Average Handle Time - A Key Customer Relationship KPI

The average handle time is an important KPI for measuring customer service efficiency. Find out how callbots and chatbots can improve it.

21 July 2022
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How do chatbots reduce the Average Handle Time?

Average Handle time (AHT) is an important measure in the insurance world. It is one of the key indicators of customer satisfaction. As a consequence, even a small reduction of the average handle time has an impact on the insurer.

This is why insurers and healthcare insurance providers have been turning to technological solutions over the past few years with varying degrees of success to try and reduce this key indicator. Find out more about IVR (Interactive Voice Response), chatbots, messagingbots and callbots.

What is Average Handle Time (AHT)?

Average Handle Time (AHT) is a key performance indicator (KPI) used to measure the performance of customer service or call centers. It is the average length of a call made to a customer service department.

The analysis takes into account the time it takes to handle a call or transaction from the beginning (picking up the call) until the end (when the caller hangs up). This includes the start of the call, the wait time, the conversation, and any follow-up action required to resolve the call afterwards.

How do you calculate an Average Handle Time?

The following mathematical formula is used to calculate the average handle time:

AHT (average handle time) = Total Talk Time + Total Hold Time + Total Wrap Time / Total Calls

This refers to the time spent talking, waiting, and handling time in relation to the duration of the call.


Why should the Average Handle Time be measured?

Needless to say, it is used to measure service efficiency! The average handle time is regarded as a reliable indicator to examine the customer service efficiency of a company or a health insurance provider. Its precise analysis is intended to help reduce costs, organize human resources, and analyze employee performance.

On top of these already interesting set of criteria, we should add an even more important aspect which is the Holy Grail of any customer service – customer satisfaction!

In general, the shorter the average handle time, the better the experience for the customer.

We all know that a happy customer will reflect on your company as a whole. This butterfly effect has a name called symmetry of attention.


Average Handle Time in the insurance industry

If there is one sector where customer relations have a real competitive advantage, it is in the insurance industry. So, it is not surprising to find this criterion in the top 3 key indicators of the general management of insurers and health insurance providers.

Insurance is a complex sector and in particular the French are overwhelmed with information and requests. This is even more the case since the introduction of the Hamon law, which allows policyholders to cancel their insurance contract after one year of membership, with no risk of penalties.

Hamon law, which allows policyholders to cancel their insurance contract after one year of membership, with no risk of penalties.

This takes place in addition to the complaints from existing customers and their questions about how reimbursements work and how much will be covered depending on the doctor. It is easy to understand why customer service in the insurance industry is such a prominent issue.


Handling time and customer satisfaction rate

Uninformed or dissatisfied customers are likely to go elsewhere and according to recent studies conducted by the French insurance comparison website lecomparateurassurance.com, more than 75% of insurance customers state that they have difficulty understanding the information provided by their insurer.

What is even more alarming is that more than 30% of customers change insurers within a year after having a bad claim experience.

As you can see, customer satisfaction is directly correlated to average handle time. Too long a turnaround time can mean that customers are not getting the right information quickly enough or that they are not getting the help they need at crucial times. These problems have a significant impact on customer retention and subsequently on the company’s bottom line.


Reduce Average Handle Time with callbots

As we have just seen, insurance requires a detailed knowledge of customers’ needs. In the field of insurance, this means a precise needs classification in the first few seconds.

For a long time, technological solutions were not able to understand the natural language (NLU) of individuals. Customers had to communicate by speaking with the very first IVRs and in writing with bots. This is where the name Chatbot comes from, which means talking with a robot.

With text-only chatbots, the experience was often frustrating and contributed to lower customer satisfaction.

Luckily callbots have come to change all that. The Callbot is a software able to understand the customer’s intentions in “human” language (NLU) and to provide a precise spoken reply (NLP) based on the specific context.


Callbot – the tool to reduce Average Handle Time

Due to the fact that it has the most advanced cognitive capabilities on the market and is programmed to respond to specific insurance requests, the callbot can automate numerous use cases which significantly improve the work of the customer service department. This includes but is not limited to the identification and classification of phone calls, taking into account the needs of unhappy customers, reducing the congestion of incoming requests, and crisis management.

By using a virtual conversational voice agent, companies and organizations are making access to their customer service easier. The consumer, who is the user, can access it at any time for a quick response to their request.

Use case for an insurance Callbot

Génération is an insurance broker specializing in the management of health and provident contracts. Génération offers companies the opportunity to manage their employees’ social protection.

The customer’s primary need is the availability of advisors. This is why Génération has rolled out a Callbot in cooperation with Zaion to handle the high volume of calls.

With a call volume of nearly 1.2 million calls per year to handle, the Gwen Callbot has made it possible to ensure a 24/7 response to requests by achieving the following objectives for:

  • Having a smoother and more natural conversation than with an Interactive Voice Server
  • A seamless experience by sending direct and secure links to the right section of the member area. These links are sent by e-mail or SMS based on the member’s choice
  • Picking up all calls instantly with no hold time and assigning calls according to the skills of each employee, thus enhancing the value of human capital.

Zaion is revolutionizing the customer experience through voice and artificial intelligence, automating high volumes of conversations, and supporting advisors on a daily basis.