Call centers use many metrics to evaluate and improve their agent’s efficiency and productivity. The occupancy rate is one such metric that determines how busy their agents are, whether their contact center is understaffed or overstaffed, and the effectiveness of their service. 

What Is Occupancy Rate?

The occupancy rate refers to the percentage of time that advisors spend doing call-related activities. It includes the talk time, holds time, and after-call work, such as data entry and sending emails. 

How to Calculate Call Center Occupancy Rate?

Call center occupancy rate formula:

Occupancy = (Time spent on call-related activity / Total logged-in time) X 100

Where, 

  • Time spent on call-related activity = Total talk time + Total hold time + Total after-call work time
  • Total Logged-in time = The time spent in the system (between sign in and sign out)

Call-Center-Occupancy-Rate

Here’s an example to help you better understand how to calculate the occupancy rate for two agents: 

AgentsSigned InSigned OutTotal Logged-in Time (mins)Total Talk Time (mins)Total Hold Time (mins)Total After-Call Work Time (mins)Total Handling Time (mins)
109:3015:303001912245258
209:2715:333061971851266
Total606524

Occupancy for Agent 1: (258/300) X 100 = 86.0% 

Occupancy for Agent 2: (266/306) X 100 = 86.92%

Overall Occupancy Rate: (524/606) X100 = 86.46%

Try to maintain your agents’ occupancy rate between 85-90%. A number less than that could lead to a reduction in customer satisfaction, and a number more than that could lead to agent burnout. 

How to Optimize Call Center Occupancy Rate?

1- Monitor Call Volume At Different Times

The amount of incoming calls varies throughout the day. There will be both peak and quiet hours. By monitoring call volume across hours and days, you will be better able to determine the appropriate staffing level for both busy and quiet periods. 

2- Hold Cross-Training Programs

Blended agents boost call center occupancy rates by handling both inbound and outbound calls. But, to make handling inbound and outbound calls effectively, you will need to hold cross-training programs. It would teach agents about the best practices for both types of calls and prepare them to handle more calls during quiet hours. 

Hiring Remote Agents

3- Reduce the Number of Agents

Overstaffing is one of the biggest reasons for a low occupancy rate. Analyze the number of calls received in the last three months to determine an approximate number of the calls you are likely to receive in the coming months. You can then reduce the number of agents accordingly to maintain higher occupancy rates throughout the call center. 

4- Consider Partial Outsourcing or Hiring Remote Agents

It might not be easy to attend all the calls during peak hours. If you rush agents to complete the calls quickly and hop onto another, it might hurt the customer satisfaction rate. Thus, consider outsourcing or hiring remote agents to handle additional calls during peak hours. It ensures the occupancy rate is maximum for each employee without compromising the service quality. 

Conclusion

Maintaining a good occupancy rate improves agent productivity, satisfaction, and customer satisfaction. Use the four steps mentioned above to optimize your call center occupancy rate. 

How do you optimize the occupancy rate in your contact center? Did we miss any of the ways to optimize the call center occupancy rate? Let us know in the comments.  

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