Average Speed of Answer

What Does it Mean?

Average speed of answer (ASA) refers to the time it takes for calls to be answered from the instant a customer is placed in a queue to the moment an agent answers the call. This doesn’t include the time spent routing a customer to the appropriate queue, or time spent interacting with an interactive voice response system. ASA does include the time spent while the phone is ringing for agents.

Call Center Analytics - Customer Service Dashboard A Call Center Analytics Sisense Dashboard

Why Does it Matter?

ASA is an important efficiency metric for call centers, as it measures both a team’s overall performance—faster ASA is likely indicative of better performance—and accessibility for customers. One key aspect of ASA is that it is closely related to several satisfaction metrics and can highlight bigger challenges than simply long waiting times.

The average speed of answer industry standard is generally 28 seconds. Longer ASA can translate directly to worse customer satisfaction and increased agent burnout.

How Do You Measure the KPI?

Because it measures different parts of a call—which are sometimes separated by an IVR interaction—tracking ASA for your customer service dashboard begins with aggregating totals for both time spent in a queue and waiting while an agent’s phone rings. This means adding up waiting time for every call into a single figure.

With that in hand, the average speed of answer formula divides that by the total number of calls answered during the period you’re measuring. It’s important to note that this measure doesn’t include calls dropped or abandoned by customers.

What Sources Would You Use to Measure the KPI?

To build an average speed of answer calculator, you can aggregate data that arrives from customer satisfaction surveys and questionnaires, CRMs, and call center analytics tools.

Give Me an Example…

Let’s imagine your call center has been struggling with a decreased volume of calls completed for several weeks. This can be attributed to several things, and indeed, KPIs like abandonment rate and satisfaction are worsening across the board.

One of the first areas you can check to resolve the issue is how long customers are waiting to be helped. A longer ASA can signify that there is a problem in your routing and queueing or how long agents are taking between calls.

What Benchmarks/Indicators Should I Use?

  • Total time waiting
  • Total customer queue time
  • Time between calls

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