How to reduce call wrap up time and increase productivity

Anatomy of collectors’ day

Understanding how a collector executive spends her day is vital to the long term success of the team and the profitability of the business.  

Prodigal has an extremely granular view down to microseconds on what makes an agent effective. This view has been refined across different agents, many teams, diverse accents, various geographies and now through a recessionary business cycle. 

Each day Prodigal observes thousands of collection representatives reach out to customers, negotiate, discuss payment options, and successfully resolve issues. We analyzed this in great detail to identify what are the sources of productivity for an agent and what are the common bottlenecks to eliminate.  

This article is the first in a series of blog posts to publicly share learnings about Agent Productivity. In this post, we specifically dive deep into Wrap-up time or After Call Work (ACW). Wrap-up is the time between the end of a call and the representative being available (or ready) for the next one. Typically the agent is Taking notes, dispositioning calls, posting a payment, etc. in this period.

Agent Productivity Visualizations

In addition to Wrap-up time, it is also variously referred to as After-Call Work (ACW), post-call activity, notating time and combinations thereof! We analyzed millions of calls, their associated wrap-up notes for their duration, activity and so on. The findings were eye opening! They are summarized below

While there is no typical wrap up …   

The average wrap-up takes 45 seconds; however, it doesn’t tell the entire story. While some wrap-ups are short, most agents can spend minutes on wrap-up after a lengthy conversation with the consumer. 

The median wrap-up takes 25 sec. ie: More than half of the wrap-ups are longer than 25 seconds. Only 2.5% of the wrap-ups are longer than 5 minutes.

Wrap-Up Count vs Time Spent

… that quickly add up to ~1.5 hours per day in Wrap-up!!

An agent has as many wrap-ups as the number of calls they field. Hence, they can easily have over 150 wrap-ups in a single day. Those slices of time add up quickly.

In a day, agents spend 90-120 minutes just doing wrap-up. Depending on the seniority of the agent and their location that can translate to $30-40 per day or nearly $8,000-$12,000 per year per agent. This is often shocking to many!! While they realize that wrap-up is non-productive, they never add up the cents. They seldom realize that even a team of 120 agents is costing them over one million dollars  annually in Wrap-up alone!

Notes are written at ~25 words per min; much slower than average

Writing call notes is the most common activity during wrap-up. Most notes are rather simple and short. An average note only has 20 words in it. Conservatively assuming that the note is typed up only after the call ends, implies notes are being written at ~25 words per minute. A typical professional types nearly thrice as fast, between 65-75 words per minute!

Nearly 35% of wrap-up time follows short, immaterial calls

Longer RPC calls with lengthy negotiations with customers naturally tend to have longer wrap-up times. However, short calls with no meaningful conversation can’t be ignored! They combine to make up a sizable dead weight! These calls, either too short or with no conversation at all, add up to over a third of all time spent in wrap-up.  

In our next post, we unpack how wrap-up time and productivity has evolved through the pandemic. 

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Brian Reed

Posted by

Shantanu Gangal


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