What is Talk Time?

Talk time is a call center term for the amount of time a phone agent talks to a customer during an interaction as measured by the automatic call distributor (ACD). Talk time differs from handle time because it excludes wrap time; it just measures how long the customer and agent converse, as well as hold and conference times.

Talk time is most useful when it's presented as an average, which can be reported down to the agent level or reviewed as a daily metric. It isn't generally reviewed by call center leaders as frequently as average handle time. Nonetheless, talk time is an important metric because it represents how much time agents are spending on the phone with customers and shaping the customer experience.

Additionally, it's helpful to review average talk time when troubleshooting handle time issues. Normally, when handle times are higher than a given target, hold time and wrap time are the culprits. However, by looking at the amount of time agents are actually speaking with customers, call center leaders may discover agents who need help with call control or additional training. Telling agents to talk less with customers is a delicate conversation, but it needs to be done to ensure customers are having a positive experience and that labor expenses are controlled.

How NICE is Redefining Customer Experience

NICE CXone is the industry’s only interaction-centric platform where channels, data, applications, and knowledge converge to improve customer experience at scale.

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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