Tip of the Week

  • More definitions for “utilization.”

    April 17 – 

    Last week’s tip gave three different definitions for the term “utilization” in contact centers.  Utilization is one of those call center terms often defined differently by people in the industry that doesn’t seem to have a “standard” definition.

    And there are even more definitions of this term.  For those of us with financial backgrounds, utilization is typically reflected in a dollar amount.  Utilization is the cost percentage of the total resource base currently in production. This can be expressed in several ways, the two most common are:

    Resource base:  Cost of total paid staffed agent time divided by the cost of total agent headcount cost base (i.e., today we paid 900 agents x 8hrs of our 1000 hired/trained agent base).  This may sometimes be expressed as a percentage of daily/weekly/monthly headcount staffed divided by headcount hired/trained.  Cost comparatives of day-of-week can be evaluated this way.

    Workload base: Cost of staffed Availability hours (Idle + Occup + Non-Waste Shrinkage of training, team meetings, 1:1, etc.) divided by the cost of total staffed.  This is similar to one of the definitions from last week’s tip but includes all of the productive work that an agent does during the work day, not just incoming calls.  Cost-per-call, and cost-per-call-minute are critical budget planning tools.

    It’s all about actionable data.  Based on the priorities, metrics and comparatives in your contact center, Utilization can be used to present several very high-impact metrics.  And the cost comparatives serve well to provide alignment of WFM with our Budget and Finance peers!

    Note: This week’s tip was provided by David Trayser of Scott & White Health Plan. He can be reached at david.trayser@BSWHealth.org

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