After-Call Work: What Is It, and Why Is It Important?
After-call work (ACW) refers to the tasks completed by a customer service agent once the call with the customer has been completed. Also known as post-call processing or wrap-up, ACW includes tasks such as logging the call’s purpose and outcome, writing notes on actions taken, scheduling follow-up activities, and updating the company’s internal knowledge base.
When done correctly, ACW can significantly impact your customer relationships. However, in many cases, after-call work gets pushed to the side, as many agents have a lot on their plate at one time.
In this article, we discuss the importance of after-call work and offer some approaches to streamlining the post-call process for employees. Keep reading to learn more!
The Importance of After-Call Work
Implementing proper after-call work processes can go a long way toward improving customer-company relationships – for example, taking the time to tag the call, log the details, update the CRM system, and forward customer feedback to the relevant department. This gives the contact center managers, chief experience officers, R&D personnel, and customer journey mappers the necessary information.
When after-call work is executed correctly, overall service levels are improved, and customer satisfaction increases. But that’s not all — we highlighted some of the lesser-known benefits of completing quality after-call work below.
Simpler Quality Assurance
It’s much easier for contact center managers to check that all necessary actions have been taken and that the desired outcomes have been achieved when agents accurately complete ACW.
Strategic CRM Processes
Incorporating after-call work into standard workflows ensures that the company has the data it needs to build stronger customer relationships. If customer service agents capture details that sales reps or other agents can reference when speaking to customers, a whole new level of personalized CRM can be developed.
For example, if a customer calls in to suspend their service package while on vacation and the rep records details about the conversation, imagine the positive impact the next rep will have when he asks the customer how he enjoyed his recent trip to the Bahamas.
Why Agents Often Neglect ACW
Contact center agents are usually hyper-aware of their KPIs, which can form the basis of their financial incentives and the likelihood of them staying in their jobs. One important KPI is Average Handling Time (AHT), which measures the average duration of communications between agents and customers.
Even though AHT is rarely considered in isolation, a low AHT is generally associated with a positive customer service experience and cost efficiency, as it allows agents to handle more calls during a shift. After-call work is considered part of the call, and the time an agent spends on ACW counts toward this KPI. As contact centers seek to reduce AHT, agents may deprioritize ACW to meet their time-based metrics.
However, this disregard for ACW is starting to change. According to Forbes Insights, while only 24% of contact centers measure agents’ ACW performance, 19% say they are making progress. Another 32% are in the early stages of using ACW as a metric for agent performance.
Tips to Boost ACW Efficiencies
While ACW is vital to improving customer relationships, agents who spend too much time on post-call tasks have a lower overall efficiency than the rest of the contact center.
Here are some tips to make ACW activities more efficient:
Improve Agent Training
Offer agents robust training on CRM software and business tools so they will not waste time during or after the call trying to figure out what information goes where. Make it clear that management will evaluate their ACW activities, motivating agents to be as efficient as possible.
Optimize ACW Workflow
Reduce the number of tasks an agent must complete in the ACW workflow. Make it as simple as possible for agents to capture the required information in as few screens as possible.
Encourage Notetaking During a Call
To save time, agents should be encouraged to multitask by focusing on the customer talking and capturing call details simultaneously. This reduces time spent on ACW — when the agent tells the customer that they’re taking notes, it reassures them about the outcome of the interaction.
Creating a link between performance and rewards has been proven to motivate agents. This can be accomplished through gamification, cash bonuses, or other incentives such as priority parking and shift preference.
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