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Average handling time (AHT)

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What is AHT?

AHT is a statistic commonly employed in call centers with instant contact. The goal of AHT is to quantify the average amount of time that consumers (and their assisting agents) spend on a call or conversation, including wait time and talking time. While AHT is more frequently employed in telephone or live chat contact centers, the measure may be employed in non-immediate contact channels (e-mail/tickets) as well. AHT in non-immediate lines means measuring the time it takes to answer as soon as the agent acts on the ticket. In other terms, the timer begins when the agent opens and reads the ticket.

Many help-desk software packages include time tracking features, allowing you to quickly monitor the time required to “handle” or resolve each case. This enables you to have a better knowledge of the overall AHT of your team and may utilize that information to make operational choices and changes. Total Talk Time, Total Hold Time, including follow-up time, split by call number. The result is the average handling time in minutes. AHT computation is more suited to contact centers, but the same method may be used to compute AHT by utilizing other channels, such as messages, chat, or emails.

Average handling time is among my favorite measures because it entails identifying ways to enhance procedures on the agent side that ultimately have an impact on customer experience. AHT assists managers in identifying recruitment and formation needs and problems with present methods and technologies. The longer it takes to resolve a complaint, the longer you’ll have to wait, and the more staff you’ll need to handle the same number of tickets. In other words, AHT may be seen as a technique for measuring efficiency.

Benefits of a low AHT:

It is vital to highlight that AHT should be seen along with other measures, as with most measures. In other words, don’t only look at AHT and decide on these statistics alone. It is vital to take other parameters into account.

For instance, when you do something that helps cut AHT, but the effect is a reduction in consumer satisfaction, you may want to reassess your strategy. However, there are various advantages to strengthening your AHT.

satisfied clients
satisfied clients

This can lead to satisfied clients:  

Clients like a high-quality, quick answer. If you can, the perfect customer support encounter has been found. Fast reactions that lack value often led to a worse experience than a more time-consuming, high-quality reaction.

If businesses already have the ‘quality’ component down, there are methods to keep this quality level while lowering the ticket time. The quicker you move through issues, the faster you answer all the questions in the queue, which is something that clients like. In other words, the average handling time is directly related to the average response time.

support expenses
support expenses

It can reduce support expenses:  

Efficient processing of tickets can only make your customer service team more productive as a whole. Identify and identify strategies to eliminate friction points throughout the process. Focused on methods to minimize average handling, your team will remain lean and powerful.

 happy agents
happy agents

It can produce happy agents to support you:

 Support agents like to work intelligently, not more easily. A clever tool and method can lead to unhappy and unmotivated staff. Use tools and processes to allow the team to perform the needed activities quickly, and even better if you are happy to use them. Happy support agents remain longer and give your clients far more value.

Five approaches to reducing the average handling time.

A low AHT offers several benefits for your consumers and support personnel. Let’s look at several methods you can lower the Average Handle Time without losing the quality.

Call Center Dashboard
Call Center Dashboard

Utilize efficient average handling time tools and procedures:

Use the proper work tools. If you’re a scrappy business, you may not need company-level desk gadgets right now. It may really bog you down and negatively affect your AHT, eventually influencing several other company indicators. Avoid excessive workflow friction and continuously seek methods to work smarter.
Keyboard shortcuts are your friends; use them to your advantage. Most importantly, know the tools you need to employ. If you’re a manager, ensure that all the right training programs are in place when embedding new team members.

Support Team CallCenter

Understand the supported product (s):

The support team must be well-versed in the product(s) they support. Good ticket routing can assist, and some technologies can accomplish that pretty well. Getting the correct tickets to the proper operator can have a beneficial influence on lowering the average handling time since it eliminates passing the issue from agent to operator, which wastes time.

CallCenter objective
CallCenter objective

Make a first contact resolution objective:

Resolving first response tickets always seems like a great win, and it’s! By putting extra effort into delivering a great initial answer, you will prevent further responses that can enhance the average handling time. There are various things you may do to knock the park’s first response. Gather information proactively, so support agents need not request extra information for the first answer. You can request some of these via the contact form. You may also customize an integration that extracts essential data from your computer processes to be conveniently available within the support requests.

Finally, present the best response.  Options confuse clients, so be cautious about expressing them; in your initial response, you should want to be as precise as possible to eliminate opportunities for inquiries or explanations. Give consumers, when feasible, a solid solution that places them on the road to success.


See additional data:

To understand how you may reduce the Average Handle Time, you must first understand which cases have low AHT and which cases have high AHT. Then it would help if you comprehended why that’s the case. For example, if your AHT wide-ranging, you may need to re-evaluate a support request procedure; there may be too many processes, and criteria in place or internal expertise may be difficult to manage.

Your tickets may also be extremely technical, in which case a high AHT may be expected, and you may need to recruit additional support agents to maintain a decent response time.

Call Center Data Store
Call Center Data Store

Understand where your information is stored and conveniently accessible:

No support agent depends exclusively on their mind to store all of the knowledge to accomplish their job. That’s too much information. That’s why most assistance teams keep an internal document library.
Internal documentation is the best buddy for a support representative. For example, whenever anyone cancels their account, what’s the protocol? This is the sort of information that should be saved internally (and sometimes externally) to enable new and current team members to access the information they need quickly.

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