What is Hold Time?

Hold time is the total amount of time a caller spends in an agent-initiated hold status. In other words, the caller connects with an agent, they typically have some discussion, and then the agent puts them on hold, meaning the call is not disconnected but the caller is in a sort of limbo until the agent takes them back off hold. Agents can put callers on hold for a variety of reasons, ranging from needing to ask their supervisor for help resolving the caller's issue to needing to cool down because the caller is very angry.

Whatever the reason for hold time, it's a measurement that contact centers should manage and keep to a minimum. Higher than ideal average hold times are probably a symptom that something is wrong and that it's time to investigate and address the issue. Since average hold times can be drilled down to the agent level, that's a good place to start. Supervisors may find that agents with high hold times might need refresher training. If it's an issue affecting the whole team it might be resolved by beefing up the knowledge base or by adding a subject matter expert who can roam the floor and quickly address agents' questions. Average hold time can also be added to agent dashboards to add further visibility to the metric and help agents to self-manage.

The point is, hold time needs to be watched and action taken when it's out of variance. Nobody likes to sit on hold. In fact, it makes a lot of people mad. So excessive hold times can wreck the customer experience. Effectively managing hold time is one more tool contact centers can use in their quest to deliver consistently high quality service.

How NICE can help

NICE is the market leader in providing customers the cloud contact center software they need to deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences.

Skill-based routing, including proficiency settings, ensures that agents are routed the contacts they are best qualified for. The MAX agent interface provides seamless access to all data and tools your agents need to handle calls quickly and efficiently. Access to subject matter experts, including real-time presence information, further streamlines handling by ensuring agents can easily reach out to someone that can help whenever needed.

Benefits include:

  • Modern ACD providing digital first omnichannel routing and increased business agility, as well as measurement of key call metrics such as hold times
  • Integrated and comprehensive workforce management solutions to engage and empower contact center agents to achieve business goals
  • Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to enhance the customer experience and automate routine agent tasks
  • Omnichannel customer journey management

CXone provides an intelligent, unified suite of applications covering the breadth of contact center management disciplines, simplifying administration and streamlining the user experience.