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Available Time

Definition

What is the available time?

Available time, also known as idle time, is the amount of time that its usual users can use a computing system in a given period. The system must be operational, have electricity, and not be undergoing repair or maintenance during the allotted period. 

Available time in call centers refers to the time spent by agents who are ready to answer calls. An agent is accessible if they are logged into the automatic call distributor (ACD) and not engaged in another duty like chatting to a customer or performing after-call wrap (ACW).

The system must be operational, have electricity, and not need repair or maintenance when it is available.

Available Time
What is the available time?

What is the purpose of available time?

The available time is important in a contact center as it is the resource set aside to protect KPIs from unexpected spikes in contact volume. Agents’ well-being is also protected by available time.

Nobody is prepared to take the following call if there is no available time. As a result, clients must begin to queue. The queue will not shrink if call volume is constant, and KPIs will be risked.

Common causes of available time

Many factors that can result in the available time. However, the following are some of the most common reasons for available time:

Administrative and workflow inefficiencies

To eliminate process and workflow inefficiencies, look into poorly managed business and production procedures, wait for approvals and lack available tools to complete given task orders. Other reasons could be:

  • Inadequate planning
  • Keeping competent workers on the job during downturns
  • Recruiting skilled personnel in anticipation of future expansion

Economic factors

The economic reasons are those that occur as a result of a product’s lack of demand. The cost of idle time incurred as a result of the following factors:

  • Market drops as a result of a lockdown or strike.
  • The economy is experiencing a general downturn.
  • Because it is the off-season, there is no need for a seasonal product.
  • Because of cyclical swings, demand for the product has decreased.

Inefficiencies among employees

Employees are not robots, and some can be more efficient than others. To avoid burnout, they need to take pauses. Some inefficiencies are caused by newly hired personnel adjusting to their new jobs. You may improve your onboarding process and create a company culture where everyone is responsible for their actions to address worker inefficiency.

Available time best practices

In centers with fewer sets, managing time is much more difficult. The agent not accepting calls accounts for a more considerable percentage of the overall number of agents.

Optimize the company processes. Inefficiencies in workflow and processes are a common cause of idle time. It is why every company should endeavor to identify and eliminate bottlenecks and other problems caused by inefficiencies. 

To reduce available time, always make sure the production process is well-planned and controlled. Conduct thorough and regular inspections of production plants to avoid frequent power outages. Give explicit instructions ahead of time to avoid wasting time on clarifications.

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