AHT and contentment

Looking at my AHT for today’s shift, I am led to wonder about contentment. And as such I again philosophize on something as simple and mundane as an AHT.

When I was a new agent, they said I need not bother with my AHT – even when it was soaring high above the clouds. They said I will eventually learn how to control it. Little by little, I did. Before, when my AHT was between 18 to 19, I was happy. When I was able to get 17, I was happy with 17 and bothered when I reach 18. Then when I happened to reach 14, I was bothered with 15 or 16 or 17. Now I had 10 and 12 or 14 bothered me. Contentment? Satisfaction? When is enough, enough?

Maybe I just lack goals. I admit that I didn’t really push for my AHT to be anything lower than 19. Secretly, I am happy if my AHT rating is at 5. That is enough for me since 5 is the ceiling. Problem is, I do not know if 19 merits a 5 or not. Maybe it does. Maybe I need to ask.

In any case, I find AHT the funniest metrics there is in this industry. Everyone is concerned about it. It is updated by the hour. It is the readily observable metrics and the one that causes most agents to turn irate or impatient. Yet, it constitutes only a small portion of the over-all “grade”. AHT, I believe, is sometimes overly emphasized just because it is the readily observable metrics. It is overly sensationalized. And yet, the customer is not even aware that such a thing as an AHT exists. They are aware that there is a survey and they are aware that customer satisfaction is being measured, but they are by no means aware that the time they spent with an agent is limited.

And so, as the cliché goes: which one is more important – quality or quantity? To the customer’s eyes there is only quality. To the agent’s eyes, quantity often supersedes quality. And we are often left to create a balance which sometimes requires a compromise on some point. Then again, I believe that there will come a time when, after being on the job for a long time, we will learn that delicate balance between quality and quantity.

PostScript: After this article was written, AHT updates are no longer blasted by the hour. And even by the day. Yet I do not claim that this article inspired such. It must have been just a coincedence.

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