Idle time -vs- service level

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Call center Manager

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Idle time -vs- service level
I have recently taken over an inbound sales call center and have noticed some strange relationships between stats. My experience is in customer service call center's and I know alot can vary beween types of callers. I would like to get some feedback on something.
In order for my center to hit its SL goals of 80/30 our idle/avail time runs between 25-30%. This seems very high and inefficient to say the least. Has anyone experience with this situation? Is this normal in an inbound sales situation?

Call center Manager

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I wanted to clarify a bit after reading some threads on this topic...

By idle/available, I mean waiting for a call...

Headcount Planning Analyst


It can be
Hi Dirk

It can be perfectly normal if the call handling time is very long or the incoming pattern of calls is very erratic. Any of these the case?


Call center Manager

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Idle Vs Service level

Thanks for your input.
Both circumstances you mention are at play here. We are an overflow call center for over 60 retail locations. The variables effecting call volume can be pretty diverse and unexpected at times. We do have regular spikes from 8-10 am and from 4-5 pm. Short busrts of up to a 50 % increase that are nearly impossible to cover with regular staff and still remain efficient. We are working to flatten these spikes and level the volume.

Our TT can also vary depending on the call. 15 min dealing with an insurance company is not out of the ordinary nor is a 60 second quick question or quote.

Thanks for the feedback...I hoped to get some idea of of Idle time examples so I can better establish service level targets that meet both our budget and customer expectations.

Contact Centre Manager


Idle Vs Service level


Have you checked with other businesses in the same field that this isnt just the norm for that area?

I have moved from Financial services to a Publishing Contact Centre and couldnt believe that wrap times are 100% of talk time, purely because of the process and customer type. Talking to others within the same sector it appears its just norm. At the begining I got really hung up on it being an issue.



Dechaine Consulting Inc

I think you are on the right track Dick and already sorta knew your answer. Your stats are probably accurate due to those large spikes and the relatively long stretches of idle time inbetween them.

Maybe try to find another business option they could be doing at that time...e-mail?

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