Scott Casson

Occupancy, The Most Misunderstood Metric

Does your center measure, and manage Occupancy? If so, are you measuring it correctly, and how are you using the information to improve your operation? If you are not, should you be?

Occupancy is the most misunderstood metric in the Contact Center, and this misunderstanding occurs even by people who are outstanding Contact Center leaders. Occupancy is the measure of how busy your agents are when they are available to take a call. Seems straightforward, right? Maybe, but to make sure you are looking at Occupancy correctly you must know what is meant by "available to handle a call"

Let's take an example, if my center has an average Occupancy of 96% this would indicate my agents are extremely busy, correct? Maybe, but if this same center has an "Not Ready" percentage of 40% (essentially this is the time agents are being paid but not on the phone), then the answer to the "are my agents busy" question may be drastically different. In this example my agents are very busy when they are available to take a call, 60% (100% - 40% "Not Ready) of the time, which equates to a very low "Phone Utilization" of 57.6% or (100%-40%)/96.% = 57.6%). In this situation high agent "Not Ready" is causing a "perceived state of being busy", and your center is most likely struggling on a daily basis to meet its Service Levels.

Occupancy is an excellent metric to measure and manage, but you must be certain you are using the information accurately.