Average Handle Time : Definition and Calculation

In call center language Average Handle Time is also known as AHT. Some organizations also use the term ACHT which stands for Average Call Handling Time. So Average Handle Time is the time that a call center executive takes to complete an interaction with a customer. In simpler terms AHT is the time from where the call center executive answers the call to the point where he finishes the call and fills the relevant documentation for that customer and is ready to attend the next call.

Formula to calculate Average Handle Time for a single call:

Handling Time = Talk Time + Hold Time + After Call Work Time

So Handling Time is the sum of Talk Time, Hold Time and After Call Work Time.

Let me explain the above mentioned terms:

Average Talk Time also known as ATT is the total time a call center executive is talking to a customer.

Average Hold Time is the time for which a call center executive puts the customer on hold by pressing the Hold key on his phone. Keep in mind that blank or dead air does not count as hold time, it is added to the talk time or ATT.

After Call Work Time also known as ACW is the time the call center executive spends to complete customer documentation or tagging into the CRM tool.

How to calculate AHT

The formula shared above holds good for a single call or interaction. Now if you have to calculate the Average Handle Time for an executive for a whole day the formula will be the sum of Handling time of all the calls of that executive for the day divided by the total calls answered by that executive. For example if Charles answered three calls in a day with the following durations:

Call 1 = 100 second

Call 2: 150 seconds

Call 3: 200 Seconds

Then AHT for Charles for the day will be (100+150+200)/3 which is 150 seconds

Another way to calculate the AHT is that you calculate Average Talk Time ATT of all calls that is sum of Talk Time of all calls divided by total answered calls,

Average Hold Time of all Calls and Average ACW of all calls and then add the three.

Another critical parameter that you would want to know is Call Center Service Level : Definition and Calculation

Grab your free excel template of daily performance report pre-loaded with Service level, AHT and other formulae in your mail by registering here


Filed under Call Center Calculations, Call Center Terms

25 Responses to Average Handle Time : Definition and Calculation

  1. Rajasundar K

    i have agent ATT+ACW+AHT in timing format like 0:12:36 so how do calculate overall AHT in sec kindly let me know the formula for that

  2. shashi kant

    how did you calculate 86400 ? Kindly let me know about it

  3. Surya Kant Pandey

    Can anyone please help me with kind of data format to find the Aht, login hours,total login.

  4. Qaiser

    very easy to understand AHT I personally appreciate the way you use to explains .

  5. marie rios

    I am needing help. I am having to create a spread sheet but the issue is i am having issues on how to get it down to the second with the total talk time 1957:53:12
    total after call work was 3778:30:22
    total hold time was 2062:09:55.
    I am not sure how to get it sown to the second.

  6. Paul

    I’m curious, how to consider hold time ,talk time, outbound call (callback) in AHT? I’m an inbound support but we are allowed to call customer back if line gets disconnected.
    Supposing i have 5mins call inbound,
    and I have 3mins outbound call
    3X60= 180sec
    so should I add it or there’s a different computation in getting the average of inbound and outbound call

    • Ashish Singla

      Hold time and talk time are two parameters that remain the same in case of outbound and inbound. Although dial time and preview time are additional parameters for outbound

      • Amandeep Sokhi


        If you add the outbound talk time and hold time, then it would be loaded AHT.

        The normal AHT which includes inbound calls is unloaded AHT.

        So it’s on your business requirement what sort of AHT is required by client.

  7. Anonymous

    What if , AHT of 10 calls = 200 seconds
    Aht of 20 calls = 300 seconds
    Aht of 30 calls = 400 seconds

    Then what is the overall Aht?

    • Ashish Singla

      The AHT for the above scenario will be calculated as follows:
      Total calls= 10+20+30= 60
      total handling time= (10*200) + (20*300) + (30*400) = 20000
      So AHT will be = 20000/60= 333.33 secs

  8. Anonymous

    If my aht is 450 sec, my hold is 30seconds and my acw is 10 sec what would my my talk time. Can someone give me the formula? Thanks

  9. Sunny

    You can use sumproduct function

  10. Liz

    i wish to calculate forecasted FTE without AHT being factored into the equation. what calculation would I use to remove AHT from my forecast?

    • Ashish Singla

      Well, it will not be very accurate. But if you still want it, you will have to see the average number of calls that a FTE is currently taking per day. Then simply dvinde the daily forecased calls by this figure:
      formula would be :
      Number of FTE required= Daily forecasted calls/ avg calls taken by FTE in a day

  11. Yusri

    Hi all
    What is the current best practices for abandoned call rate for contact center. I mean the percentages

  12. rats

    aht will caluculated in seconds nly na

  13. Yes, This is an amazing blog where i got the knowledge of “Average Handle Time : Definition and Calculation ”. I really appreciate all blogger. I read a blog: https://www.tipscrew.com/call-center-outsourcing-companies-reduce-average-handling-time/ you can take as a reference

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