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Two ways to calculate average handle time: At the agent level vs. queue/skill level

I've heard about two ways to calculate average handle time (AHT). Some tools report AHT on an agent level (VAG) and some tools report AHT on queue/skill level (VQ). Which would you recommend for deriving an accurate volume forecast for an inbound call center?

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To support forecasting, use the average handle time from your ACD on a queue or skill level. The exact calculation can vary slightly by ACD vendor, but it should be the total amount of Talk Time for a queue plus the Total After Call Work Time for the same queue, divided by the total number of calls handled in the queue.

AHT = Total ATT (for all handled calls) + Total ACW (for all handled calls) / Total NCH (Number of Calls Handled) AHT is used on an agent level to identify performance anomalies that may reveal coaching or training needs.

Editor's note: For more information, visit's Call Center Metrics School.

This was first published in July 2009

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