The average handle time is how long a teammate spends actively working with the conversation open, from the time a draft is started to the time the message is sent.
Starting a draft is a requirement for registering handle time. The timer does not begin to record the metric until you open a draft. This is a crucial productivity metric that helps you track how long your teammates spend working on conversations.
- Handle time is not impacted by business hours or any Shifts that teammate is on.
- Handle time will start from the time a teammate clicks on the Reply button in a message, meaning a draft has been started.
- Handle time is used to measure the time spent actually working on crafting a reply. It is a great tool to measure the work a teammate has to put into answering an individual email.
- If you open conversation A for 5 minutes, then open conversation B, but then return to conversation A and start a draft, the first 5 minutes would not be counted toward conversation A's handle time, since a draft was not started in the first session.
- Handle time is counted only for the time a conversation is viewed by a teammate. Ex: Jane opens conversation A, starts a draft and works on it for 1 minute but does not send it. She moves to conversation B for 10 min, goes back to conversation A, works on it for 2 more min and hits send. The handle time recorded will be 3 min.
- Handle time is not recorded if you don't send a reply. If Jane opens conversation 1, read it for 10 min and then moves on, there will be no handle time recorded.
- With shared drafts, all handle times are tracked for each teammate separately, but only the handle time of the sender is recorded. Ex: Jane and Mary both work on a shared draft. Jane works on it for 4 min before Mary takes over the draft, works on it for 2 min and hits send. The handle time recorded will be attributed to Mary and will be 2 min.
- The analytics track each teammate who replies in a conversation, regardless of the official assignee of the conversation. If a conversation is assigned to Mary, but Sophia responds because she is unavailable, Sophia will get a reaction time, a reply time, and a handle time.
- Handle time is capped at 60 min, to eliminate outliers (computer goes to sleep, multiple tabs open, lunch break, etc.). If you take a 59 min lunch break, the best way to handle that is to look at another conversation and then go back to the initial one and start your draft.
- See this article for more examples in action.