Agent Utilization Rate

Definition

What is the Agent Utilization Rate?

Agent utilization rate represents the percentage of time an active agent consumes on calls or performing call-related work. Call centers use a wide range of agent utilization rates.

It may also be useful for production scheduling, over-or under-staffing, hours of service, and supported languages.

Very high agent utilization rates will potentially boost the costs by driving up the agent turnover rate. Whenever agent usage rates hit 60–70 percent, the service desk will experience comparatively high agent turnover when it forces the agents too hard, leading to burnout and poor morale.

Agent utilization rate calculation

Agent utilization is the best indicator of productivity growth. Since agent wages and benefits account for more than half of all service desk expenses, if agent usage is high, the cost per touch would be correspondingly low.

To calculate the agent utilization rate, take the amount of time your agents are recorded to be on call or doing call-related duties and split it by the actual time they are on the clock. Then, multiply the corresponding amount by 100, and you have the proportion of agent consumption.

 

What is the Agent Utilization Rate
What is the Agent Utilization Rate?

Outsourcing FAQ

What is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the engagement of services from a third-party provider. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to hasten the delivery of services. The business activities could be back-office such as, but not limited to, payroll, accounting, human resources, or front office jobs like customer service, sales, and marketing, etc. In the case of content providers, these business activities could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business activities use their time on core services and competencies. With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes that may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies. Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

When a business engages an external specialist to manage and operate some of its internal processes, it's referred to as business process outsourcing. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales. It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.

Now, business process outsourcing has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?

There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. The common benefits include:

Cost savings: significant savings of up to 70%, leveraging the lower global salaries Global market: access to a bigger employment pool of talent Global presence: having operational across the globe increases trade opportunities Flexible workforce: reduces internal local labour and employment compliance obligations Leverage skill: leveraging the skills of other specialist companies Focus: enables the client company to focus on their core functions

 

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing many millions of people worldwide. Some examples include:

Big enterprise

Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber

Medium-size businesses

A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines.

Small business and entrepreneur

It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for hem full time, remotely from the Philippines.

What are the different types of BPO?

The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size.

Generalist or specialist BPOs

Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalist, in that they offer a full range of professional services, although some specialise in certain verticals (ie accounting, or animation).

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates form developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages.

Size of BPO

The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people.

Functions of business process outsourcing

Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include:

Finance and accounting: operational, technical and specialist functions Healthcare: various functions of the backend of the healthcare and health-insurance industries Creative and content: everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content Tech, IT and development: network management, web and app development and maintenance Sales & customer support: ongoing sales and customer operational support and delivery Marketing: ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities Talent and HR: externalising the management of company HR, recruitment and compliance Administration: general business administration and operational activities Top BPO companies in the world's top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of BPO companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them have even earned awards and recognitions by award-giving bodies due to their performance on both the roles they take and on their way of taking care of the employees.

Check out the top BPO companies in several outsourcing destinations below:

Top BPO companies in the Philippines Top Indian BPO companies Top South African BPO companies Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 4,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing.

What is Agent Occupancy?

What is Agent Occupancy?

Agent occupancy means that the percentage of time spent on answering inbound calls by a call center agent is against the available or idle time. It can be measured by dividing the workload time by staff time. It is a statistic used to measure the efficiency of a call center agent.

The agent occupancy is sometimes confused with the utilization of agents. Both metrics have the same numerator but they have different denominators. The agent occupancy denominator is the cumulative time the speech, text, or chat agent logs into the framework, far different from agent utilization. Meanwhile, agent utilization indicates the overall time consumed by an agent through chat, voice, and email.

How to calculate the agent occupancy?

Agent occupancy is a standard and significant service desk indicator for monitoring and trends. This is because it gives an example of how active agents are when logging into the system. However, for the reasons outlined. The Occupancy Rate and the Service Level will inform you whether the personnel level is set correctly for any given period.

Here is the formula for agent occupancy rate:

Agent Occupancy Rate = Handle time (talk time + after call work time) / time signed into a queue.

 

What is Key Performance Indicator (KPI)?

Key Performance Indicator definition

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a critical indicator of a company’s progress in reaching its objectives. It is used by different organizations at different levels to evaluate each process that contributes to the progress of the company and its overall performance.

Critical indicators are categorized into two categories: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative is based on numerical standards of a goal while qualitative refers to the quality based on physical feelings, tastes, or opinions. They are also measured into five types: input, process, output, outcome, and project. Since this is an embodiment of a SMART goal, it measures its objectives and individual goals through the methodology and presents it in data form. 

Key Performance Indicator examples

Indicators may fall into different points of measurement: financial metrics, process metrics, customer metrics, and people metrics. For instance, assessment of net profit, cost of goods sold, and the tally of revenue vs. target falls on the financial metrics. For people metrics, there’s the average number of employee turnover, training and seminars held for employees, and the number of open positions every quarter. Process metrics, meanwhile, measures the number of processes it has for each role over the efficiency of these processes.

The BPO sector also has a set of KPIs followed. Supervisors monitor and measure the performance of its employees through the average number of calls in a day, the percentage of call drop rates, call handling time, transfer rate, and the average of issues the agent resolved since the first call.

Outsource Accelerator provides you the best outsourcing companies in the Philippines, where you can save up-to 70% on staffing cost. We have over 3,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, outsourcing.

What is Internal Metrics?

Definition of Internal Metrics

Internal metrics are methods introduced and applied to measure the success of inbound or outbound call centers. Usually, a call center works in a pressured atmosphere where administrators need to handle tasks, including the timely response to every call while maintaining a high degree of customer support, and customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Internal metrics are evaluation indicators used for the assessment, comparison, and monitoring of results or output. Usually, companies use a group of metrics to create a dashboard that managers or consultants analyze daily to maintain performance reviews, perceptions, and business objectives.

Call center internal metrics 

Average Handle Time (AHT). AHT is the approximate length of the entire customer service transaction, from the time the customer initiates the call until the completion of the conversation.

Blocking Rate. Blockage Metric lets the staff track the number of calls that could not be addressed due to business constraints or infrastructure problems. 

Cost per Contact. The Cost per Contact KPI calculates how much each contact costs your call center, which is a vital part of the cost-benefit study at the same time.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). Consumer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a sign of customer pleasure. CSAT is based on a brief survey that consumers fill out after a discussion.

Forecasted Calls vs. Actual Calls. It is a primary factor in deciding the actual amount of capital needed, calculated as a proportion of the difference between the number of calls predicted and the number of calls received.

Number of Calls Offered. It is the total number of calls sent to the call center, including abandoned calls or calls where the caller gets a busy signal.

 

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