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What is Average Handle Time (AHT) and and Strategies for Reduction


Article Summary:Average Handle Time (AHT) plays a crucial role in the customer service industry. It serves not only as a vital metric for measuring service efficiency and quality but also directly impacts customer experience and operational costs for businesses. In this guide, let's delve into AHT, explore how to effectively manage and reduce this key metric, and achieve superior customer service performance.

According to a recent survey, a whopping 90% of consumers emphasize the importance of receiving prompt responses to their customer service inquiries. Slow responsiveness can lead to customer dissatisfaction, thereby generating negative impacts on the company. In this guide, let's delve into AHT, explore how to effectively manage and reduce this key metric, and achieve superior customer service performance.

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What is Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average Handle Time (AHT) is a crucial Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for every contact center, as it directly correlates with bottom-line results. AHT, refers to the average duration of a customer service interaction. Generally, the lower the AHT, the better.

Factors Influencing Average Handle Time

Complexity of Customer Inquiries:

The nature and complexity of customer inquiries significantly impact the average handling time. Simple inquiries that require basic information or straightforward issue resolution typically take less time to address compared to complex technical problems or intricate service requests.

Competence and Skill Level of Handling Agents:

The proficiency and skill level of agents play a crucial role in determining the average handling time. Experienced and well-trained agents are often more efficient in understanding customer needs, identifying solutions promptly, and resolving issues effectively, leading to shorter handling times.

Multilingual Communication in Diverse Language Environments:

In multicultural or multilingual environments, language barriers can significantly impact the average handling time. When customers communicate in languages other than the agent's primary language, it may lead to misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or delays in comprehension, thereby prolonging the handling time. Moreover, the availability of multilingual agents or language support services can influence the efficiency of communication and the overall handling process.

How to Reduce Average Handle Time in Call Center?

  • Automating Customer Service Processes

The role of automation in reducing Average Handle Time (AHT) in call centers is important. People can take AI chatbots and Voicebots, which can engage in interactions automatically.

  • Creating a Searchable Knowledge Base

The faster agents can access the information they need to assist customers, the lower AHT will be. By providing timely access to knowledge resources, agents will be able to efficiently resolve routine customer service issues, saving them time and effort in the process. Incorporating search engines into the knowledge base allows agents to quickly retrieve relevant information.

  • Monitor Agent Performance

Here are some metrics that can be used to track agent performance:

  1. Average talk time
  2. Missed calls
  3. Average time to answer
  4. Average wait time

What Advantages Udesk Call Center Possess?

As a provider of artificial intelligence and marketing solution, Udesk provides some features, and its Call Center help reduce AHT.

Real-time Engagement:Call centers leverage big data to predict call wait-time estimates, providing customers with more real-time and accurate waiting services than traditional methods.

Multi-channel Coverage:Call center system can set tasks reminders and send notifications through multiple channels to ensure no important information is missed. This reduces the occurrence of waiting or missing problem resolutions.

Algorithmic Boost for Efficiency:Udesk has developed automatic outbound calling algorithms that enable call centers to reduce wait times and increase inbound and outbound call frequencies.

AHT: A Double-Edged Sword

AHT serves as a crucial management metric, but relentlessly pursuing low AHT is not necessarily the right approach. Some customers of certain companies may at times feel that phone customer service representatives are more concerned about the duration of their conversations rather than addressing their needs or resolving their issues. Therefore, defining the quality of customer service or the excellence of customer service representatives should not solely rely on AHT. Emphasizing customer satisfaction is what leaves a lasting impression of call centers and businesses in the minds of customers, making them easier to communicate with and trust.


In summary, in call center management, AHT indeed stands as a primary reference data. Udesk Call Center is a call workstation empowered by AI algorithms, enabling enterprises to efficiently and intelligently handle customer communications. Choosing the Udesk intelligent customer service system helps reduce average handling time while achieving a balance between quality and speed.

》》Click to start your free trial of call center, and experience the advantages firsthand.

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The article is original by Udesk, and when reprinted, the source must be indicated:

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