What Is Occupancy Rate & Why Does It Matter?

Occupancy rate is one of the most widely used metrics in contact centres – and for good reason. It gives you an idea of what your agents are doing on a day-to-day basis and how much time they spend handling calls. Armed with this information, you can make better decisions on how to delegate tasks to your agents and schedule shifts.

Keep reading to learn more about this important KPI and how you can use it to optimize contact centre efficiency!

What Is Occupancy Rate?

Occupancy rate is the percentage of time that an agent actually spends handling calls. It is calculated by dividing an agent’s work time by their total time worked. Work time includes the time your agents spend on hold and talking to callers, as well as the work that is completed following a call.

There are several contact centre systems that have features designed to collect data and calculate agent occupancy rates. It’s important to bear in mind, however, that a higher occupancy rate isn’t always better.

What Is a Good Occupancy Rate for a Contact Centre?

Contact centre occupancy is a metric that is often confused with an agent’s productivity. In actuality, occupancy rate measures the amount of time spent on active calls, which does not infer anything about how efficient an agent is during this time.

An ideal occupancy rate for contact centres is 85-90%. An occupancy rate of 100% isn’t ideal because if your agents are constantly working at full capacity problems like burnout, low job satisfaction, and high turnover rates will arise. This, in turn, can impact customer satisfaction and the quality of service at your contact centre.

Ways to Improve Your Occupancy Rate

If your occupancy rate is below the 85-90% range, these tactics can help bring that number up:   

Analyze Trends in Call Volume

Paying close attention to call volume trends is a great way to anticipate customer demand going forward. With this historical data, you can pinpoint which days, weeks, and times of the year are the busiest for your contact centre.

Schedule Strategically

Once you’ve established call volume trends, that data can be used to optimize staff scheduling. Instead of having agents sitting idle because there aren’t enough calls coming in, you can schedule the appropriate number of agents for each shift and save money in the process.

Utilize Call-Back Technology

No matter how accurate your call volume forecasting may be, it won’t be correct 100% of the time. As we’ve all come to realize over this past year, unexpected events can cause a surge in calls and your contact centre may not be equipped to handle this higher volume.

In these scenarios, call-back technology is a great go-to. Customers won’t have to wait on hold for an obscene amount of time but will instead be called back once an agent is free.

Your occupancy rate can give you important insight into how efficiently your contact centre is running. When you pay close attention to this metric and adapt your practices accordingly, you set up your contact centre for success.

At Innovative Vision, we are passionate about the world of Customer Experience. Founded in 2002, we are a marketing technology firm specializing in Contact Centre BPO. Through the power of omnichannel support and hybrid live agent/AI models, we ensure that every interaction that a customer has with your business is positive and meaningful.

Allow us to inspire your company to grow through our enhanced approach to guiding the customer journey. To learn more about our advanced and specialized services, contact us today!

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