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# Average Talk Time

Posted on 2007-08-02
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I'm trying to figure out how average talk time was calculated.  I have several fields but I think these are the ones used to derive the value but for some reason I can't seem to tie to the final average talk times.  Does anyone know how this is calculated in a call center environment?
These are totals:
Avg Talk Time = 0:40
Sign In Sec  Talk Sec  Update Sec  Idle Sec  Sys Hrs  Calls
86,844          48,799    16,784       18,573    115         2,477
I tried Talk Sec/(Sign In + Update + Idle) and that gave me 0:40 but the formula did not give me the correct answer for the employee below.

Avg Talk Time = 0:41
Sign In Sec  Talk Sec  Update Sec  Idle Sec  Sys Hrs  Calls
77,232         31,578     11,940       14,422   78.02      1,550
Talk Sec/(Sign In + Update + Idle) does not give me 0:41 in this case but Talk Sec/Sign In Sec does. (Again, it wouldn't give me the right answer in the example above though).

Someone else told me it should be the sum of Sys Hrs turned into seconds and this should be divided by calls. Then the Talk Sec is divided by the sum of Talk, Update, and Idle Sec.  Then this percentage is multiplied by the previous Sys Hrs (in seconds)/Calls to get the average talk time, but this doesn't work either.
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Question by:error_prone

LVL 81

Expert Comment

Looks like it's Talk Sec divided by Calls:

48,799/2,477 = 19.7008478 seconds = 20 seconds = 0:20

Kevin
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Author Comment

The avg talk time for that one is supposed to be 0:40 though.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

Yes, I see that now. Still looking...

Kevin
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

It has been a while since my call center days so I don't remember the entire breakdown, but it looks to me like you a missing a value.  There should parts should add up to total Sign in Secs, but they dont.  Depending on the system there are other ways for users to log time.  Some systems calculate hold time this into Average Talk Time (ATT) and some dont.  You may need to find a manual for your system as it should have the formula used to calculate ATT.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

The best data fit would be Talk Sec / (Calls/2.0215)

Is there a figure for calls connected? or a % calls connected? I would assume that on average about 1/2 the calls attempted would not connect, but that would be a wild assumption to build into an average when you are tracking all sorts of other data.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

Whatever the combination of values the formula has to be in the form:

Seconds/Calls

So doing things like:

Give you ratios (the seconds are factored out), not seconds. I.e., seconds/seconds does not equal seconds, it equals a percent.

So the real question is "what is average talk time?"

Kevin
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

>> Looks like it's Talk Sec divided by Calls:

If "average talk time" means the average talk time during 1 call, then this is indeed the formula to be used ... unless there's some missing information.

Where do these numbers come from ? Is there someone you can ask about how the average talk time was obtained ? What does average talk time mean to you ? Is there some information that you didn't provide ?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

Might it be a field that isn't calculated from the DB but real time and then stored to the DB at the end of the session? So its actually counting real talk time seconds, not just a general summary?
0

LVL 20

Accepted Solution

Average talk time is typically a calculated field from the call management system and from my memory it is not a simple formula like talk seconds divided by calls.  Most of these systems have settings for hold time, after call time, meeting time, available time, and on and on.  The numbers above are not all the numbers the system will have so we need more data to help with the formula.  However, this is definitely coming from a call management system and the provider of that system should easily be able to give the formula used to calculate ATT.
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Author Comment

Thanks guys, I think the last post is on target but I have not been able to get a resolution from the people in our dept.  I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing anything with the data I had available.  I will close out.  Thanks.
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