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 hold wrap time - it just a measurement of how long the customer and agent converse, as well as hold time and conference time.

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 average. It isn't 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 target, hold time and wrap time are the culprits. However, by looking at just the amount of time agents are actually speaking with customers, call center leaders may discover agents who need help with call control or who need additional system training. Telling agents to talk less with customers is a delicate conversation, but it needs to be done to ensure customers are receiving an efficient experience and that labor expenses are controlled.

How NICE inContact can help

NICE inContact CXone is the market leading contact center software in use by thousands of customers of all sizes around the world. Our solutions provide visibility and context to KPIs such as talk time. CXone is a cloud native, unified suite of applications designed to help a company holistically run its contact (or call) center operations. CXone includes:

Omnichannel Routing – routing and interaction management. These solutions include an automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), interaction channel support and proactive outbound dialer.

Workforce Optimization – unlocks the potential of your team. These solutions include workforce management (WFM), quality management (QM), recording and performance management (PM).

Analytics – turns insights into results by making data relevant, easy to consume and actionable. These solutions include interaction analytics, customer surveys, reporting and performance management.

CXone also includes pre-defined CRM integrations and UCaaS integrations with most leading solutions on the market. These integrations provide a holistic contact center software solution capable of elevating customer experiences for companies of all sizes.


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