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Average Hold Time

In this article

Average Hold Time, often abbreviated as AHT, is a key performance metric used in customer service and call center operations. It measures the average amount of time a customer or caller spends on hold or waiting before their call is answered or their issue is resolved by a customer service representative. AHT is an essential metric because it directly impacts the customer experience and can influence customer satisfaction levels.

To calculate AHT, you add up the total hold time for all calls within a specific time frame (e.g., an hour, a day, or a month) and then divide it by the total number of calls answered during that same time period. The result is the average hold time per call. Organizations aim to keep AHT within an acceptable range. AHT can be influenced by various factors, including call volume, staffing levels, the complexity of customer issues, and the efficiency of call center processes. Striking the right balance between minimizing AHT to reduce customer wait times and ensuring quality customer service is a common challenge for businesses. While shorter hold times can improve customer satisfaction, they should not come at the expense of providing effective solutions and a positive customer experience.

How is Average Hold Time calculated?

Average Hold Time (AHT) is calculated by adding up the total amount of time customers spend on hold or in queue while waiting for assistance and then dividing that sum by the total number of customers who were on hold during a specific period, such as an hour or a day. The formula is:

AHT = Total Hold Time / Total Number of Customers on Hold

AHT is typically expressed in minutes and is a critical metric in customer service and call center operations, as it reflects the average time customers have to wait before their calls are answered or their issues are resolved.

How to reduce Average Hold Time?

  1. Optimize staffing levels.
  2. Streamline processes and scripts.
  3. Implement self-service options.
  4. Use skill-based routing.
  5. Invest in agent training.
  6. Analyze call center data.
  7. Prioritize calls and set targets.
  8. Minimize post-call work for agents.
  9. Offer callback options.
  10. Solicit customer feedback.
  11. Use technology wisely.
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