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 asking 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, then 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.

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.

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It is the leading, most complete and unified CX Platform on the market, used by thousands of organizations of all sizes around the world to help them consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. CXone is a cloud native, unified suite of applications designed to help you holistically run your call (or contact) center operations.

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