How to configure average handle time?

The Average Handling Time (AHT) lets you view the total time an agent spends resolving each ticket. The AHT stopwatch automatically starts as soon as an agent opens a ticket assigned to them and continues each time the agent revisits the ticket. For a detailed overview of AHT, see Understanding Average Handling Time.

As an admin, you can use AHT to easily track time and keep a tab on your team’s productivity and monitor their performance. With AHT, you can:

  • Identify the tickets that take a long time
  • Check the time spent by individual agents
  • View the billable vs. non-billable hours 
  • Get insights into your team's performance with AHT report

The AHT configuration page lets you set the rules and settings for AHT. For example, you can control the AHT stopwatch’s visibility to your agents or decide when the AHT should pause.

To view the AHT configuration page:

  1. Log in to Freshdesk as an admin.
  2. Go to Admin > Agent Productivity > Average Handling Time.

The various configuration options are:

Field Description
Disable (AHT)

Click this option to disable the AHT feature for your account. By default, the option is enabled; however, if you don't wish to use the AHT feature, disable it.

Hide Time Logs from agents

Enable this option to hide the visibility of AHT stopwatch from your agents on the Tickets page. 

Though AHT is hidden for your agents, it continues to run in the background, and as an admin, you can still view the AHT option.

Set time logs as billable Enable this option to tag the time calculated by AHT as Billable in the reports.
Include unassigned ticket view time

Enable this option to include the time spent by an agent before it is assigned to them. 

If you disable this option, the AHT timer starts only when an agent opens a ticket after it is assigned to them. 

Check out the example below for a better understanding.

Pause AHT based on Ticket Status

Use this option to go to the ticket fields and select the ticket status you want to enable or disable the AHT. 

For example, you can pause the AHT stopwatch when awaiting a customer’s reply and change the ticket status to Pending.

Example: Understanding include unassigned ticket view time option

Assume agents Ben and Merin viewed an unassigned ticket and spent 10 minutes analyzing it. Later, a supervisor assigns the ticket to Ben. 

Now, let’s compare and see how AHT works when you enable and disable the include time option.

Disable include unassigned ticket view time (default state) Enable include unassigned ticket view time
  • AHT stopwatch starts only when an agent opens a ticket after it is assigned to them, irrespective of whether the agent viewed the ticket before.

  • In the scenario above, though Ben spent 10 minutes on the ticket before it was assigned, AHT discards this time, and the stopwatch starts from 00h:00m:001s whenever Ben visits the page again.
  • AHT stopwatch includes the time an agent spends on a ticket even before it is assigned to them.

  • In the same scenario, since Ben had already spent 10 minutes on the ticket before it was assigned, the stopwatch begins at 00h:10m 01s.

A few caveats to note if you enable the "include unassigned ticket view time" option under AHT settings:

  • The unassigned ticket view time will be included only once at the first assignment of an agent
    In the same scenario, assume Ben reassigns the ticket to Merwin, who also spent 10 minutes before the ticket was assigned. However, AHT does not include the initial 10 minutes spent by Merwin as it is reassigned. so, for Merwin, the stopwatch begins at 0.

  • The unassigned ticket view time will not be included if the ticket status is changed to closed/pending before it is assigned to any agent
    Assume Ben viewed and spent 10 minutes on a ticket before it is assigned to anyone. Let's say a supervisor closed the ticket after Ben viewed it. However, the supervisor later reopens the ticket and assigns it to Ben. Though Ben already spent 10 minutes, AHT discards these minutes and starts the stopwatch at 0 for Ben.

Once you configure and set up AHT, your team can view and use the AHT on the Tickets page. 

You can even use AHT and Time Logs together to track time effectively. Refer to this article to learn more. 

Scenarios where AHT does not work:
  • The AHT stopwatch does not pause if an agent recieves a call while still working on the Tickets page.
  • AHT does not work for collaborators.

  • AHT does not consider the view time of another agent if already assigned.