November 19, 2013

Prince Charles and AHT - Contact Center Economics 101

“If you chuck away too many things, you end up discovering there was value in them.”  This quote from a Time Magazine article on Prince Charles (11/4/2013) is a warning to our sector.  The customer contact industry is prone to vogues just like any other.  Several years ago it was fashionable to be obsessed with average handle time (AHT), while these days increasing numbers of managers dismiss AHT as irrelevant, or even harmful.  I recently participated in an industry panel in which some felt that it is definitely time to chuck AHT.

My feeling is that would be a mistake; there are solid economic and quality reasons to keep AHT as a key performance metric, at both the center and the agent levels.

We should recognize how much may be gained from benchmarking and thoughtfully analyzing the components of AHT, which are: Average Talk Time, Average Hold Time, and Average After Call Work Time.

Average Talk Time
Average Hold Time
After-Call Work Time

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  “Contact Center Economics 101” articles are written by Bruce Belfiore (Harvard MBA), Senior Research Executive and CEO of BenchmarkPortal to spotlight practical opportunities for financial improvement of contact center operations.

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