The average speed of answer (ASA) is a crucial metric in call centers that measures the average time customers wait to speak with an agent. In today's fast-paced world, customers expect quick and efficient service, and a long wait time can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. ASA is essential for call centers as it reflects the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. 

Call centers that can manage and reduce ASA can improve customer satisfaction, agent productivity, and overall call center performance. In this article, we will discuss the factors that affect ASA, methods to reduce it, benefits of improving ASA, and challenges in managing it. Read on to gain insights into monitoring and managing ASA effectively.

The Importance of ASA

The average speed of answer (ASA) is an essential metric for call centers, as it measures the average time customers wait to speak with an agent. Here are some reasons why ASA is important:

  • Performance metrics: ASA is a critical metric that reflects the overall performance of a call center. High ASA may indicate issues such as understaffing or inadequate training, while low ASA can indicate a well-functioning call center.
  • Agent productivity: When the ASA is high, agents may become overwhelmed and feel pressure to rush through calls, leading to lower productivity and burnout. Reducing ASA can help agents work more efficiently, improving their morale and productivity.
  • Customer satisfaction: Customers are more likely to have a positive experience when they don't have to wait long to speak with an agent. A low ASA indicates that the call center values its time and is committed to providing excellent service.
  • Cost savings: A high ASA means more customers are waiting on hold, resulting in longer handle times and increased costs. By reducing ASA, call centers can save money on staffing and infrastructure expenses.

Factors affecting ASA

Call volume

Call volume refers to the number of incoming calls, and a high volume of calls can result in longer wait times and higher ASA

Number of agents available

The number of available agents to handle calls is also a crucial factor, as a shortage of staff can increase wait times and ASA.

Call handling time

The time it takes for agents to handle each call, including wrap-up time, affects the number of calls answered and the ASA.

Time of day and day of week

Time of day and day of the week can impact ASA, as call volumes tend to be higher during peak hours and days.

>>> Read more: 8 Essential Call Center Metrics For Customer Experience and Agent Productivity

Methods To Reduce ASA

Enhance call forecasting

Accurate call volume forecasting is the first step in lowering ASA in the call center. By doing this, management will establish a strong base from which to accurately staff and schedule agents by anticipated call volume. Teams will be well-equipped to handle the needs of incoming calls, which will significantly reduce ASA in the call center.

Enhance call volume prediction

Forecasting call volume more accurately is a good approach to lower ASA in your startup. Managers can accurately staff their teams to accommodate the anticipated call load. Such action will significantly lower the ASA. A team that is adequately staffed and ready to handle the anticipated volume of incoming calls will be able to answer calls more effectively, leading to a low ASA.

Provide agent training

Agents must possess the essential skills to effectively and efficiently address callers' requests if the average speed of answers in the call center is to be decreased. This lowers handle time and allows workers to answer more calls, lowering ASA.

Make certain that call center agents receive training on the value of ASA, call handling best practices, and effective problem-resolution techniques. The product, the call center software they use, the help desk, and other integrated business tools should all be thoroughly trained by the agents.

Finally, managers should instruct agents where to find solutions and who to ask for assistance when they are stuck. 

Optimize call routing

In addition to the agents, the contact center software can also be a useful instrument for ASA reduction. Make sure the routing capability in your contact center software is efficient. This will allow the caller to be connected with an agent who is most equipped to handle the situation. A situation like this would lead to faster first-call resolution and shorter handle times. A lower ASA in your contact center and higher customer happiness will be the result. 

To optimize call routing, businesses should provide decent contact center software with this feature. You can refer to StringeeX Contact Center Software, which helps you create suitable IVR while routing the calls to proper departments. Hit contact us to have more information. 

Reduce agent attrition

Any contact center's agents determine how effective it is. The goal of a startup should be to keep a team on board and reduce turnover once they have been carefully selected and educated. A contact center's ASA will decrease since trained and experienced personnel can reply to consumer calls quickly. 

Also, seasoned agents can reduce handling time, improve customer service standards, and increase first-call resolution. Your contact center's ASA will unavoidably decline as a result of these causes.

Improve workforce management

The key to lowering ASA in your call center is efficiency. Making sure that the appropriate agents with the appropriate abilities are handling the inbound calls in your center is necessary to boost efficiency. 

Your staff management can be improved to meet the goal of ASA reduction. While maximizing your workforce, you should also take into account variables like agent scheduling, schedule adherence, and occupancy rates.


The average speed of answer (ASA) is a critical metric in call centers that measures the average time customers wait to speak with an agent. High ASA can lead to lower customer satisfaction, reduced agent productivity, increased costs, and poor call center performance. However, call centers can reduce ASA by increasing staffing levels, improving agent efficiency, implementing self-service options, and prioritizing calls. 

Managing ASA is not without its challenges, but it is essential for call centers to monitor and analyze ASA regularly to improve their operations continually. By focusing on reducing ASA, call centers can enhance customer satisfaction, increase agent productivity, and improve overall performance.