Commonly referred to as AHT, Average handle time is the recorded average amount of time (measured in minutes), required for your contact center agents to work on each individual case.
It is usually recorded for the purpose of understanding the amount of time your team generally requires to comprehend and analyze an issue customers might have. Thus, it provides an insight into the efficiency and skill sets of your customer service department.
How is it Calculated?
Average handle time is generally the measured time an agent engages with a customer. Communicating with the client, analyzing the grievances, troubleshooting, approaching the best course of action, and implementing the solution, along with any other information regarding production, sales, representation and information may fall under the purview of the calculated Average handle time.
The numerical equivalent is arrived by dividing the sum of the time required to handle all the cases by the total number of cases resolved. It is the prerogative of a good contact center to achieve desirable Average Handle Time rates.
Here are some methods to analyze your average handle time data which will assist you to ensure that your contact center department is working on most proficient levels:
Comparing your average handle time with various variables will help in detecting how successfully your contact center team is working relative to the larger scheme of things. For instance, a comparison of your current data with the average handling times of the past should denote a steady decline. This will, by extension indicate that your team is reducing their time to resolve problems and in effect working more efficiently.
There could, however, be acceptable instances where your AHT might be higher than previous quarters/terms. These include occurrences where the customer satisfaction levels have dipped, and to address it your AHT has increased, indicating a higher involvement with customer issues.
Comparing your collected data to the median will help to highlight not only how long a random customer call takes to be resolved, but will also showcase the extremities of the spectrum which skews the average. For example, the average handling time will change exceptionally by more heavy handed cases. A comparison with the median will thus illustrate which these particular extreme cases are such that you may adopt necessary measures to address them effectively.
It may help you to improve your customer service sector better if you don’t consider the AHT as the primary metric in evaluation of your contact center’s overall efficiency. The amount of time an agent indulges in a call has been understood universally as not the only statistic involved in a successful customer resolution rate. Getting preoccupied with this metric as the only means of indication may yield to inaccurate logistics. It may also cause a drop in your customer satisfaction rates as agents push to seek desired deadlines and end up prematurely or inadequately addressing customer grievances. Instead, investing in metrics such as First call resolution (FCR) might be more precise and holistically beneficial towards understanding and analyzing the contact center progress.