Sycurio Glossary.

Average Handling Time (AHT)

Average Handling Time (AHT) in the context of call center operations refers to the average amount of time it takes for a call center agent to handle a customer interaction from the beginning to the end. It includes the time spent by the agent actively engaging with the customer during the call as well as any post-call work or wrap-up tasks related to that interaction.

AHT is a key performance metric that helps measure the efficiency and productivity of call center operations. It is often used by call centers to assess and optimize their processes, identify areas for improvement, and set performance targets.

The components included in calculating AHT typically include:

1. Talk Time: This is the duration of the actual conversation between the agent and the customer, starting from the moment the customer initiates the call until it is concluded.

2. Hold Time: If the agent needs to place the customer on hold during the call, the time spent on hold is also included in the AHT calculation.

3. After-Call Work (ACW): After completing the call, agents often need to perform various tasks related to that call, such as updating customer records, documenting the interaction, or scheduling follow-up actions. The time spent on these post-call activities is also factored into the AHT.

By analyzing the AHT, call centers can gain insights into the overall efficiency of their operations. If the AHT is excessively high, it may indicate potential issues such as inefficient call handling processes, inadequate agent training, or complex systems and tools. On the other hand, a consistently low AHT could suggest that agents might be rushing through calls, compromising quality or customer satisfaction.

Call center management can use AHT as a benchmark for performance evaluation and goal setting. They can set specific targets for AHT based on factors such as the complexity of customer inquiries, service level agreements, and the need for thorough customer support.

It's worth noting that while AHT is an important metric, it should not be the sole focus. Balancing efficiency with quality customer service is crucial, and other metrics such as first call resolution, customer satisfaction ratings, and agent performance should also be considered alongside AHT to provide a comprehensive view of call center performance.

See how Sycurio can help reduce your AHT.

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