What the heck is AHT? Why do I keep hearing it from Call Center Agents?

June 16, 2012 • written by

AHT stands for Average Handle Time.

Average Handle Time refers to the average time it takes for an agent to handle a call from start to finish.

Call center companies have a certain quota for calls and some companies have a limit to up to how long they’ll get paid for certain calls.

Can you give me an example?

For Example:

A call center may have an agreement with their client that they’ll only charge or bill on a per number of call basis the first two minutes of the call serviced by the agent and time after the first two minutes will be unbilled.

If this is the case the call center company imposes an AHT for it’s agents and the lower the AHT, the better.

Why do I keep hearing AHT from call center agents?

The AHT is one of the three common metrics (or stats) that agent’s keep track of.

A call center agent’s AHT influences performance ratings, bonuses, possible future promotions and salary increase.

How do I compute AHT?

Duration of total calls/Number of calls=AHT

Quick tips for improving AHT

Here are some tips to improve your AHT.

  1. Listen well – If you understand what the customer needs the first time there’s no need to bring up the same issue later on.
  2. Verify your customer’s concern/or problem before resolving an issue – If you know exactly what your customer wants to happen it would be easier to deliver the right solution.
  3. Take note of common situations and solutions – when you’re a new customer service representative you’ll be given access to a knowledge base that contains what to do for almost every situation. At first, you’ll be searching for every solution on the knowledge base and when you notice certain situations comming up do your best to remember the solution to common situations. It will save you more time becaus you won’t always have to search and read before being able to provide solutions to your customer. In my experience, the more you know by heart, the faster it is.
  4. Take note of small things in your habits that slow down your call – In my case it’s having uhms and uhhs, my hmmm expression when I’m thinking and using flowery words. I got to change that by being mindful before I open my mouth and did my best to use simple words all the time. Short words also help.

I am praying for your success. God bless!

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