Calculating Occupancy in the Contact Center

By: Peg Ayers & Turaj Seyrafiaan

Occupancy Definition: The percentage of your agent’s logged-in time spent in direct contact with a customer or in activities directly following and related to that contact (e.g. After Call Work).

Calculation: Total Contact Time (Talk Time + After Call Work) /Total Logged-in Time
The equation can be applied for any period of time (day, week, month, etc.) for an individual or any group of agents

Example: An agent’s shift is from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (8 hours) where she has 30 minutes for lunch and 2- 15 minutes break (7 hours or 420 minutes logged-in). During this time the agent handles 150 calls which take two minutes each (AHT = 2 minutes) for a total of 300 minutes. The occupancy for this agent is calculated as (300/420) x 100 = 71.4%.

Let’s say this agent is in coaching for 60 minutes during her shift (Aux for 60 minutes, logged-in for 360 minutes). In this case, her occupancy is calculated as (300/360) x 100 = 83.3%.

Goals for Optimal Occupancy

The optimum occupancy percentage varies by the type of business and by the customer and employee experience goals of the organization. Occupancy that’s too high means that agents are busy and your callers have to wait for an available agent. This also can lead to higher employee attrition (burn out) or agents trying to create artificial free time (expending too much time for ACW or their breaks). But occupancy that’s too low means higher staffing costs (your agents are waiting for the caller). If you’re looking for extremely high Service Levels and very low Average Speed of Answer, you’ll need to run a lower Occupancy rate, to ensure your agents are ready for the next contact. Keep in mind that smaller contact centers have lower occupancy than a larger centers targeting the same Service Level. The larger the center, the easier it is to answer calls efficiently.

Play With Occupancy Specific to Your Organizational Goals

Experimenting with Occupancy can show you the sweet spot for your organization.

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