What is Call Handling Time (CHT)?


Understanding Call Handling Time in Contact Centres

Call Handling Time (CHT) is a crucial metric in contact centre operations that measures the total duration of a customer interaction. This includes the time spent talking to the customer, any time the customer is placed on hold, and the time required to complete any necessary after-call work (ACW). CHT is used to evaluate agent efficiency and the overall effectiveness of the call handling process.


Components of Call Handling Time


  1. Talk Time: The time an agent spends speaking directly with a customer.
  2. Hold Time: The time a customer is placed on hold during the call.
  3. After-Call Work (ACW): The time an agent spends completing tasks related to the call after the customer has hung up, such as updating records or processing requests.


Importance of CHT


  1. Efficiency Measurement: CHT is a key indicator of how efficiently agents handle customer interactions. Lower CHT can indicate quicker resolution times, while higher CHT may suggest more complex interactions or potential inefficiencies.
  2. Resource Allocation: Understanding CHT helps contact centres allocate resources more effectively, ensuring that enough agents are available to handle expected call volumes.
  3. Customer Satisfaction: Efficient call handling can lead to shorter wait times and quicker resolutions, contributing to higher customer satisfaction.


Factors Influencing CHT


  1. Complexity of Calls: More complex issues typically require longer handling times.
  2. Agent Experience: Experienced agents may handle calls more quickly and efficiently than less experienced ones.
  3. System Efficiency: The efficiency of the contact centre’s systems and processes can significantly impact CHT.
  4. Training and Support: Well-trained agents who receive ongoing support are likely to have lower CHT.


Strategies to Optimize CHT


  1. Streamline Processes: Simplify and standardize call handling procedures to reduce the time needed to complete each interaction.
  2. Provide Training: Offer regular training sessions to help agents improve their efficiency and handle a wider range of issues more effectively.
  3. Utilize Technology: Implement technology solutions such as CRM systems and knowledge bases that provide agents with quick access to the information they need.
  4. Monitor Performance: Continuously monitor CHT and provide feedback to agents, identifying areas for improvement and recognizing high performers.


Challenges and Considerations

While it is important to manage CHT effectively, focusing solely on reducing this metric can lead to negative consequences, such as agents rushing through calls and potentially compromising the quality of service. It is essential to balance CHT with other key performance indicators (KPIs) such as First Call Resolution (FCR) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) to ensure a holistic approach to performance management.



Call Handling Time (CHT) is a vital metric for assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of contact centre operations. By monitoring and optimizing CHT, contact centres can improve agent productivity, enhance customer satisfaction, and ensure efficient resource allocation. However, it is crucial to balance CHT with other KPIs to maintain high service quality and achieve overall operational excellence. Effective strategies include streamlining processes, providing ongoing training, leveraging technology, and continuous performance monitoring.



Back to the Glossary

Call Now
Request Callback