After Call Work (aka ACW) refers to the period of time immediately after completing the contact with a customer but where more work is required to finalise the transaction (e.g. entering details into a database such as comments about the conversation, order details, follow up actions etc).
After Call Work forms a key part of Average Handling Time, a very common metric used in call centres that also forms the basis for using an Erlang C Calculator to determine how many call centre agents you need to answer the calls.
Is the After Call Work metric important?
Absolutely, however, there are certainly different approaches. Let me give you two scenarios:
ACW Scenario 1
The call centre agent spends 200 seconds on the phone talking to a customer, and during the call, the agent is entering information directly into a system so there is NO After Call Work required before the agent can take the next call.
The agent literally hangs up the phone and answers the next call.
ACW Scenario 2
The call centre agent spends 100 seconds talking on the call, then after hanging up, spends another 100 seconds typing in notes about the call into the system.
In both scenarios, the total AHT (Average Handling Time) is 200 seconds so it makes no difference to overall workload – the agent was busy for 200 seconds.
But which is the better customer experience?
It really can depend on the types of calls you are handling and that’s a conversation for another day.
But at least now you know what the After Call Work metric is!