Call Center

Updated On: Apr 5, 2024

How to Improve the Average Speed of Answer (ASA)?

Reading-Time 8 Min

average speed of answer

Have you ever felt stuck on hold, frustrated by a call center’s average speed of answer? Those seemingly endless wait times aren’t just frustrating. They can damage your relationship with a brand.

According to research by HubSpot, 90% of customers rate an immediate response as essential when they have a customer service question. However, a delayed response time might cause customers to leave.

A high average speed of answers can lead to customer abandonment, decreased brand loyalty, and negative online reviews. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of the average speed of answer and equip you with practical strategies to improve this crucial metric, regardless of whether your call center handles phone calls, emails, or chat interactions.

What is the Average Speed of Answer?

The average speed of answer (ASA) is a call center metric that calculates the average time a caller waits in a queue before being addressed by an agent.

Callers grow frustrated if they are placed on wait for a long time, making it one of the most critical markers of customer satisfaction. An ASA of 20 seconds or fewer in most call centers is considered acceptable.

How to Measure the Average Speed of Answer? 

The average speed of answer (ASA) shows how long it typically takes for a customer support agent to answer a call once it has been put in a queue. The more effectively calls are handled, the lower the ASA.  

Here’s how ASA is calculated: 

average speed of answer

6 Ways Improve Average Speed of Answer? 

1. Leverage Innovative IVR Systems 

Using state-of-the-art interactive voice response (IVR) systems can significantly improve ASA by effectively forwarding calls to the most suitable agents or departments.  

Advanced IVR systems can use speech recognition and natural language processing to interpret client requests better and provide quick and precise call redirection. This reduces wait times by efficiently connecting your customers with the resources they need, allowing for faster issue resolution. 


The Customer Self-service Handbook 2024

Get Handbook

2. Optimize Staffing 

ASA can be improved by strategically optimizing staffing levels based on historical call patterns and peak hours. Using workforce management technologies, your company can reduce idle time during slower hours.

This avoids understaffing during busy periods by appropriately forecasting call volumes and scheduling staffing. This helps lower ASA by ensuring enough agents are on hand to handle incoming calls effectively. 

3. Utilize Technology 

Empower both your customers and agents through a range of solutions like: 

  • Automated Responses: Utilize self-service options like FAQs, knowledge base, and chatbots with natural language processing to address routine inquiries and deflect calls from agents. This frees up agents to handle more complex issues. 
  • Live Chat Features: Offer real-time chat support for faster problem-solving. Customers can connect with agents directly, reducing hold times and improving overall satisfaction. 

By providing these self-service options, you empower customers to find solutions independently, reducing call volume and lowering ASA. Additionally, agents benefit from technology with features like searchable knowledge bases and chatbot integration, allowing them to handle inquiries more efficiently. 

4. Use Callback Solutions 

Use callback solutions to control wait times efficiently. Rather than holding consumers on the line for a long time, give them the choice to be contacted back when a representative becomes available.  

5. Empower Agents with an Actionable Knowledge base 

Equip agents with a comprehensive and actionable knowledge base. Providing agents access to a centralized knowledge base enables them to swiftly address customer queries without unnecessary delays.  

Implementing intelligent knowledge management systems can help agents retrieve information therefore enhancing their efficiency and reducing ASA by streamlining the problem-solving process. 


Rethink Knowledge Management with Knowmax

Download The Brochure

6. Implement Multi-Channel Support 

Expand customer service channels beyond traditional phone calls by integrating multi-channel support. Incorporate platforms like email, social media, and messaging apps to offer customers diverse communication options.  

By providing alternatives to phone-based support, customers can choose the channel that best suits their preferences, potentially reducing call volumes and easing the strain on phone-based resources. Diversifying channels help distribute the workload effectively, contributing to a more balanced and improved Average Speed of Answer. 


Improving the Average Speed of Answer (ASA) necessitates a multidimensional strategy that uses cutting-edge technology, streamlined workflows, and intelligent decision-making.  

Tracking the Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is crucial for organizations that handle customer inquiries over the phone. By measuring the time it takes for a call to be answered, your company can ensure that its customers have a positive experience and are not left waiting on hold for too long.

With ASA data, organizations can also identify opportunities for improving call center operations and customer service. It is important for your company to strive to maintain a low ASA to keep its customers satisfied and loyal. 

This all-encompassing approach raises client satisfaction levels while cutting down on wait times. Ongoing enhancement in these domains guarantees a more efficient and client-focused assistance encounter. 

Pratik Salia


Pratik is a customer experience professional who has worked with startups & conglomerates across various industries & markets for 10 years. He shares latest trends in the areas of CX and Digital Transformation for Customer Service & Contact Center.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Knowledge by Knowmax

Stay updated with all things KM and CX transformation

By clicking on submit you agree to our Privacy Policy

Be the first to know

Unsubscribe anytime

Unlock the power of knowledge management for your customer service

Unlock the power of knowledge management for your customer service

Popular Content

Knowledge by Knowmax


Schedule a Demo