Getting a Handle on Average Handle Time

One of the most critical metrics for call centers is Average Handle Time (AHT). This measures the call time from beginning to end between agent and caller. AHT is one of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that assesses efficiency of the call center.

The formula for AHT is:
AHT = (Total Talk Time + Total Hold Time + Total Wrap Time)/Total of Calls Handled

By reducing AHT, agents can finish calls effectively and efficiently, and the total minutes used by our clients can also be decreased. This reduces queue wait time, as well as reducing the Cost per Call (CPC). Reducing AHT is easier said than done. Despite being one of the top KPI metrics, call centers find it challenging to reduce AHT, and still maintain the same consistency and quality. Reducing AHT can negatively influence call quality, customer satisfaction, and first call resolution if not executed properly.

Some ways that Clementine works to reduce AHT are:

Analyze Workflow and Streamline Process
Clementine leadership is always looking for inefficiencies to remove anything that increases handle time and is not necessary to a positive caller outcome. We look for ways to automate the process to take manual functions from the agents so that they can finish the call and move to the next call with little wrap time.

Record All Calls
The best way to discover any inefficiencies in handling calls is to listen and evaluate calls. Reviewing recorded calls allows the call center leadership to gain insight on the reasons that are increasing the handle time.

Focus on Coaching and Development
We coach agents utilizing the call recordings to improve performance. Having them listen to their calls helps Clementine agents self-discover the areas in which they have the most opportunity. Holding periodic recursive training classes will keep agents up to date, as well as keep them fresh to take calls. A well-coached and trained agent will handle calls at peak efficiency.

Create a Knowledge Database
Clementine utilizes a company intranet that has product knowledge, as well as call handling job aides. When the agents have answers readily available, they can answer questions and handle calls efficiently. If they have to call a help desk or flag down a supervisor, this will increase AHT through hold time.

Robust Infrastructure
It is important to have the proper technology and a robust network to ensure that the load is being handled properly. If the network is moving slow, so will the agent handling the calls. Clementine leadership monitors our systems to ensure that both the agents and the network are moving at efficient speeds.

Share Best Practices
Agents generally come out from training with equal knowledge and skill. However, some will end up doing a better job than others do. Clementine provides agents the chance to share their call handling techniques with the team. This encourages the other agents to improve.

man answering call