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Workforce Management: What is Average Process Time (APT)?

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

Let's take a look on the Average Process Time in a contact center environment.

So what is Average Process Time (in short - APT)?

Average Process Time is the time taken by a Customer Service Representative (CSR) to complete a task successfully.

Few instances are below

  • Time taken to complete an order on Client application for sales, promotional campaign, installation, repair and so on

  • Time taken for payment orders

  • Time taken to explain a new product, billing, policies and so on

  • Time taken to provide information, legal action, notification and so on

Average Process Time can vary between different scenario and are an important input to define workload. APT is also known as Average Handle Time (AHT).

Do you remember the workload calculation - Workload X Average Handle Time

Yes, that's right! Workload calculation can also be defined as:

Workload X Average Process Time

As we talk about Average Process Time, let's discuss about the components by each channel type:


In general, Inbound has 3 components to AHT/APT:

  1. Talk Time - As the name suggests, it is the time spent talking with customer

  2. Hold Time - This time is categorized as the time spent holding to transfer the call to other department. For instance, Customer Care transfer the call to Technical Support. The hold time will also include the time the customer is kept on hold to fetch relevant information instead of dead air or silence on the call.

  3. Wrap Time - After every call, we need to document the resolution for future reference. The time spent documenting post call is the wrap time


The basic definition for outbound is when a contact center calls a customer for sales offer, upgrade or downgrade services, promotional offer, pre-approved offer, welcome call, scheduled installation or maintenance and so on.

While we call a customer, you may either get connected to a customer or the customer may not answer the call. With this in mind, the AHT has 2 parts in Outbound:

  1. Successful AHT - An outbound dial-in is considered successful when CSR is successfully speaks to a customer; Basically customer acknowledges your call.

  2. Non-successful AHT - An outbound dial-in where the customer is not answering or the number is switched off or there is network issue while connecting

The successful AHT further divides into talk time, hold time and wrap time unlike Inbound as we speak to a customer in this case.


Usually back office process disintegrate into multiple stages or steps and average process time is accordingly varies. Let's take an example:

Example: Sales Order Entry - This process can have following sub-processes and accordingly average process time differ:

  1. New Sales Order Creation - Creating a new sales order on client application

  2. Sales order update - Updating any change on the sales as asked by customer or clients

  3. Sales order Cancellation - Cancelling the sales order already created on client application

  4. Order validation - validating commercials as per business rules

  5. Order Status - Check the current status of an order

and so on.

Email is also similar to Back Office.


Average Process Time or Average Handle Time is also known as Productivity.


Irrespective of any mode of communication, the time an customer service representative takes to complete a task successfully is known as Average Process Time (APT).

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