Call center agent utilization is a popular metric that seamlessly represents the ratio of agents’ productivity (i.e. work produced) divided by their capacity. Being straightforward and generic in nature, this workforce management metric plays a crucial role in gaining insights into the effectiveness of a call center’s processes.
Agent utilization is usually considered similar to agent occupancy but these metrics are absolutely different. While agent utilization represents the percentage of agents’ total shift invested on call-related duties, agent occupancy highlights the time that agents spend to handle calls and perform non-call-related tasks.
It’s not easy to measure call center agent utilization because it considers multiple activities apart from the calls and the related after-call work. This involves the miscellaneous time spent by agents in team meetings, breaks, sick time, etc.
The call center agent utilization can be measured by the sum of the average time spent on inbound calls as well as outbound calls by an agent in a month (in minutes), divided by the average time the agent has worked for in the month (in minutes).
There’s no doubt that running a contact center successfully requires a constant balance between agents and customers. While most contact center managers focus on elevating agents’ productivity to keep customers happy & reduce costs, they often over-pressurize the agents leading to high attrition. According to the HDI report, if your call center agent utilization rates are approaching 60–70%, it means you’re pushing agents too hard, causing burnout and high turnover.
With the call center agent utilization metric, you can gain insights into the productive time spent (i.e. what percentage of agents’ time goes in handling customer calls). By measuring agents on the basis of reasonable expectations, it helps to keep them happy which can contribute to productivity enhancements. As the agents aren’t overtaxed, they work efficiently that plays a key role in elevating customer satisfaction too!
Moreover, the call center agent utilization metric is directly related to the cost per call metric. A low agent utilization represents that agents are sitting idle, leading to a higher cost per call. With effective call center agent utilization, it becomes easy to ensure that the money is being used efficiently.
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Call center agent utilization is a metric that represents the percentage of time that agents spend on handling calls & customer interactions and call-related work.
The average agent utilization rate across the world is around 48 percent, while the range of this metric varies widely from 22 percent to 76 percent.
It can be calculated by the sum of the average time spent on inbound calls as well as outbound calls by an agent in a month (in minutes), divided by the average time the agent has worked for in the month (in minutes).
A KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a set of measurable values that reflects how effectively a call center is achieving its desired goals.
There are various quality assurance metrics used in a call center which include: