Everything You Need to Know About Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

Key Product Indicators (KPIs) are essential in any business. It can be tricky to apply metrics to customer satisfaction, however, Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is a great way to quantify how effective your contact center is at resolving customers’ issues. In this article, we’ll break down the basics of ASA and how to calculate it. 

What is it? 

ASA is a metric that signifies the average length of time it takes contact center team members to answer calls in a specific time period. It includes the time customers are on hold. 

The Importance of ASA

Your contact centre’s ASA is a great way to determine how effective your contact centre is. If your ASA is high, it can mean that your contact centre has any of the following problems:

  • Poor Customer and Agent Satisfaction
  • Frequent Hang-ups
  • Long Wait Times
  • Low Rates of Productivity 
  • Decreased Customer Retention

High ASAs lead to customers angrily asking, “Why did I have to wait so long?” This offputting opening statement is stressful for contact center agents who may not be able to provide a  satisfactory answer. The customer may also request to speak to the manager, which can lead to an additional wait time. Customers will often simply hang up halfway through the wait time or even during the call. According to Time Doctor, 61% of customers will stop transacting with a business following a poor customer service experience. This statistic proves just how crucial a low average speed of answer is to a contact center. 

ASA Calculation

The primary measurement of ASA is the total wait time for answered calls divided by the total number of answered calls. 

Tips for Improving Your Contact Center’s ASA

Save money and satisfy your customer while also making your agents happier by lowering your ASA. When wait times and call queues are shorter, both your employees and the customers are less stressed out and frustrated, leading to a more positive interaction. If your ASA is lower, you’ll retain customers and agents. 

Here are some tips to ensure your ASA is where it should be:

Manage Expectations

Ensure your contact center’s management team and agents are all clear on the call volume at the beginning of every work shift. When the team is prepared, they will be in the proper headspace to handle their workload. You may want to invest in new software to predict call volume better and improve your contact center’s call forecasting. 

Team Organization

Everyone in your contact center should be using their unique skills to their advantage. You may want to sit with all of your staff one-on-one and discuss what’s working for them and what’s not. If your ASA is very high, you may need to reorganize your workforce’s structure and strategy.

Schedule Regular Training Sessions

Your contact center’s high ASA score may be due to a lack of training. We recommend scheduling training sessions on a monthly basis or perhaps even on a biweekly basis. You want to ensure all of your agents have all the skills they need to navigate customer interactions positively.

Ensure your employees and customers are getting the most out of your contact center by accurately tracking your Average Speed of Answer.  Sales are essential, but employee and customer retention are equally important. Use this crucial metric to determine areas of improvement and resolve any issues that arise. Your agents and the customers they communicate with will thank you!

At Innovative Vision, we are passionate about the world of Customer Experience. Founded in 2002, we are a marketing technology firm specializing in Contact Centre BPO. Through the power of omnichannel support and hybrid live agent/AI models, we ensure that every interaction that a customer has with your business is positive and meaningful.

Allow us to inspire your company to grow through our enhanced approach to guiding the customer journey. To learn more about our advanced and specialized services, contact us today!

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