Average Handle Time (AHT)


Average Handle Time (AHT) is a metric that calculates the total amount of time spent on a customer interaction from start to finish. This includes the time spent talking to the customer, on hold, and doing after-call work (like sending emails or updating the CRM). It’s typically used in call centers or customer support teams to measure efficiency and effectiveness.


AHT is crucial in customer support as it directly impacts customer satisfaction and the overall efficiency of the support team. A lower AHT indicates that issues are being resolved quickly, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction. However, an extremely low AHT might mean that issues are being rushed and not thoroughly resolved, leading to repeat calls and lower customer satisfaction.


AHT is calculated by adding the total talk time, total hold time, and total after-call work time, then dividing by the total number of calls handled.


For instance, if a customer support representative spends 10 minutes talking to a customer, 2 minutes on hold, and 3 minutes on after-call work, the AHT for that call is 15 minutes.

Best Practices

To optimize AHT, it’s important to balance speed and quality of service. Training support reps to be efficient and knowledgeable, using scripts for common issues, and leveraging technology like CRM systems to reduce after-call work can all help reduce AHT without sacrificing service quality.