The Average Handle Time (or “AHT”) refers to the average amount of time that a call lasts. Typically measured from the time a call arrives at a phone switch (such as an automated call distributor) to the time that the call is dispositioned by the call center agent.
For outbound calls, the AHT is generally measured from the time that a customer picks up on an outbound call to the time the call is dispositioned by the call center agent. Typically measured across a period of time such as Today, This Month, Last Hour, etc. Typically includes any after call work time.
AHT is an important metric to measure as it is a direct indication of how much labor cost is put into each phone call. AHT trending up? Expect your payroll to follow.
AHT also indicates whether your agents are able to easily resolve customer issues or make sales. If your customer service call AHT is spiking, expect customer dissatisfaction to follow.