Top Tips to Optimize Occupancy and Utilization


In this video Ray Agar, Solutions Consultant at injixo, explains the differences between occupancy and utilization, and how contact centres can optimize them.

What Is Occupancy?

Ray Agar, Solutions Consultant at injixo
Ray Agar

For me, occupancy is the percentage of time that an agent is either on a call or in ACW, or doing after-call work. And it answers the question for what percentage of the time are the advisors logged in, live, and actually busy, or are they available to do more.

It’s really important in schedule design, so I would use it when I’m designing my schedules or to improve my schedule optimization. Really it’s to make sure that you’re using your resources effectively.

What Is Utilization?

Utilization is the percentage of time that the agent is available for work. And it answers the question for what percentage of the time that I pay my agent are they logged in and assisting, or available, or speaking to a customer.

It also takes into account internal shrinkage activities, things like coaching and training sessions, team meetings, and one-to-ones, all those kinds of things.

And it’s really important in calculating overhead costs and shrinkage for when you’re designing your schedules.

Key Differences Between Occupancy and Utilization

For me, utilization helps you measure agent efficiency. It can be used to understand staffing requirements, and helps you measure things like shrinkage and overheads.

Whereas occupancy reflects how busy, or not, your agents are. It helps you understand the the workload, and whether your agents are due to burn out, or whether you’re going to have high turnover.

Utilization considers the total work time, and that includes things like training sessions, meetings, and one-to-ones, but occupancy only considers the time when advisors are active and actually on the contact centre floor.

Factors That Impact Occupancy and Utilization

So the kinds of things that can affect both of them really are:

  • the types of interactions that the contact centre handles,
  • the volumes, whether they’re high volumes or low volumes (so high utilization, low occupancy),
  • the skill levels of the contact centre agents,
  • how efficient the contact centre processes are,
  • the tools and technology that the contact centre uses.

All of these things can really affect both utilization and occupancy.

How to Optimize Occupancy and Utilization

If you want to optimize both utilization and occupancy, the things that you can try are:

  • proper scheduling,
  • real-time monitoring,
  • providing agents with lots of breaks or adequate breaks,
  • efficient call routing, making sure that your agents are getting the right type of calls,
  • proper forecasting and staffing,
  • investing in training and development of your agents that will help them to manage their occupancy and utilization, and
  • efficient workflows.

And most importantly, provide your agents with the right tools and technology to be able to deal with their customer interactions effectively.

Thanks to Ray Agar at injixo for contributing to this video.

If you are looking for more great insights from the experts, check out these videos next:

Author: Ray Agar
Reviewed by: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 30th Jan 2024 - Last modified: 1st Feb 2024
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