What are the average ‘Average hold times’ (AHT) for Contact Centers?

Let’s look at this from the customers prospective.  Customers don’t want to wait at all!  They want to pick up the phone, dial, and have someone answer, just as though they were calling their great Aunt in Florida!  They require instant gratification from the initial call and from their problems.

We know this isn’t possible, but what are the average hold times that are acceptable for customers before they class you as a disgraceful company and tell all their friends?

There is no Average hold time set in stone.  The benchmark is set by your own performance and perhaps the leading competitor.  The basic premise is to have customers wait as little a time as possible.    If your customers were waiting 2 minutes, then try to reduce it to 1 minute only, or perhaps add in a message to telling them how long they should be waiting.  “You are next in line and will be waiting for another minute, please hold the line”.  Ok I didn’t get that message recently, but that’s what I would want to hear!  I want to know when my needs will be dealt with and I want to know NOW!

Even though I mentioned that there is no benchmark, you should not keep customers waiting for too long.  Experts say that a customer should not be waiting longer than four minutes.    Is this something your customer service department can manage?  If not, then there are solutions that can help you dramatically cut the hold times.

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is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe