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What is call center occupancy?

Call center occupancy refers to the time when customer agents are busy while engaging the customer like on calls, waiting for calls, or on hold. Well, the ideal occupancy rate is 85-90%, according to the Contact Center Helper. This is because greater customer engagement leads to higher customer satisfaction by reducing wait times, giving rapid responses, and having the capacity to upsell and assess services.

How Can You Calculate the Occupancy Rate?

Well, calculating the occupancy rate in the call center is not as easy as it may look.

Consider a customer representative who spends almost 45 minutes out of a 60-minutes session (1 hour) on the phone. Then, he's got a 75% occupancy rate (or simply "occupancy"). That is a rather simple procedure.

However, we must go further into the term "call-related," which is the numerator of the fraction. Agents are frequently on hold during interactions while awaiting the conclusion of another process, so we need to offer more than just "chat time." We must also take into work efforts made after the call to "close" the business. "After Call Work" (ACW) is another name for the same.

It might be tough to tell the difference between ACW and other non-call jobs. It's crucial to limit this to activities that are directly related to that particular call and to leave out general non-call duties. 

To be in easy words, calculating the call center rate includes all the call handle time during the defined time period. 

Average Handling Time = (Talk Time + Hold Time + Wrap-Up Time) / Total Calls

How to Calculate Call Center Occupancy Rate?

Here, we are going to mention the widest formula for call center occupancy is:

Call Center Occupancy Rate = Sum of Total Handle Time / (Sum of all Handle Time + Available Time)

Ways to Enhance Call Center Occupancy Rate

Well, here we are going to mention a few ways that play a vital role to improve the occupancy rate in call centers. So, let’s have a look at them!

1. Monitoring Call Volumes at Various Times:

As we know, the number of calls can vary throughout the day. And also, there will be peak and quiet hours. So, if you measure call volume throughout the hours and days, you'll be able to determine the appropriate staffing level for both busy and quiet periods.

2. Put Cross-Training Programs:

Blended agents improve the occupancy rates of a call center by handling both inbound and outbound calls. However, you will need to arrange training sessions for the agents in order to efficiently manage inbound and outbound calls. It would teach them how to manage both types of calls and empower them to handle more calls during quiet hours.

3. Minimize the Number of Agents:

Overstaffing is one of the leading reasons for low occupancy rates. Analyze the number of calls you've gotten in the last three months to forecast how many you'll get in the next months. The number of agents can then be lowered to maintain higher contact center occupancy rates.

4. Consider Partial Outsourcing or Recruiting Remote Workers:

It may be difficult to answer all calls during peak hours. Client satisfaction may deteriorate if agents are pressed to end calls quickly and move on to the next. To handle more calls during peak hours, consider hiring or outsourcing remote operators. It ensures that the occupancy rate is kept as high as feasible.

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