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Average Handle Time (AHT):

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Average Handling Time also known as AHT is the time taken approximately by an agent to resolve a customer’s issues. It is a contact center metric to understand how much time is spent on calls by agents. It includes the entire period of the agent answering the call, greeting the customer, reciting company policy if the call is recorded, the conclusion of the task, and ends with the agent logging in details. It will also include time needed for following up or hold time. The idea is to identify the bottleneck in the customer support process. The lesser the average handling time, the better is the customer support process.

How is Average Handling Time Calculated?

Average Handling Time is calculated by the following formula:

(Average Talk Time + Average Post - Call Work) divided by the Total Number of Tickets.

This will show how productive and efficient each agent is, revealing the big picture of the customer support operation.

What is the ideal Average Handling Time in a Call Center?

In a study revealed by Call Centre Magazine, the agreed-upon standard for ideal AHT is 6 minutes and 10 seconds for phone calls. Obviously, this varies from channel to channel. For example, if someone wants help by email, it will definitely take more time than 6 minutes. Hence, the ideal AHT is different for each channel.

How to minimize Average Handling Time?

Minimizing the average handling time is the goal of every call center. The lesser time is taken to resolve an issue, the better it is. It means AHT should ideally be less. Here are some tips to reduce your AHT:

  • - Use smart IVRs to resolve issues without an agent
  • - Use a smart distribution pattern, so calls are routed to the right agent.
  • - Analyse each call to discover issues. This will reduce repeat calls.
  • - Improve resources for agents by using a good CRM, call disposition tools, and knowledge base.
  • - Make room for other channels with automation enablement, to reduce agent involvement and speed up problem-solving.