How To Keep After Call Work From Getting In the Way of Agent Productivity

December 31, 2020

Customer support is a fast-paced job. Companies are constantly looking for ways to lower resolution times for their customers, and usually do it through a mix of detailed online FAQs, ongoing training, and tool adoption. Typically, these solutions make life a little easier on reps, whether it's by improving their skills or simply making support queues more manageable.

One area of a rep's job that's sometimes overlooked is After Call Work (ACW), which is a term for all the tasks an agent has to complete once they hang up with a customer. While ACW helps to keep customer records updated and schedule any necessary follow-up tasks, it can also seriously interrupt an agent's rhythm.

In this post, we'll break down what After Call Work is, and what you can do to reduce the amount of time your agents spend on it.

Examples of After Call Work

While the actual tasks associated with ACW vary based on your business, here are some common ones that support reps carry out:

  • Writing notes from a call
  • Updating support platform & company CRM
  • Scheduling/describing any necessary follow-up tasks
  • Following up with the customer

When you look at specific examples, the value of After Call Work becomes clear - it's a necessary part of any support rep's job that helps create more personalized experiences for customers and drives overall business value by keeping customer data organized and up-to-date.

But that doesn't mean it needs to be a major interruption. In fact, there's a few quick ways that support teams can streamline ACW to maintain its' value without creating extra work for busy reps.

Train, train, train

Thorough training on your CRM may sound like a no-brainer, but overlooking it can lead to frustrated reps and a ton of wasted time. If a new rep doesn't have strong command of it, they'll spend more of their time searching for the right fields and looking through documentation than creating resolutions for customers.

Make sure that reps have the time to familiarize themselves with tools before getting them on the phone - being new to a customer support role can be difficult enough without the added frustration that comes with having to learn your CRM on-the-fly.

Customize your CRM

This is a relatively quick change that'll make life easier on your reps. When it comes to After Call Work, the real killer is manual data entry. It can't be avoided when it comes to taking detailed notes, describing call details, and creating follow-up tasks. That said, your business is bound to have standard pieces of information that it's important for agents to collect.

Take the time to tailor your CRM to reflect common customer data. You can do this by creating drop-down fields with standard values and customizing menus.

Connect your phone system to your ticketing platform

Shameless product plug? Maybe. Proven way to streamline reps' post-call tasks? Absolutely.

By using a phone system that can integrate with your support platform and/or CRM, you eliminate the need for duplicate data entry & manual call logging. When integrated, most VoIP platforms will automatically log calls so that reps don't need to enter details like talk time, time on hold etc. This frees them up to spend their ACW time on more detailed note-taking and call descriptions, which create more value for your customers in the long run.

Additionally, VoIP integrations also make the process of prepping for the next call easier - rather than having to look up a customer record or asking them to repeat basic information, your phone system will recognize the number that's calling in and pull up the associated customer record. That way, agents can spend less time looking things up and more time creating resolutions.

The takeaway

After Call Work is a valuable source of customer data for your business, but it can also create headaches for agents whose job it is to help as many of your customers as possible. By providing effective training, customizing your CRM, and integrating it with your phone system, you can reap the benefits of strong ACW without wasting reps' time.

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