Automate Customer Support With Power Of
AI & Automations

✅AI Shopping Assistant personalised for your brand
✅No-Code AI Bot Builder
✅Connect WhatsApp with Desku to convert Visitors into Customers
✅Unified Shared Inbox for effortless team collaboration
✅No Code Multiple Integrations

Customer Support Software That covers all Your Business needs

  • Live Chat
  • Ai Chatbot
  • Automations
  • Knowledge Base
  • Shared Inbox
  • Marketing
  • Surveys & Forms

Table of content

What is Average Handle Time (AHT)?

Average Handle Time (AHT) is a critical metric in customer service operations. It measures the average duration of one transaction, typically calculated from the customer’s initiation of the call and including any hold time, talk time and related tasks that follow the interaction. It’s a key indicator of how efficiently your customer service team operates.

Why does AHT matter? Well, it’s simple. A lower AHT means your team can handle more calls in less time, improving productivity. But remember, it’s a balancing act. You don’t want to rush customers off the phone, as quality service is just as important as speed. So, how’s your AHT looking?

Importance of Average Handle Time in Customer Service

When it comes to providing efficient and satisfactory customer service, Average Handle Time (AHT) plays a crucial role. AHT refers to the average amount of time it takes for a customer service agent to handle a call or interaction with a customer. It encompasses the time spent on resolving customer queries, addressing their concerns, and providing necessary assistance. Understanding the importance of AHT can help businesses streamline their operations and enhance the overall customer experience.

Why is AHT important? Let’s delve into its significance:

  • Efficiency: AHT serves as an indicator of the efficiency of the customer service team. By keeping track of the average handling time, businesses can identify areas of improvement, streamline processes, and train their agents accordingly.
  • Cost-effectiveness: AHT is directly related to resource utilization. By reducing the average handle time, businesses can serve more customers with the same resources, optimizing their operations and reducing costs.
  • Customer satisfaction: Efficiently handling customer interactions leads to higher customer satisfaction. Customers appreciate quick and effective resolutions to their queries, and a lower AHT contributes to achieving that.
  • Service level agreements (SLAs): Many businesses have SLAs in place, which define the maximum time within which customer inquiries should be resolved. Monitoring AHT ensures compliance with these agreements, improving customer service standards.

How to Calculate Average Handle Time

Calculating AHT is a straightforward process that involves the following steps:

  1. Track the time: Start recording the time when a customer service representative picks up a call or initiates an interaction with a customer.
  2. Include all relevant activities: Sum up the time spent on actively engaging with the customer, resolving their issues, documenting necessary details, and any additional follow-up activities.
  3. Divide by the number of interactions: Total the AHT for a specific time period (e.g., a day, week, or month) and divide it by the total number of interactions during that period. This will give you the average handle time.

Impact of Average Handle Time on Business Operations

AHT can significantly impact various aspects of a business’s operations:

  • Call volume management: By analyzing AHT, businesses can anticipate peak call periods and allocate resources accordingly, ensuring efficient call volume management.
  • Workforce planning: AHT data helps businesses determine the size of their customer service team, the required skill sets, and the ideal number of agents to handle incoming calls and customer interactions.
  • Training and coaching: AHT metrics provide insights into the training needs of customer service agents. Identifying areas that require improvement allows for targeted training and coaching sessions.
  • Process optimization: Monitoring AHT helps identify bottlenecks and areas for process improvement. By streamlining workflows and eliminating unnecessary steps, businesses can reduce AHT and provide a seamless customer experience.

Strategies to Improve Average Handle Time

To enhance AHT and optimize customer service operations, businesses can implement the following strategies:

  • Provide comprehensive training: Equipping customer service agents with the necessary knowledge and skills empowers them to handle customer interactions efficiently.
  • Implement efficient call routing: Utilize call routing systems to connect customers with the most suitable agents to address their specific needs, reducing unnecessary transfers and minimizing AHT.
  • Optimize processes and tools: Regularly review and streamline customer service processes and use advanced tools and technologies to automate repetitive tasks, reducing AHT.
  • Encourage self-service options: Offer self-service options like FAQs, knowledge bases, and chatbots to enable customers to find solutions to common queries on their own, decreasing the number of incoming customer interactions.
  • Provide real-time support: Utilize live chat or instant messaging platforms to address customer concerns promptly and efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors can influence Average Handle Time?

Several factors can influence AHT, including the complexity of customer queries, the efficiency of the customer service team, the availability of required information, and the level of customer engagement during the interaction.

How can technology help in reducing Average Handle Time?

Technology can play a significant role in reducing AHT by automating processes, providing agents with easy access to customer data and information, and offering self-service options to customers.

What is the difference between Average Handle Time and First Call Resolution?

Average Handle Time measures the duration of customer interactions, including the time spent on resolving queries, documenting details, etc. On the other hand, First Call Resolution focuses solely on resolving customer inquiries in a single interaction without requiring further follow-up.

How does Average Handle Time affect customer satisfaction?

Average Handle Time directly impacts customer satisfaction. Efficiencies in handling customer interactions, reflected in a lower AHT, contribute to quicker resolutions and a more positive customer experience.

Can a lower Average Handle Time lead to better customer service?

Yes, a lower AHT can lead to better customer service. By handling interactions more efficiently, businesses can address customer queries promptly, reduce wait times, and provide a faster resolution, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction.

FAQs About What is Average Handle Time (AHT)?

Average Handle Time (AHT) is a metric used to measure the average amount of time it takes for customer service representatives to handle a customer service call. AHT is calculated by adding the total talk time, hold time, and after-call work time for all calls and then dividing by the total number of calls. AHT is an important metric for customer service teams as it helps to identify areas of improvement and ensure customer satisfaction.
Average Handle Time (AHT) is calculated by adding the total talk time, hold time, and after-call work time for all calls and dividing the sum by the total number of calls. AHT is a key metric used to measure the efficiency of customer service agents and is typically expressed in seconds.
The Average Handle Time (AHT) for customer service is the average amount of time it takes for a customer service representative to handle a customer’s request. A good AHT for customer service is typically between 1-3 minutes, depending on the complexity of the request. A shorter AHT is generally preferred, as it indicates that customer service representatives are able to quickly and efficiently handle customer requests.
Reducing Average Handle Time (AHT) in customer service is an important goal for many businesses. To achieve this, there are several strategies you can implement. First, ensure that customer service agents have access to the right resources and information to quickly answer customer inquiries. Additionally, consider automating certain processes, such as providing customers with pre-recorded answers to frequently asked questions. Finally, provide customer service agents with the necessary training to handle customer inquiries efficiently. By following these steps, you can reduce Average Handle Time (AHT) in customer service.
Reducing Average Handle Time (AHT) in customer service can provide numerous benefits. AHT is a measure of the average amount of time it takes for a customer service representative to handle a customer inquiry. By reducing AHT, customer service teams can improve customer satisfaction, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. Lower AHT can lead to improved customer satisfaction as customers will receive faster responses to their inquiries. This can also lead to increased customer loyalty as customers will be more likely to return to a business that provides quick and efficient customer service. Reducing AHT can also increase efficiency as customer service teams can handle more inquiries in a shorter amount of time. This can lead to increased productivity and improved customer service quality. Finally, reducing AHT can help to reduce costs as customer service teams can handle more inquiries with fewer resources. This can lead to cost savings for businesses, allowing them to reinvest in other areas of their operations.