February 22, 2023

7 Tips to Reduce After-Call Work (ACW) in Your Contact Center

7 Tips to Reduce After-Call Work (ACW) in Your Contact Center

After-call work (ACW) includes all of the actions that your agents must perform after ending a phone call. These tasks may vary depending on the nature of your contact center and your internal processes. Contact centers looking to streamline their processes and enhance productivity must consider ways to reduce ACW time. The less time agents spend on tasks after a phone call, the more time they can allocate to taking new phone calls.

What Makes Up After-Call Work (ACW) Time?

After-call work (ACW) makes up all of the tasks your agents must perform after a customer interaction. Agents’ actions after a call include entering data into CRM systems, scheduling callbacks, or documenting call notes. On average, agents spend between 30% and 40% of their time documenting call data after speaking with a customer.

7 Tips for Reducing ACW in Your Contact Center

While these after-call tasks serve an important purpose, they can certainly be time-consuming. To help improve your call center efficiency, consider these six ways to help reduce ACW in your contact center.

1. Better CRM Integration

Many contact centers use customer relationship management (CRM) tools after a call. Using these tools effectively can help reduce after-call work for your agents. By using your CRM to record calls or pre-fill data during a call automatically, your agents can save time updating customer records after the call. In addition, CRM programs can be used to schedule callbacks and follow-ups, helping to save your agents even more time.

2. Automation Tools

Automation tools can play a big role in helping to reduce ACW. Using your CRM system, your contact center can build processes to set milestones and follow-ups for existing customers based on agent interactions. For example, agents can review call summaries that are automatically generated, add information as necessary, and quickly move on to the next task. This helps save time when documenting call notes, which means agents do not need to start entirely from scratch.

3. Utilize Templates

Another way to reduce after-call work is to make templates for your agents. By making templates for common requests, agents can save time both during and after a call. The types of calls that agents deal with daily are often quite similar. As such, providing tools such as templates can help agents optimize their time management and enhance productivity. 

Creating and sharing templates is simple. Just because an agent utilizes a template does not mean they cannot customize each call to specific customer needs. Use your template to include opportunities and scenarios to personalize each template.

4. Improve Training

Investing time in agent training can pay dividends in the long term, helping you reduce ACW. Agents must be properly trained to enter information into CRM systems during a phone call, helping reduce the amount of time spent after the call. If your agents are familiar with the process, they can easily multi-task to enter information while on the phone with leads.

5. Automate Scheduling

After a call, agents often spend time scheduling follow-ups or return callbacks. To save time, contact centers can integrate automatic scheduling into CRM and dialer systems. Integrating automatic scheduling into these systems helps reduce the need for agents to input calendar information for follow-ups with customers. 

6. Create a Knowledge-Base

Creating a knowledge base is a simple way to help your agents find quick answers to the most commonly asked questions. A knowledge base can be utilized during a call or after a call by agents, or it can be used by customers themselves. Agents can direct customers to the knowledge base to find the answers to their questions, freeing up their time to assist other customers.

7. Utilize Abbreviations

Did you know using abbreviations can help your agents save time in your data entry process? Using abbreviations in call notes is another simple way to reduce agents’ time documenting call notes after a call. Creating a legend for your contact center with common abbreviations is simple and easy!

A knowledge base may take some time upfront to create. However, it can save your agents lots of time in the long run. In addition, it can help save your call center agents from spending time addressing simple or repetitive questions.

Using Multiple Approaches to Reduce After-Call Work

Contact centers looking to enhance efficiency should implement several of these tips to help reduce ACW. With recent advances in technology, such as automation tools, call centers must utilize the tools available to them to save their agents the most time after completing a phone call.

Want to learn more ways to help improve your call center operations? Learn more about how Call Tools can help you take your contact center to the next level. Request a demo or schedule a time to speak with a representative today!

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