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How can average busy time be less than average handling time


I've noticed that sometimes the average busy time is less than average handling time.  How is that possible?

Applies To

  • 8x8 Contact Center customers who run Analytics for Contact Center reports with average handling time and average busy time.


Let's define handling time, processing time and busy time again just so those terms are clear.

Handling time = the amount of an agent is on the phone with a customer

Processing time = handling time + wrap up time

Busy time = offering time + processing time

When calculating the average handling time or average processing time one divides the total handling or processing time by the number of calls the agent handled.

When calculating the average busy time one divides the total by the number of calls that were offered to the agent even if the agent didn't handle all of the calls.  This is because when an agent is being offered a call they are considered busy.

Here's a simple example of how average busy time can be less than average handling time.

Agent A is offered a call and accepts it after 0:10.  They then talk to their customer for 9:00 and do 0:40 of wrap up.  So at this point in time their handling time is 9:00, processing time is 9:40 and busy time 9:50.

Agent A is then offered another call but the caller hangs up after 0:10 and Agent A never gets a chance to answer the call.  So at this point in time Agent A has the same handling and processing times, but now their busy time is 10:00 because the 0:10 offering time was added to their previous busy time.  The number of handled calls is 1 and the number of busy calls is 2.

Average handling time = 9:00/1 = 9:00

Average processing time = 9:40/1 = 9:40

Average busy time = 10:00/2 = 5:00