A Brief Overview of Average Handle Time (AHT)

The Average Handle Time for an agent to solve a customer issue is somewhere between 6.46 – 6.73 minutes and is different for different industries, based on the customer service provided.


What is Average Handle Time (AHT)?

Average Handle Time is simply the average amount of time taken to resolve a customer service issue completely from the beginning till the end.

AHT is an essential Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to be taken care of to provide a better overall customer experience (CX).

At times, the Average Handle Time is compared with the First Call Resolution rate (FCR). FCR is the company’s ability to handle customer queries efficiently within the first reach out, without having the customer call back. AHT is the average ‘total’ handle time associated with resolving the whole issue throughout the process of handling.

A Brief Overview of Average Handle Time (AHT)


Processes involved during the Handle Time

Average handle time is usually confused with average talk time.

Average talk time only involves the call duration between the customer and the agent. But, Average handle time involves the time taken to solve the whole query or issue, and the processes involved during the course.        

Handle Time includes not only the length of the customer service call alone but also other factors like average: 

  • Customer call hold time
  • Number of rings it takes to reach an agent
  • Amount of time customer spends interacting with IVR menu
  • Follow-up or status update calls
  • After-call tasks and assignments
  • And more…..


Formula to calculate AHT

Calculating average handle time is simple with the formula given below.

A Brief Overview of Average Handle Time (AHT)

Formula for AHT



Total number of calls attended: 12 calls 

Total talk time: 60 minutes 

Total Hold Time of calls: 6 minutes (Approx. 30 seconds for each call)

Total Time is taken for after call procedures or adding inputs to the CRM software: 6 minutes

Average Handle Time: (60 minutes + 6 minutes + 6 minutes) / 12 calls = 6 minutes of AHT

Through this method, you can easily understand your average handle time taken, and work on ways to improve it.


What is a good Average Handle Time for different sectors?

As per industry standards, 6 minutes is a good AHT for several sectors. According to a report by Cornell University, the AHT for different company sizes and sectors is as follows.


Sector & Company SizeAverage Handling Time (Minutes)
Large Business8.7
Business & IT Services4.7
Financial Services4.7


And, the average of these sectors is 6.46 minutes.

Once you have your Average Handle Time (AHT), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) rate, and Net Promoter Score (NPS), you can determine the pace of your customer service and decide whether it’s a good or a poor score.


What causes High AHT? and the Importance of decreasing AHT?

The following reasons are responsible for causing high AHT:

  1. Lack of experience within the customer service representatives
  2. Lack of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or any sort of automation system
  3. Not spending enough time to review calls and processes
  4. Not monitoring agent performance and customer satisfaction

It is essential to improve AHT for better business development, as well as for customer experience & relationships. This can be done by Getting a 360 Degree overview of your customers and improving the technical aspects of your contact center to overcome the challenges faced as given above.


Simple Tips to reduce AHT

The following are some tips to improve AHT within the contact center:

  1. Improvise Agent training
  2. Collate a high AHT agent with a low AHT agent for a better learning experience
  3. Record calls and regularly monitor agent performance
  4. Leverage workflow automation to reduce AHT
  5. Review dashboard matrix statistics regularly


Technical aspects to Improve AHT

AHT can be improved and reduced by 50% via implementing the following automation:

  1. The Automated Chat Solution
  2. Implement a knowledge management software to reduce average call handling time
  3. Use the power of technology integration to quickly resolve customer queries


Role of CRM software to improve AHT

A CRM software such as Kapture, not only determines AHT but also helps to keep track of customer service provided in a much broader way. It will adequately help in giving a better overall experience to both the contact center and the end-use consumers. 

When the Average Handle Time is high or low, so is customer satisfaction (CSAT). Keeping track of the AHT regularly can be challenging and complex. 

Consequently, AHT can be measured using customer relationship software (CRM), which is a tool to manage your customer service efficiently and helps your business to step forward in terms of customer relationships.

This software is specially built for contact center management, and can effectively implement chatbot systems to reduce the AHT.

It is observed that a completely satisfied customer whose concerns get resolved quickly contributes 2.4 times more revenue to the company than a partially satisfied customer. So, it is extremely important to maintain a customer satisfaction (CSAT) rate by improving the average handle time for substantial business growth.

By utilizing the right Customer Relationship Management software, the customer relationship and retention for the brand and business can be improved incredibly. 

So now, level up your customer experiences effectively by also measuring and managing customer satisfaction matrices with Kapture.


About the Author

Shreeja C S
A professional blogger and a business writer, who specializes in various real-time industries and their research. A social worker and an aspiring engineer & business student from Manchester, United Kingdom, with the idea of making the world an easier place to live in.


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