Finding The Balance

The balance between AHT and customer experience is one of great debate. Trying to rush through calls leads to a shoddy experience and higher repeat call volumes. The removal of AHT as a visible metric from Advisor desktops has been a key trend, along with the application of an ‘it takes as long as it takes’ mantra.
However, in removing this focus it is common to see an increase in AHT over time. In turn we know that this can lead to longer wait times and cause the customer to express dissatisfaction before the conversation has even begun. This is not helpful for advisor engagement or customer experience.

So where is the middle ground? Two years after removing the visibility of AHT from the front line, national retailer Boots had noticed a significant increase in AHT. For some advisors this had doubled from 240 seconds to 480 seconds.

Real Results was asked to research and develop an intervention to align AHT without losing the positive elements of an AHT free culture. The ultimate goal was to identify and obtain efficiencies without loss of quality.

A training intervention was developed and delivered to inspire and communicate with the 300 advisors. We brought focus back to AHT but also identified new ways of working and provided skills for conversation management that supported the delicate balance of efficiency and positive customer experience.
In this session Carolyn Blunt, Managing Director of Real Results will share the process and successful outcomes for you to benchmark and replicate in your organisation. 


Carolyn Blunt is Managing Director of Real Results, a consultancy that works with contact centres to improve performance. Carolyn is especially renowned for identifying opportunities to improve customer experience and sales whilst creating efficiencies. Her team creatively lead culture change through people. Projects include ‘Liber8 The Human’ for Shop Direct which reached 1000 customer service and sales staff in 3 countries and Boots ‘The Balance’ a successful AHT reduction programme for over 300 Advisors in their Nottingham HQ.

Carolyn is co-author (with Martin Hill-Wilson) of the book ‘Delivering Effective Social Customer Service’ published by Wiley. As an industry writer and speaker Carolyn was voted Most Respected Person in the UK Contact Centre Industry 2012-2014 by readers of Call Centre Helper Magazine. Carolyn is an engaging and trusted speaker for ‘Customer Contact Expo’, ‘The Forum’ and ‘Call Centre Helper’. 

Carolyn also creates e-learning for contact centre managers. Her website is