An agent’s Average Handle Time (AHT) is the average amount of time it takes for a call to be completed. AHT consists of the duration of the call, from the moment an agent picks up the call to the final tone. This time is spent discovering what customers need – listening to their complaints, information or stories to provide a diagnosis – and resolving or answering their query. Transfers, hold time and conversations are just a few of the elements included in AHT.
Average handle time length will depend on the agent’s ability to respond to the customer as well as the customer’s monologuing time. The amount of time it takes to help a customer results in the AHT, and is human-focused. While a customer might be happier with faster service, call centers in general have to walk the line between reducing average handle time and ensuring customers feel listened to and supported for the entirety of their call.