Resources For You

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  4. 5 Ways a Cloud PBX System Benefits Remote Work

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  5. 5 Ways SBCs Facilitate Unified Communications as a Service

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  6. 5 Ways to Optimise ASR To Grow Profitability

    5 Ways to Optimise ASR To Grow Profitability

  7. 7 Additional Important Components of a VoIP Carrier Network Explained

    7 Additional Important Components of a VoIP Carrier Network Explained

  8. 7 Important Factors to Consider When Implementing LCR

    7 Important Factors to Consider When Implementing LCR

  9. 7 Ways to Optimize AHT

    7 Ways to Optimize AHT

  10. 9 Key Functions of an SBC Explained

    9 Key Functions of an SBC Explained

  11. 10 Factors to Consider While Choosing a Webphone

    10 Factors to Consider While Choosing a Webphone

  12. 10 Important Components of a VoIP Carrier Network Explained

    10 Important Components of a VoIP Carrier Network Explained

  13. 10-Point Security Checklist for VoIP Carriers

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  14. 10 Tips For Effective Implementation of LCR

    10 Tips For Effective Implementation of LCR

  15. 10 Webphone Features that Benefit Your Business

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  16. An Out of the Box Telecoms Network

    An Out of the Box Telecoms Network

  17. Are Call Centers Still Relevant in 2023?

    Are Call Centers Still Relevant in 2023?

  18. Automated Dialler vs Manual Dialler - Knowing the 7 Key Differences

    Automated Dialler vs Manual Dialler - Knowing the 7 Key Differences

  19. Call Center vs Contact Center - Understanding the Differences

    Call Center vs Contact Center - Understanding the Differences

  20. Choosing SIP over TCP,TLS and UDP in 2022

    Choosing SIP over TCP,TLS and UDP in 2022

  21. Class 4 Softswitch vs Class 5 Softswitch - Understanding the Difference

    Class 4 Softswitch vs Class 5 Softswitch - Understanding the Difference

  22. Combatting Covid-19 with Carrier-Grade Communications Solutions to Help Users Work Remotely

    Combatting Covid-19 with Carrier-Grade Communications Solutions to Help Users Work Remotely

  23. Comprehensive Cloud Softswitch Documentation

    Comprehensive Cloud Softswitch Documentation

  24. ConnexCS expands AnyEdge SIP Load Balancer to India

    ConnexCS expands AnyEdge SIP Load Balancer to India

  25. ConnexCS for Africa

    ConnexCS for Africa

  26. ConnexCS WebPhone SDK Connector

    ConnexCS WebPhone SDK Connector

  27. Discover the Different Types of NAT: An Essential Guide for Network Administrators

    Discover the Different Types of NAT: An Essential Guide for Network Administrators

  28. Discussing the Future and Top 9 Benefits of WebRTC

    Discussing the Future and Top 9 Benefits of WebRTC

  29. DNO And DNC Lists - Everything Carriers Should Know

    DNO And DNC Lists - Everything Carriers Should Know

  30. Email and SMS Alerts

    Email and SMS Alerts

  31. Employers' Guide to Winning at Remote Work

    Employers' Guide to Winning at Remote Work

  32. Exploring the Top 10 Types of Web Phones in 2023!

    Exploring the Top 10 Types of Web Phones in 2023!

  33. False Answer Supervision Detection - The Ultimate Tool for Preventing VoIP Fraud

    False Answer Supervision Detection - The Ultimate Tool for Preventing VoIP Fraud

  34. Far-End NAT Traversal - An In-Depth Guide

    Far-End NAT Traversal - An In-Depth Guide

  35. Feature Releases for June 2024

    Feature Releases for June 2024

  36. From Cost Savings to Mobility - 15 Benefits of Web Phones for Businesses

    From Cost Savings to Mobility - 15 Benefits of Web Phones for Businesses

  37. Get Your FCC Registration Number in 5 Easy Steps!

    Get Your FCC Registration Number in 5 Easy Steps!

  38. How to Build Your API on ConnexCS

    How to Build Your API on ConnexCS

  39. How to Build Your Own Dialer (BYOD) – Part 1

    How to Build Your Own Dialer (BYOD) – Part 1

  40. How to Establish a VoIP Interconnect in 10 Easy Steps

    How to Establish a VoIP Interconnect in 10 Easy Steps

  41. How to Get Operating Company Number (OCN) in 4 Easy Steps

    How to Get Operating Company Number (OCN) in 4 Easy Steps

  42. How to Identify Robocall Scam Traffic - A Comprehensive Guide for Telecom and VoIP Operators

    How to Identify Robocall Scam Traffic - A Comprehensive Guide for Telecom and VoIP Operators

  43. How to Improve CX? Ensure your Call Center Agents are Happy!

    How to Improve CX? Ensure your Call Center Agents are Happy!

  44. How to Prepare for a VoIP Network Security Audit

    How to Prepare for a VoIP Network Security Audit

  45. How to Properly Prepare for Setting up a VoIP Interconnect

    How to Properly Prepare for Setting up a VoIP Interconnect

  46. How to Register for the Robocall Mitigation Database: A step-by-step guide!

    How to Register for the Robocall Mitigation Database: A step-by-step guide!

  47. How to Successfully Implement LCR is 5 Easy Steps

    How to Successfully Implement LCR is 5 Easy Steps

  48. How Using Web Phones Can Benefit These 10 Industries?

    How Using Web Phones Can Benefit These 10 Industries?

  49. Importance of Balancing Cost Minimization and Reliable Call Quality when implementing LCR

    Importance of Balancing Cost Minimization and Reliable Call Quality when implementing LCR

  50. Introducing ConnexCS WebPhone

    Introducing ConnexCS WebPhone

  51. Introducing ConneXML - The Best TwiML Alternative

    Introducing ConneXML - The Best TwiML Alternative

  52. Introducing Smart CLI Select - An Effective Way to Improve your ASR

    Introducing Smart CLI Select - An Effective Way to Improve your ASR

  53. LTE vs VoLTE: Diving Into The Differences

    LTE vs VoLTE: Diving Into The Differences

  54. Operating Company Numbers (OCN) - Understanding Function, Importance and Relevance

    Operating Company Numbers (OCN) - Understanding Function, Importance and Relevance

  55. Populating Our Support Area With Cloud Softswitch Video Guides

    Populating Our Support Area With Cloud Softswitch Video Guides

  56. Predictive Dialler vs Progressive Dialler - Understanding the Differences

    Predictive Dialler vs Progressive Dialler - Understanding the Differences

  57. Preview Dialler vs Power Dialler - Understanding Top 5 Differences

    Preview Dialler vs Power Dialler - Understanding Top 5 Differences

  58. Rate Card Profit Assurance

    Rate Card Profit Assurance

  59. Redundant Redundancies (Backups of backups)

    Redundant Redundancies (Backups of backups)

  60. Revolutionise Your Outbound Calls - 8 Types of VoIP Diallers Explained

    Revolutionise Your Outbound Calls - 8 Types of VoIP Diallers Explained

  61. Scalability – Grow at Speeds That Suit You

    Scalability – Grow at Speeds That Suit You

  62. ScriptForge – Javascript Routing

    ScriptForge – Javascript Routing

  63. Simplifiying our Softswitch Pricing

    Simplifiying our Softswitch Pricing

  64. SIP 101 - The Best Guide of 2022

    SIP 101 - The Best Guide of 2022

  65. The 3CX Supply Chain Attack - Understanding Everything That Happened

    The 3CX Supply Chain Attack - Understanding Everything That Happened

  66. The 5 Best Strategies for Mitigating Robocall Scams

    The 5 Best Strategies for Mitigating Robocall Scams

  67. The Anatomy of Robocall Scams

    The Anatomy of Robocall Scams

  68. The Art of Cost Optimization - Least Cost Routing and Its 7 Benefits

    The Art of Cost Optimization - Least Cost Routing and Its 7 Benefits

  69. The Best Multi-POP Cloudswitch

    The Best Multi-POP Cloudswitch

  70. The Essential Guide to Business Continuity Plans for VoIP Carriers

    The Essential Guide to Business Continuity Plans for VoIP Carriers

  71. The Essential Guide to Implementing STIR/SHAKEN

    The Essential Guide to Implementing STIR/SHAKEN

  72. The Ultimate Guide to STIR/SHAKEN

    The Ultimate Guide to STIR/SHAKEN

  73. Timeout Protections (SIP Ping, SST)

    Timeout Protections (SIP Ping, SST)

  74. TLS and 2FA Security on the ConnexCS Platform

    TLS and 2FA Security on the ConnexCS Platform

  75. Top 5 Alternative Marketing Strategies for VoIP Businesses

    Top 5 Alternative Marketing Strategies for VoIP Businesses

  76. Top 5 Call Center Challenges and How To Overcome Them

    Top 5 Call Center Challenges and How To Overcome Them

  77. Top 5 Important Types of VoIP Gateways Explained

    Top 5 Important Types of VoIP Gateways Explained

  78. Top 7 Strategies For Ensuring Call Quality While Minimizing Costs with LCR

    Top 7 Strategies For Ensuring Call Quality While Minimizing Costs with LCR

  79. Top 9 Indicators that Help You Identify a Bad Carrier

    Top 9 Indicators that Help You Identify a Bad Carrier

  80. Top 10 Points of Differences Between a Traditional and VoIP Carrier

    Top 10 Points of Differences Between a Traditional and VoIP Carrier

  81. Top 10 Types of Robocall Scams Explained!

    Top 10 Types of Robocall Scams Explained!

  82. Top 10 VoIP Vulnerabilities You Must Know About

    Top 10 VoIP Vulnerabilities You Must Know About

  83. Understanding Global RTP Servers (Lowest Latency Possible, High Availability)

    Understanding Global RTP Servers (Lowest Latency Possible, High Availability)

  84. Understanding Network Address Translation (NAT) - A Beginner's Guide

    Understanding Network Address Translation (NAT) - A Beginner's Guide

  85. Understanding the 9 Key Objectives of a VoIP Network Security Audit

    Understanding the 9 Key Objectives of a VoIP Network Security Audit

  86. Understanding the Complete Scope of a VoIP Network Security Audit

    Understanding the Complete Scope of a VoIP Network Security Audit

  87. Understanding the Crucial Role of Session Border Controllers in Carrier-Grade VoIP Networks

    Understanding the Crucial Role of Session Border Controllers in Carrier-Grade VoIP Networks

  88. Understanding VoIP Anycast Load Balancing

    Understanding VoIP Anycast Load Balancing

  89. Understanding What a PBX System is and How it Benefits Your Business

    Understanding What a PBX System is and How it Benefits Your Business

  90. VoIP Carrier Network Components - Understanding Session Border Controllers

    VoIP Carrier Network Components - Understanding Session Border Controllers

  91. VoIP Carrier Network Security - How to Conduct Security Audit?

    VoIP Carrier Network Security - How to Conduct Security Audit?

  92. VoIP Carrier's Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Up Their Traffic

    VoIP Carrier's Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Up Their Traffic

  93. VoIP Interconnects - Learning How VoIP Carrier Connect and Exchange Traffic

    VoIP Interconnects - Learning How VoIP Carrier Connect and Exchange Traffic

  94. VoLTE - An Evolution in Voice Communication

    VoLTE - An Evolution in Voice Communication

  95. WebPones Explained: Understanding Web-Based Telephonic Communication

    WebPones Explained: Understanding Web-Based Telephonic Communication

  96. WebRTC 101 - The Best Guide for Beginners

    WebRTC 101 - The Best Guide for Beginners

  97. What Are SIP Traces - A Beginners Guide

    What Are SIP Traces - A Beginners Guide

  98. What Are The Top 10 Essential Call Center KPIs?

    What Are The Top 10 Essential Call Center KPIs?

  99. What Are VoIP Gateways and How Do They Work? A Comprehensive Guide

    What Are VoIP Gateways and How Do They Work? A Comprehensive Guide

  100. What is a Contact Center and Why Does Your Business Need One?

    What is a Contact Center and Why Does Your Business Need One?

  101. What is Robocall Mitigation Database? A Guide for Carriers and VoIP Operators

    What is Robocall Mitigation Database? A Guide for Carriers and VoIP Operators

7 Ways to Optimize AHT

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are vital for performance measurement and optimization in the business world. Without these, you wouldn’t know how you’re doing and how you could improve.

Call Center and Customer Service Operation KPIs function a bit differently when compared to other business KPIs.

For instance, let's consider Average Handle Time (AHT). Now if you ask a novice or a business generalist, they will naturally be bound to say that one should minimize the AHT for the best performance.

Blindly minimizing AHT will be catastrophic for your customer service operations. So the best thing to do is to learn about your KPIs in depth. This will not only help you make the best use of KPIs but will help you optimize them properly.

With that, we should head on and understand what AHT is and the best ways you can optimize AHT for your customer service operations.

What is Average Handle Time (AHT)?

The Average Handle Time or AHT is the complete duration of a customer call. The time is measured in minutes and starts when a customer call is answered and is measured till the call ends.

AHT is extensively used as a KPI in call centers and contact centers to gauge the operational and conversational efficiency of call center agents.

This metric is mainly used for any form of real-time communication viz. Calls, web chat, video calls, etc. There have been instances of AHT being used to evaluate email communication performance. However, I'm not sure how it worked out.

AHT can be used to assess the performance of an individual call center agent and the organization as a whole. This flexibility allows you to optimize performance on all levels in your organization.

AHT has four core components. They are as below:

  1. Call initiation
  2. Hold time
  3. Talk time
  4. After call work (ACW) like entering customer information.

With that, we’ve covered the basics of what AHT is. We can now move to understand how AHT is calculated.

How is Average Handling Time (AHT) Calculated?

This metric is an average so similar to other averages, you need all the components to calculate AHT. The components are as follows, total Initiation time, total Hold time, total Talk time, total ACW time, and the total number of calls handled.

Thus, the formula to calculate AHT is

AHT Formula

Let’s consider an example, a call center agent handles 10 calls in total. The total initiation time was 3 mins, the total hold time was 2 mins, the total talk time was 30 mins and the total ACW time was 5 mins.

Thus, AHT = (3 + 2 + 30 + 5) / 10 = (40) / 10 AHT = 4 mins

Knowing the AHT allows you to optimize the performance of individual call center agents, teams and the organization as a whole. Moreover, it also helps you plan capacity.

When used in conjunction with Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), AHT allows you to maximize Customer Experience.

With all the basics out of the way, let's learn about the different ways you can optimize your AHT.

How to Improve/Optimize Average Handling Time (AHT)?

As stated earlier, AHT works differently compared to other business metrics that are averages. So minimizing AHT is not going to benefit you. The perfect AHT is when your NPS and CSAT are maximized.

Here’s how you can optimize your AHT and make it perfect.

Improve Agent Training

Improve Training

As a core function, a call center agent has to talk to the customer, understand their problems/grievances and assist them to overcome the difficulties they’re facing.

This requires good communication skills, understanding, problem-solving and other virtues such as patience and empathy.

You need to ensure that all agents are well-trained in the art of customer service operations. Proper training will enable them to effectively manage customer relations and enhance customer experience.

Another thing to ensure is that all agents need to be properly trained to utilize the CRM systems and other tools in the best way possible. When well-trained agents are coupled with effective tools and systems, they yield exceptional results.

Use an Intelligent Call Routing System

Intelligent Call Routing

Long call hold times are undesirable for both the customers and call center operators. They add an unnecessary cost to your operations and degrade the customer experience.

To tackle the problem of high call hold times and to improve AHT, what you need is an intelligent call routing system.

Earlier workflows required an agent to enquire about what type of assistance a customer required. Then the customer’s call was transferred to the correct agent.

An intelligent call routing system ensures the customer’s call reaches the correct agent right from the get-go. This can either be done using an IVR menu or other automation.

Create an Extensive and Content-Rich Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base

Having an extensive and content-rich knowledge base is imperative in today’s day and age. If you’ve built a tech product, you need to document the ins and outs of its working and present them in an easy-to-understand manner.

This knowledge base should be easy to access not only for your agents but also for customers. Making it easy to navigate through and find answers to your questions is another area to which you should pay attention.

The knowledge base can contain FAQs, user guides, troubleshooting guides and every piece of information that a user can use to maximize the utility of your offerings.

Having a content-rich knowledge base in place means fewer customer calls concerning trivial queries and minor issues. For other problems, an agent will easily be able to direct the customer to the right piece of content and resolve their difficulty.

Eliminate Data Silos

It is necessary to understand a customer, their background and their usage history to be able to assist them in the best possible manner. However, most firms suffer from various data silos within their organization.

A necessary bit of information that may be available with the sales or marketing team may not be available to the customer service team. As a result, your potential to assist a customer is negatively affected.

By eliminating data silos, you’re making all the information available with the firm about a customer accessible to all departments. This translates to greater insights into a customer’s usage and history.

Leveraging this central database and utilizing insights, the agents will be able to assist the customers more effectively.

Analyze Call Transcriptions

Transcription Analysis

ConnexCS not only allows you to record calls but also lets you transcribe them. This unleashes improvement potentials previously unheard of.

Present frameworks require analysts to listen to call recordings and evaluate an agent’s performance. This process is too slow, relies on a small sample size and cannot be scaled up to enable exponential performance improvements.

With ConnexCS’s call transcription feature, you can extract valuable data from all or a select sample of calls and have the data analyzed quickly.

You will generate a lot of actionable insights and performance monitoring will become easier by unleashing the data locked within audio recordings.

Get in touch with our team today! Revolutionize the way you handle calls and watch your profits skyrocket.

Monitor and Evaluate Agent Performance

Performance Evaluation

One cannot maintain or improve their performance unless they’re monitoring and evaluating it. There’s always room for improvement and you’ll discover it with careful performance monitoring and evaluation.

AHT is one of the several important metrics you can use to evaluate an agent's performance. Have a framework in place for periodic performance evaluation. Thus, you will be able to track performance improvements and improve on those.

With all the data you collect in the process, you uncover a lot of insights. If you adopt a trial and error formula, you’ll know what works best and what doesn’t.

Using these insights and gained knowledge, you can quickly and effectively train new agents and get them on pace with the veterans.

Shorten Call Scripts and Offer Flexibility

The pursuit of offering a consistent customer experience often leads call center managers down the wrong rabbit hole. One ends up with excessively long call scripts and rigidity which make the customer experience consistent but dull and tiresome.

Shorten the call scripts so that they only contain the necessary bits of information. This will not only shorten the AHT but also make a customer’s experience more snappy.

Too much rigidity in the scripts doesn’t allow for an agent’s personality to shine through. Make sure you offer enough flexibility in the scripts. Doing this will also ensure agents will be able to deal with unique difficulties.

The customer experience is important but it needs to be consistently good and not just consistent. A happy customer is what matters and there are plenty of ways to make them happy.

With that, we’re at the end of our list of the top 7 ways to Optimize your AHT. But wait, what should your target be for AHT? What is the perfect AHT? Let’s answer that!

What is The Perfect Average Handling Time (AHT)?

The question might seem like a bit of a clickbait but I'm going to be honest with the answer. There is nothing such as a Perfect Average Handling Time (AHT)!

Every industry is different and your set of customers is different compared to that of your competition. So you will have to experiment and find what AHT yields the highest NPS and CSAT.

But you don't have to walk in blind. A lot of data is collected every year and we know what the average AHTs for each industry are. Look at the table below to find out.

AHT Across Industries

Use the values above as a guide to help you attain the perfect AHT. However, always remember, the perfect AHT yields the maximum NPS and CSAT.

Wrapping Up

We covered an important topic today and understood what AHT is and how you can optimize AHT in the best manner possible.

Lower AHT doesn’t mean you’re doing things right. The perfect AHT is usually around the industry average and results in very happy and satisfied customers.

The pursuit to optimize AHT is really about perfecting the art of effectively helping customers as quickly as possible. Don’t let the numbers tunnel vision you!

What other metrics would you like to learn about?