What is Call Time?

Call time is a contact center term that refers to the length of time a caller is on an individual call with an agent. It typically includes talk time and agent-initiated hold time, but not post-call wrap time. The length of an individual call normally isn't useful for a call center to monitor, except perhaps to identify outliers that need investigation. For example, if an agent has several calls with unusually high call times it may be an indication that he isn't putting himself in the right phone status when he ends calls prior to taking breaks. However, calculating average talk time can be very useful.

Contact centers typically favor a closely related KPI, average handle time (AHT). AHT factors in call time and wrap time, to get a truer picture of time spent supporting calls. It is an important input for calculating staffing needs and producing agent schedules, as well as calculating cost per call. An increasing AHT, as well as a high average call time, could indicate potential agent inefficiencies or a change in the mix of calls coming in.

Call time is captured by automatic call distribution (ACD) systems and is usually a component of standard reports. But because it measures an individual call, call time may not be viewed very frequently.

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