Contact Center

Beat Average Handle Time By 56 Seconds

Rimlee Patgiri
March 3, 2023
 mins read

Mark and Luther are two agents working for a leading Edtech industry.

Situation 1: Mark gets a call from a customer who is the mother of one of the students in the Edtech company. She is quite concerned about her child’s performance and requests Mark to run her through the curriculum, update her about his behavior in the class, and ensure he has attended the classes fairly. 

Marks quickly put her on hold, dials in the respective professor, gets all the information, and resolves the situation. 

The following query took about 5.25 mins, and both parties walked away with a satisfied conversation. 

Situation 2: Luther receives a call. There is an angry parent on the phone breathing shakily. Luther understands her agitation and gently asks, “How may I help you today, ma’am?”


This was the mother of another student who went through a rough patch while buying a course on Advanced Mathematics from the company. She was promised 24*7 assistance which turned out to be a scam, “as she describes it.” Clearly, this was going to take longer than usual.

Luther goes through multiple calls, holds, tracking the records, and so on and so forth. Time was running out, and it took about 18.3 mins to get the angry customer to walk away without an escalated case. Phew!

Let’s sum up the two situations.

  • Both resolved the cases. 
  • Both went through some iterations between different calls. 
  • Both needed urgent reciprocation. 
  • Mark completed the call in 5.25 mins, and Luther completed it in 18.3 mins. 

The time Mark and Luther took to complete the calls became a major factor in the average handle time. It’s widely accepted that the lower AHT, the better. Right? 

Wrong. Hence, it’s quite subjective. Depends on the situation, the urgency, and the query. 

But what happens when an agent takes longer than usual to resolve queries like situation 1 above?

Should AHT Be High or Low?
Should AHT Be High or Low?

That is why keeping track of the average handle time in call centers is ideal. You must be considerate, yet understand that it greatly affects agent performance and overall customer satisfaction.

What Is Average Handle Time, And How Does It Affect Call Centers?

Average handle time is the total time an agent spends handling a customer. These customer calls include everything from the start of the call, hold time, to the after-call work.  

Often, we come across this question What is a good average handle time?

There is no easy way to answer this question, but this might help. 

A report by Cornell University shows that the average handle times differ by industry and can range from 5 minutes to 8.48 minutes. 

Average handle time is an important KPI measured during call center management to analyze the call center efficiency.

Ways in which AHT affects call center performance: 

  1. Reveals agent productivity and performance.
  2. Indicates overall customer satisfaction.
  3. Helps in identifying areas of improvement.
  4. Allows businesses to retain customers and boost their loyalty.
  5. Lays a platform to establish a positive brand image. 
  6. Paves opportunities for a better strategy to execute business-driven decisions.

How Do You Calculate Average Handle Time?

Average handle time is calculated by adding total talk time + total hold time + total follow-up time and dividing it by the total number of calls.

Average Handle Time Formula
Average Handle Time Formula
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Breaking Down A Lower AHT Recipe With Convin’s Automation Engine 

Convin is an AI-based contact center software that records, transcribes, and generates valuable insights from agent-customer conversations. These insights serve as a ready-made guide to executing business-driving decisions. 

Moving on to how Convin helps in lowering average handle time by up to 56 seconds, let’s understand the components of this recipe one by one. 

Total Talk Time

Convin acts as a call center scripting software. With the valuable insights from conversations, you can uncover what works and what doesn’t to arrive at a tailor-made script for call center reps to follow. 

With the script in place, it becomes easier to create an optimized conversation for various use cases that serves the customer with the right solution in the least amount of time. 

For e.g., With Convin, you can set parameters including compliance regulations, and monitor them diligently. Likewise, you can discover the best-performing calls and execute these winning behaviors, repeating them in the script to arrive at a perfect conversion with the customer. 

Total Hold Time

As mentioned above, Convin records and transcribes the conversations. With cases requiring multiple levels of people in the conversation subsequently, you no longer need to open excel sheets or hover around for the context. 

Use Convin to track the customer conversation and answer confidently. This saves time, and effort, and delivers the customer a sense of getting heard leading to increased customer satisfaction. 

Follow-Up Time

Follow-Up time refers to the after-call work. This can include various tasks such as handling documents, scheduling appointments, etc. 

Using Convin again makes it way easier to carry out these tasks. Convin can be integrated with your CRM, team-conferencing, team messaging, dialer, and calendar.  

Read more on Convin integrations here.

This makes after-call work swift and call center reps’ productivity shoots high. 

Additional Bonus

A lower AHT is also determined by the agent’s knowledge of the product or service. Convin provides a call center coaching experience that encourages peer-to-peer coaching as a major benefit. 

Read about how Convin reduces agent ramp-up time by up to 60%

Convin’s call center coaching delivers a seamless training experience with a leadership dashboard to keep agents motivated. You can constantly monitor your team’s progress and curate assessments to test their knowledge. 

Want To Reduce Your Agent Ramp-Up Time By 60%? Here You Go!

Road To Best Agent Performance And Customer Experience

1. The Analytics Dashboard

The Convin analytics dashboard is a consolidated view of your call center performance. 

You can find all the necessary insights from multi-team level, team level, to rep-level analysis. The analysis dashboard also reflects the violations, conversations that fall under good and ones that need attention, etc

View of Call Center Performance on the Convin Analytics Dashboard
Convin Analysis Dashboard

2. The Coaching Dashboard

Convin coaching dashboard reflects the progress of your entire team.

Convin Call Center Coaching Dashboard
Convin Call Center Coaching Dashboard

3. Convin Learning Management System

Convin library is your go-to place to store all training materials, and new information, and create assessments to test your team's progress. It’s simple, easy to use, and convenient to monitor the overall agent performance.

Convin Learning Management System
Convin Learning Management System

Have you checked out our on-the-go call center software? That’s right! Convin is now available as Mobile App. 

Read more here: Mobile App - Product Launch

Final Thoughts

As we mentioned earlier, average handle time can be tricky to track and analyze considering its subjectiveness as well as its importance in agent performance and customer satisfaction. 

However, a lower AHT is not the wrong direction to look at considering all the calls together in a call center. Your target should now be low AHT but a more optimized one. 

Considering factors such as coaching, call center QA, parameters, integrations, etc, we at Convin have carefully carved out how you can optimize your average handle time by up to 56 seconds. This progress is immediately visible in the form of the AI-Score. Here’s a quick glance at one of your valuable client's progress.

Increase In Ai-Score Using Convin Call Center Software
Increase In Ai-Score Using Convin Call Center Software

Still not sure? 

Book A Demo Free Of Charge With Us And Let Us Tell You More About Convin’s Automation Engine. Ready?

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Convin records, transcribes and analyzes all your sales calls to give insights on what’s working on calls and what’s not.

Convin records, transcribes and
analyzes all your sales calls to give
insights on what’s working on calls
and what’s not.

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2093 Philadelphia Pike #5025
Claymont, Delaware 19703
(+1) 6282095776
Bhive Workspace No.112,AKR
Techpark, A-Block, 7th Mile
Hosur Road, Krishna Reddy,
Industrial Area,
+91 7011464590, +91 8802881329