshore, independent contractor interpreters may create their own work schedules without consideration of your language coverage needs. This means your agents may wait longer than necessary for an interpreter, which adds to your Average Handle Time. In some cases, independent contractor interpreters might not be available at all, which can negatively impact other metrics as well.

An interpretation provider with US employee interpreters and large-scale contact centers may lawfully plan staffing in advance to ensure coverage—even on nights and weekends. Should your language coverage requirements change, the contact center model for interpretation allows for scheduling flexibility.

IVR Answering and Language Selection

With an IVR system in place, your interpretation service can answer agents’ calls instantly. IVR may also shorten the language selection process.

 

IVR enables agents to simply state the language they want—they don’t need to memorize hundreds of language codes or wait for an operator to connect them. Your service provider might even help you create a custom menu for your most popular languages, simplifying the connection process and shortening your Average Handle Time.

Automatic Account Authentication

When agents need to enter account information manually, it adds time to the call and increases your Average Handle Time.

If your interpretation service can automatically verify your account information, agents don’t need to memorize and input lengthy account numbers.  They can skip the process entirely to reach an interpreter sooner.

Check back for our continuing series on improving contact center metrics with quality phone interpretation. You can also learn more about improving customer engagement and agent optimization from ICMI’s recent whitepaper.