Customer Experience

Updated On: Apr 1, 2024

What Is Average Talk Time (ATT) & How To Reduce It?

Reading-Time 8 Min

The main objective of every contact center is to provide a superior customer experience and drive up customer satisfaction scores. It is important to evaluate the performance based on key metrics to figure out how the customer support team is performing. One of the key call center metrics to consider on this scale is average talk time.

average talk time in call centers

Average talk time is often confused with average handling time. However, both are very different, and it is critical to understand the difference to ensure that the right metrics are being measured to improve the team’s performance and meet the end customer service goals.

Here is everything one must know about ATT and ways to reduce average talk time at contact centers.

What is a average talk time, & why is it an important call center metric?

Average talk time is a contact center metric that simply explains the time a customer service representative spends talking to the customer over a call.

It is an important contact center metric because it can help derive useful insights into the customer experience and brand perception in the market.

Average talk time can be used to understand the customers’ overall experience. Deep analysis of the ATT can also help understand the training requirements of the team, faulty processes, and technology requirements.

There is no set formula to determine a good average talk time. As it is a subset of the overall call experience, the ATT on a call must be more in proportion to the average hold time.

In other words, the agent should talk to the customer rather than keep them on hold for a long.

Depending on where one is in the current state, one can work toward decreasing or increasing the average talk time on calls.

It is better to focus on maintaining the right balance between talk time and average handling time to provide a superior customer experience.

What is the difference between average handle time and average talk time?

Average handle time and average talk time are metrics used to measure different elements of a call, but they are often confused with one another. Here is the difference between AHT and ATT.


How to calculate the average talk time?

To calculate the ATT at the contact center, one needs to separate the hold and wrap-up time from the total handling time. The formula for calculating average talk time at the contact center is as follows:

Average talk time = (Total customer handling time – hold time – wrap up time)/total calls handled


For instance, an agent spends 60 minutes handling 10 customers in a day. During this period, customers were on hold for 10 minutes, and 5 minutes was the wrap-up time. The average talk time can be calculated as follows:

 (60 – 10 – 5)/10 = 4.5 minutes, which is the average talk time.

3 Ways to reduce average talk time

It is crucial to minimize the talk time without hampering the quality of customer support. Here are the top 3 ways to reduce the ATT at contact centers

1. Give the support team the right information at the right time

Customers expect support reps to be knowledgeable and answer their queries quickly and accurately. However, with information scattered across disparate excel spreadsheets and word docs, agents are unable to access the relevant information at the right time. With information overload, delivering timely solutions becomes extremely challenging. 

With AI-powered Knowledge Management software like Knowmax,  organizations can consolidate information under a unified knowledge base and organize content in modules like articles, FAQs, guided workflows, and picture guides.

With intuitive search providing content suggestions, and in-document search highlighting relevant information, agents can access relevant information faster without wading through the entire knowledge base.  

Faster access to actionable and contextual knowledge enables agents to answer customer queries faster and efficiently, which reduces average talk time and improves both customer and agent experience

2. Enhance comprehension through visual guides

For simpler queries, articles and knowledge base FAQs are quite helpful in fixing the problem. However, text documents alone are not enough and can increase ATT for complex queries that require higher technical assistance.

Screenshots with clearly marked steps help agents navigate the customers’ screens efficiently and guide them with clear instructions. With a full-suite Knowledge Management software like Knowmax, businesses can create visual how-to guides for every scenario. Bulk images can be uploaded, and content creators can edit the images with the image editor provided by the platform. 

Additional information, warning tips, and guidance steps can be added to give agents a unified platform for information access. With an omnichannel Knowledge base management system like Knowmax, visual guides can be distributed across channels to power customer self-service. This enables contact deflection to digital channels and creates immersive customer experiences across touchpoints. 

3. Auto-traverse questions with CRM integrated knowledge base

Customers find it frustrating when they have to repeat information. This impacts customer experience and increases the average talk time. However, integrating a Knowledge base with CRM can help resolve this and empower agents to ask only the most relevant questions, reducing agent and customer effort. 

With customer service scripting software like Knowmax, intuitive workflows can be created to guide agents with the next best action steps. The workflow steps can be integrated with Application Programming Interface(APIs) to auto-traverse customer data from the CRM platform. The auto traversal of customer information frees agents up from manually probing through every query in the workflow.

This reduces the average talk time and enables agents to deliver faster, more accurate, and more personalized solutions to customers. 

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It is important to analyze the ATT to understand the customer experience. At the same time, one can compare the average talk time with the average handling time to gauge the team’s performance.

It is an important metric that can be compared with other numbers like successful conversions, customer satisfaction scores, and dropped leads to understand the prevalent issues and see if corrective action is required.

As average talk time is a subset of the average handling time, any effort to increase or decrease the talk time will directly impact the average handling time. However,  delivering a superior customer experience should be prioritized over achieving reduced ATT and AHT.

The right knowledge management can help organizations reduce talk time while providing superior customer experiences.

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.

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