Calculating Agent Availability %

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Looking for some clarity around how to calculate the % of time an inbound agent is waiting for a call

Currently, the centre I am in calculates this by Available Time divided by Staff Time (time logged into phones).

I think that the calculation should be Available Time divided by Staff Time minus any Aux codes.

I think this will give a more accurate reflection of % time spent waiting on a call as by definition an agent cannot be waiting on a call if they are on a break, in a meeting, etc.

This will increase our availability % but seems to be to be a true reflection

Is there a standard way to measure this?

Question asked by Scott

Keep aside the AUXcodes

I would keep aside the AUXcodes related to break – the other AUX codes may need consideration depending upon the purpose of the codes.

For example if the agent is on AUX 2 meant for email handling – then a) you didnt have the agent at that time for call handling so that time should not be considered b) AUX 2 time should be taken for email handling aviable time.

where as if the agent was on AUX 3 ( feedback) then that time should hit your avaiability

With thanks to dimitrz

Exclude wrap up time

You are right about needing to exclude break time etc. You will also need to exclude wrap up time.

But you also need to ensure that wrap up time is connected with the previous call. It is not for going to the loo, getting a cup of tea etc.

With thanks to Jonty

The Relationship Between a Person Available and the Time You Pay that Person

I never liked these definitions – they all end up expressing a relative %; it is theoretically possible for someone to be 100% available without ever being on the phone, as long as the person clocks enough ‘approved’ exceptions. In the end, it is the relationship between a person available for productive work (taking calls) and the time you pay that person. An example: a productive agent does not need a lot of coaching / feedback, and spends more time available for calls. The agent who does need a lot of help is effectively given credit to get off the phone. Agree?

With thanks to dlexmond

Measure the Efficiency of the Centre, Not of the Agent.

Given that Available time is the definition of the time an agent is logged in and available for calls (i.e. not actually on a call or in wrap) then this is about measuring the efficiency of the centre, not of the agent.

High availability means agents waiting a long time for calls and thus overstaffing; low availability means a likely degraded service level and agents taking calls in very quick succession.

Whilst it is correct to say that an agent could theoretically be available for 100% of the time, this just means that for the limited time they were logged in to take calls that they didn’t take any. That’s an issue that the Resource Planners need to face up to, not the agent.

With thanks to Scott

The Inverse of Occupancy

Yes, you are right – your definition is about the inverse of occupancy. The higher it is the lower the efficiency of the resource utilization. It’s either a function of size (i.e. a group of 10 agents has to run at higher availability than a group of 100 to maintain similar service levels), or scheduling efficiency. That could be a result of poor scheduling techniques, or a bunch of restrictions placed on resource planning in terms of what schedule types they are allowed to create (i.e. only one weekend day per shift type, all full timers, no part timers, block schedules – where an entire team works the same shift, etc).

With thanks to dlexmond

Whatever Level gets you the Service Levels that you Require

One answer is whatever level gets you the service levels that you require.

That may sound a little cheeky, but what I mean is that if you have a requirement or an SLA of 95/10 then you will probably have to have a higher availability percentage to meet that. If availability is low, then callers will be queuing and you won’t meet that target.

If you mean that you are currently hitting 95/10, but don’t actually need to, then you are over delivering on answer time and under utilising staff.

Not sure if that answers your question, though!

With thanks to Scott

Any views?

In our call centre (complaints department), the agents have an AHT (whilst on call) plus a further 5 mins after call work in which to log everything. They then have to become available. Whilst waiting for the next call; sometimes seconds and sometimes 5 mins; they have to work on their existing cases. I have argued that they can not be measured as available when still working on previous case or even a written complaint. This can involve reading letters/emails, checking records, listening to a call recording and writing letters. Anyone have any views on this or advice on how I can explain myself any clearer?

With thanks to monitoring

Separate the Call Activity from the Administrative Activity

I think you need to separate the call activity from the administrative activity

Determine when your agents receive calls and make a # available to service the calls whilst the rest of the team action the complaints.

You could also do a rotating schedule to ensure all agents get to do admin as well as service calls

With thanks to Lucrecia

It Really Depends

My first question would be, it really depends on what system is being used, each system factors all points mentioned above in some form or the other, though if we go by monitoring inbound KPI’s as such here are the two critical ones that are monitored:

Availability Rate: It is the percentage of time agents are logged in and ready for calls.

It is calculated as:

(Waiting for Calls Time + Talk Time + Wrap Time)/Login Time * 100


Login Time – Idle Time / Login Time * 100

Utilization Rate: It is the percentage of time agents handle customer calls versus the time logged in.

(Talk Time + Wrap Time) / Login Time * 100


(Login Time – Idle Time – Waiting for Calls Time) / Login Time * 100

A combination of these two can be used in any way to come up with stat’s relevant to your process.

With thanks to technologyprovider

Occupancy is indeed opposite to availability.

Occupancy is indeed opposite to availability.

The occupancy formula

Occupancy (percentage) = (the total amount of time that an agent is taking calls or contacts + after call work) / (the total amount of time that they are logged in to the ACD system)

With thanks to Jonty

Work Should be Separate

I think inbound, outbound, administrative work should be separate. After that you have to fixed what will be consider for availability. It can be how many time you are dialing outbound, or how many time you are login on system without pause for inbound also.

With thanks to nahidbd501

Author: Jonty Pearce

Published On: 12th Apr 2022 - Last modified: 21st Apr 2022
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