Expected Wait Time

Expected Wait Time

Hi, I’m Conviner, your call center terminology assistant at your service.

Call centers predict wait time and play customized messages, making the wait feel shorter.

What is expected wait time?

In a call center, the expected wait time is the estimated duration a caller is expected to wait in a queue before being connected with a customer service representative. 

The expected waiting time is typically based on the number of customers currently waiting in the queue and the average time it takes for representatives to handle a call.

To determine the expected wait time, call centers may use various algorithms and metrics to predict and track the call volume and average handling time of each call. 

The expected waiting time is an important metric for call centers as it helps them manage customer expectations and allocate resources efficiently. 

Long wait times can lead to customer frustration and dissatisfaction, resulting in lower customer satisfaction ratings and increased customer churn. 

As such, call centers may use various strategies to reduce the expected wait time, such as offering callbacks or providing self-service options.

How do you calculate expected wait time?

To calculate the expected wait time (EWT) in a call center, you can use a variation of the formula I mentioned earlier, which takes into account the number of agents working in the call center.

Formula for expected wait time in a call center;

Expected Wait Time Formula
Expected Wait Time Formula


AHT = Average handle time (the average time it takes for an agent to handle a call from start to finish, including hold time and after-call work).

W% = The percentage of calls that are expected to be answered within the target wait time.

SL% = The service level percentage (the percentage of calls answered within the target wait time).

Once you have these values, you can plug them into the formula to calculate it and plan for an improved expected waiting time. 

The result will estimate how long a caller can expect to wait in the queue before their call is answered by an agent, given the call center's target wait time and service level percentage.

That’s all for now. Keep browsing through our glossary to find out more about call center terminologies! Cheerio - Until next time.

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