Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average Handle Time
2 min read

Average Handle Time, which is also known as AHT, is one of the most important call center metrics. This refers to the average time of a call, from the initiation to finish. It includes the talk time, hold time, and even the time spent on after-call tasks. One of the main objectives of call centers is to reduce Average Handle Time as much as possible. This will eventually ensure the satisfaction of people who call the call center.

How to calculate the Average Handle Time?

There are three main factors that contribute to the Average Handle Time. Here’s a quick overview of those three factors.

Talk time – Talk time refers to the number of seconds a call center agent talks to a caller.
Total hold time – The hold time refers to the number of seconds where the call is put on hold.
After-call tasks – Calculating the time spent on after-call tasks is somewhat challenging. That’s because there are numerous after-call tasks that an agent can follow.

Average Handle Time is calculated by taking the addition of these three parameters and dividing that by the total number of calls. If you make calculations in seconds, you will end up getting the Average Handle Time in seconds.

How to reduce Average Handle Time?

There are multiple approaches available for you to follow and reduce the overall Average Handle Time. Here are some of the most proven techniques out them for you to follow.

Train the agents

One of the most effective methods available to reduce Average Handle Time is to provide appropriate training to the agents. If the agents are equipped with the ability to handle common issues within a short period of time, it is possible to reduce Average Handle Time significantly. You should not provide just product-specific training. It is also important to provide training on how to use software and get work done quickly. On the other hand, it is important to provide training on how to use hardware such as headsets effectively as well.


Optimize call routing 

Optimizing call routing can also help to reduce Average Handle Time. You just need to route the calls to the right representative for the very first time. This will help you to ensure that there are no excessive hold times or transfers. On the other hand, your customers will get the opportunity to speak to the most knowledgeable call center agent on the very first instance as well.


Develop a knowledge base

Even if you provide comprehensive training, it might not be possible for the agents to keep everything in their minds. This is why it is important to develop a comprehensive knowledge base. The knowledge base should contain all important information. On the other hand, it is important for the knowledgebase to be equipped with features, where agents can easily look and figure out the information they want. You should customize that to help the agents in accessing important information within the shortest possible time. This will eventually help you with reducing the Average Handle Time. 


Why should you reduce Average Handle Time?

As mentioned earlier, a call center should come up with methods to reduce the overall Average Handle Time as much as possible. This will help you to deliver quick solutions to the customers or callers who are calling the call center. In other words, you can make sure that they are not dissatisfied with the services you offer. On the other hand, you will also be able to reduce the total number of repeat calls that you are getting as well.  

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