What is AHT or Average Handling time in call center

What is AHT or Average Handling time in call center 

A call center deals in multiple projects, and every project has its own nature of business i.e outbound , inbound. , voice or chat. Though there are multiple targets and KPIs( Key performance indicator) , a call center has to achieve but few KPIs are very common in inbound or outbound voice or chat.

AHT is one of the important Key performance indicators in call center to measure the average duration of a call or transcription which depends on the call volume and targets as specified by the client. AHT is also known as ACHT which is the abbreviation of Average Call Handling Time.

What is AHT or Average Handling time in call center
What is AHT or Average Handling time in call center 

How to calculate AHT 

AHT is the average duration of time one agent spent to wrap up the entire call or chat .To calculate the AHT we will also take hold time and after call work in to consideration as these matrices are also part of Call .

Hence formula for AHT is: (Talk time + Hold Time+ Wrap Time)/ Number of calls

Example: One call landed to agent's work station at 4 PM agent took 2 mins to pacify customer and that put the customer on hold for 2 mins again the agent unhold the customer and resolved the customer query post 3 mins than agent took time of 2 mins to make a note of conversation with customer and to finally dispose the call . In this case we have 

Talk Time (TT) : 5 mins

Hold time (HT): 2 mins 

Wrap Time /After call work (ACW) :2 mins

So the AHT for this particular call would be ( 2 + 2 + 3+ 2) = 9 mins 

Remember We have taken only 1 call sample hence number of calls would be 1. For entire day we need to calculate the formula along with number of calls 

How to reduce AHT ?

AHT target varies as defined by the client .Sometimes in outbound or in sales campaign client needs more engagement with customers hence need more ACHT while in inbound as we have more customers to handle and to stablized the call volume we need to reduce the AHT

Below are some tips to reduce AHT which often use in call center:

Effective RTM: To reduce the AHT one of the most important tasks is to effectively manage RTM (Real time monitoring) .One dedicated RTM should be aligned for entire day and specially when the volume is at its peak so that the support staff can help to those agents who are giving high AHT 

Also read: how to handle peak call volume

    Also effective RTM helps us to analyze in case a specif queries arises which is leading to high AHT so that same can be shared with the client proactively  

Canned responses:In chat process canned response are very helpful to reduce the AHT. Almost 50% questions different customers ask frequently . Hence by sharing the canned responses you can reduce AHT as well as the response time

Regular Training Sessions: Agents must undergo in different training sessions related to quality and reducing AHT . An auditor should target BQM agents for AHT and should take regular refresher training to improve the performance on AHT

    These training sessions are also important to improve product knowledge, which means the             agent will not put the customer again on hold if the agent knows the product very well .

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Adequate support staff on floor: At peak you must have all or adequate support staff on floor to support and assist the customer care executives and especially to new ones who are in OJT or starting their journey in call center 

Apart from these proven tips a call center can also work and invest  on advancement of tools, implementation of IVR (Interactive Voice Response) , Automation to reduce the AHT so that can handle more number of calls to get more business 

One thing to be reminded ,reduction of AHT does not mean to compromise the call quality or quality of customer service.You should find the right balance to redunce the AHT simultaneously to improve the call quality

With this note let me wrap up the article 

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