Increasing Average Call Duration

13 October 2015
Sales Process Outbound Calling Inbound Calls Sales Team Sales Process

Increasing Average Call Duration | Telephones for business

When tracking important metrics in sales calls, Average Call Duration (ACD) should be at the top of your list.

Optimizing your ACD is a surefire way to increase your close rate, and boost your overall customer experience. Here are a few ways to enhance you ACD numbers:  

1. Benchmarking

By comparing your ACD to that of other companies, your company can adjust its targeted ACD to an optimized length. BenchmarkPortal reports that, across all call centers, the average sales call length, is around 5.97 minutes. This gives us a rough estimate to work with, but is by no means specific. To truly grasp what the optimal length of a call should be, a sales team should consider three separate populations to benchmark your ACD against: Phone Call Definition: Since it is sometimes unclear what constitutes a phone call (does a phone call include automated messaging or only when an agent engages a customer?) it is important to benchmark your ACD metrics with companies that have a similar definition of a phone call as yourself. Other companies within your industry will typically have similar definitions, but not always.

Phone Call Volume: The amount of phone traffic your team receives plays a major role in the ACD. The more traffic, the more emphasis a company should put on engaging as many customers as possible, as opposed to increasing an individual customer’s call length. This trade-off is the reason that benchmarking against companies with similar volume of calls will give your team a better estimate as to the optimal length of call. Everyone Else: Ok, maybe not EVERYONE. But it is important when generating a target ACD value to consider how companies outside your industry approach phone calls. To be an industry leader your team has to think outside the box, and by analyzing other industries’ tactics your company can stay ahead of the curve in your own field.  

2. More or Less?

While some studies state that phone call quality increases with phone call length, this doesn’t necessarily mean longer call lengths correlate with successful sales calls. Your team should decided for themselves if they believe their phone calls to be too long or too short. Here are a few questions to ask your team when considering an optimal ACD: How quickly can convey all of our information? First, determine what information is essential for customer to hear during a phone call- whether it be a sales pitch or a customer service call. Second, determine how quickly all of this can be said while still being concise. Finding the equilibrium value between information presented and length of phone call will keep the customer engaged and interested, while missing the mark on either end of the spectrum will leave the customer frustrated. Is this a conversation, or a lecture? It cannot be stated enough: the single biggest failure of an agent when on the phone with a customer is not engaging with the customer’s needs.

It is imperative that your team interacts with the customer throughout the phone call. An incredibly high ACD value is worthless if the customer feels bored and disengaged during the call. To emphasize this, we have rebranded ACD to mean “Average Conversation Duration,” to ensure our team understands the importance of customer engagement. While there are many call metrics to consider when optimizing your company’s phone calls, we found that ACD to be of a particular importance, and we believe you will too. Click here to try out Kixie (no credit card required)

Time to employ a more intelligent phone system?

Kixie requires no system changes and is compatible with most CRMs