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Average Handling Time

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What is Average Handling Time (AHT)?

Average Handling Time (AHT) is a critical metric used in customer service and call centers to measure the average duration taken to resolve a customer issue.

This includes the time spent talking to the customer, hold time, and the follow-up actions required to address the customer’s concerns.

Why is AHT Important?

AHT is a pivotal metric for several reasons:

  • Efficiency: A lower AHT indicates that customer issues are being resolved quickly, which can lead to increased efficiency in the call center.
  • Customer Satisfaction: A shorter handling time often translates to happier customers as their issues are addressed promptly.
  • Operational Costs: Reducing AHT can lead to significant cost savings, especially in large call centers where even a few seconds can make a difference.
  • Resource Allocation: Understanding AHT can help in resource management, ensuring that the right number of agents are available at peak times.
Importance of Average Handling Time

Importance of Average Handling Time

How to Calculate AHT?


AHT = (Total Talk Time + Total Hold Time + Total Follow − up Time) / Total Number of Calls Handled


Let’s say in a day, the total talk time is 5000 minutes, total hold time is 1000 minutes, and the total follow-up time is 1500 minutes. If the total number of calls handled is 500, then:



AHT vs Other Related Metrics

AHT is often compared with other metrics to get a holistic view of call center performance:

  • AHT vs First Call Resolution (FCR): While AHT measures the time taken to handle a call, FCR measures the percentage of calls resolved during the first interaction. A balance between AHT and FCR is essential for optimal performance.
  • AHT vs Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): A lower AHT doesn’t always mean higher CSAT. It’s crucial to ensure that the quality of service isn’t compromised to achieve a lower AHT.
  • AHT vs Service Level: Service level measures the percentage of calls answered within a specific time. A lower AHT can help in achieving a higher service level.
Metric Definition Purpose Points to Consider
AHT (Average Handle Time) Average time taken to complete an interaction or task. To measure efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery or task execution. Lower AHT can signify efficiency, but quality must not be compromised.
FCR (First Contact Resolution) Percentage of issues resolved in the first interaction. To gauge the effectiveness of service in addressing issues without requiring follow-up. While aiming for high FCR, ensure it doesn’t increase AHT unreasonably.
TTFR (Time to First Response) Average time taken to give the initial response to a request. To measure responsiveness and speed of initial communication. A quicker TTFR can improve customer satisfaction, but quality of response matters.
TAT (Turnaround Time) Total time taken from receiving a task to its completion. To assess the overall speed and efficiency of task completion from start to finish. Balance between speed and quality is essential.

How is AHT Used?

AHT is used in various ways:

1. Performance Evaluation: AHT is a key metric in evaluating the performance of individual agents and the call center as a whole.

2. Training: High AHT can indicate a need for training. Agents might require additional knowledge or skills to handle customer queries efficiently.

3. Forecasting: AHT is used in resource planning and forecasting the number of agents required during peak times.

4. Process Improvement: Analyzing AHT can lead to insights into process bottlenecks and areas of improvement.

Ready to Optimize Your AHT?

KEBS offers a suite of tools that can help in optimizing AHT:

  • Training Modules: KEBS provides training modules tailored for customer service agents, ensuring they have the necessary skills to handle customer queries efficiently.
  • Integration with Ticket Management Software: This ensures that customer issues are tracked and resolved efficiently, leading to a reduced AHT.
  • Resource Management Tools: KEBS offers resource management software that can help in allocating the right number of agents based on the forecasted call volume.
  • Feedback Mechanism: With KEBS, feedback from customers can be captured and analyzed, leading to continuous improvement in AHT.
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