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What is Average Hold Time?

Average Hold Time (AHT) refers to length of time that a caller waits in queue for the professionals of the call center to answer call, or the time a customer waits in the queue before his/her call gets answered by a live agent. Hold time is the friction point between the customer and the call center agent. Lack of contingencies for disseminating calls and incompetent staff to handle customer queries are some of the biggest problems that leads to high ‘hold time’ in outbound call center. Average hold time is the length of time customers are placed on hold when contacting your company. Long hold times can lead to customer frustration, while short hold times can allow you to quickly assist your caller. AHT is one of the problematic issues with quality of customer service in business landscape.

 Primarily, a customer calls customer support when they have a serious issue, such as a billing concern or problem regarding the malfunctioning of products/services. With either of these, the customer is already frustrated and long hold time makes the situation even worse. Exceptionally long hold times make customers more and more stressed out and thus, they feel devalued and deflated. Therefore, to decease average hold time, management of call center companies incorporate multiple methods and strategies that can help build up the reputation of the company while enhancing customer satisfaction.

 Average hold time is calculated by adding hold time of all inbound customer calls, dividing it with the number of inbound customer calls answered by the representative or the interactive voice response (IVR) system. Exceptional customer experience leads to more satisfied customers. The support service providers increase number of call handling staff to meet the needs and demands of customer; offer best interactive voice response (IVR) to provide some services robotically; reduce hold time with the help of improved call handling procedures, training and system development.

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