Tips on Lead Management

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IT Manager


Re: Effective Pacing and Lines ratio

I need inputs on how to set an effective agent to line ratio to be able to maximize our agent's dialing hours. Tips on Lead Management would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


Rostrvm Solutions Limited

Re: Effective Pacing and Lines ratio
Sadly there is no easy answer to this question as there are many factors in the agent to line ratio. In fact the ratio is less significant than the quality of the data in the dialling list(s) and the length of the call including after-call-work.

In the real world an effective line:agent ratio can be as low as 1:1 in cases where there is significant after call work and as high as 3:1 for high volume, short calls on a good quality list...

....but I should repeat that the most important area to look at is the quality of the data in the calling list and the tools available within the dialler to target the data to achieve the highest contact rate.


Diagnostic Strategies

Effective Pacing and Lines Ratio
For an outbound call center the ideal ratio is 1:1 even when considering ACW. Exception may be if ACW is very long, e.g. at least 2-3 times the AHT. Agents to lines ratio calculations in an inbound call center are much more complex and depend on numerous variables, including call volume, AHT and SLA. See

Contact Centre Consultant

DarrylBeckford Limited

Re: Effective Pacing and Lines ratio
I agree with Ken, that in exceptional circumstances you'd be fine with a 1:1 ratio, but you'd often need higher. There are many things that impact this and often the best way is to make an educated guess and then monitor the trunk usage reports that your system should provide.

If you want to increase the effectiveness of your data you could consider cleaning it before use. The BT OSIS list is usually very effective.

Darryl Beckford



Effective Pacing and Lines ratio

Hope this would be of help:

Agent Pacing and QueuePacing—are simply two different ways to increase contact center efficiency. The goal of Agent Pacing is to maximize agent productivity. Based on agent call-handling statistics, it establishes a consistent wait time between calls. This allows call wait queue rates to vary as hit ratesand talk times change throughout the calling mission. When the hit rate varies, the call waitqueue rate will change as the system automatically seeks to maintain consistency between agent wait times.
Conversely, the goal of Queue Pacing is to achieve a higher degree of customer service by reduc-ing the wait time for the person being called. By pacing the system based on calls entering the wait queue, it establishes a consistent wait queue rate as call handling times and hit rates change throughout the calling mission. When the hit rate varies, the agent wait time will change as the system automatically maintains the target call wait queue rate.
Data such as call handling time, connect hit rate, agent resources available, and line resources available are used to optimize the calling pace based on the specific objectives determined by the system supervisors.With 100 different settings for both pacing modes, Expert Calling enables contact center supervi-sors to precisely and easily set parameters that fulfill their calling missions. Organizations that want to set a pace based on established customer service levels would select Queue Pacing. Those focused on agent productivity instead would select Agent Pacing

Managing Director

Sytel Limited

Line ratios and hold queues
For manual, preview and progressive dialing…

Just one trunk per agent

For predictive dialing…

You will need more. Now how much all depends. For example if you are using a dialer in an environment where you want to work within compliance rules such as those laid down by the DMA in the UK, or the FTC in the US, then limits on silent and abandoned calls, will set natural constraints on how many trunks you will use. For many campaigns a ratio of 1.5 trunks per agent should suffice. If the calling conditions are tough e.g. live call rates of say 20%, then the ratio may rise to 2:1. In the bad old days of unrestrained dialing, which unfortunately are still with us in some locales, trunk ratios of 3:1, or even more were not uncommon. But if you are dialing responsibly at, or close(!) to compliance levels, you will be able to keep your money in your pocket, and get away with a lot fewer trunks.

Pankaj's text turns out to be a description of the pacing algorithms for a particular ‘big brand’ US vendor. Not sure how anyone might deduce information from this as to how dialers in general behave in terms of line use.

But that is not the point. What is worrying about this is the apparent acceptance, in publishing it, that it is OK to ring up people, using a dialer and put them into hold queues. This is dialing of old. In limited cases, it is OK to play such people messages – for example debt collection activities in the US, where the calling party is deemed to have a relationship with the called party.

But for telemarketing to countries such as the US and the UK, this activity is the biggest source of silent calls. The FTC banned the activity in the US. In the UK, DMA rules prohibit this behaviour.

Pankaj, I see you are in India presumably dialing into the UK and the US. You don’t actually say that you follow a policy of putting called parties into hold queues in your own company, and hopefully you do not since you are clearly a company of some size. But it would help the cause of responsible dialing if you did not imply that this kind of practice is widely acceptable. It absolutely is not. In the future companies who outsource lists from the UK and the US will get into deep trouble if these practices are followed, especially in the US, where the FTC has made it very clear that bad offshore practices will be clamped down on. Before the Telephone Preference List in the UK gets much bigger (currently 25% of all households) don’t be surprised if the UK regulator Ofcom does the same.

Contact Centre Consultant

DarrylBeckford Limited

Outbound hold queues
This practice is highly likely to be considered illegal in the UK as well under the Electronic Communications directive. This bans:

"transmitting sounds which are not live speech for reception by persons at some or all of the destinations so called"

Which you would do if you didn't speak to them straight away.

I fully support Michael's comments. I think responsible behaviour is the best way this industry can limit TPS registrations.


WFM & Business Telephony Manager

Healthcare Insurance

Outbound hold queues
"This practice is highly likely to be considered illegal in the UK"

No likely about it:

Paraphrasing the DMA regs:

If you have a silent dial because an agent is not available, you cannot.

Call them back for 4 hrs.

Have more than 1 silenced dial per day or
have more than 2 to a number in total.

And the DMA / Oftel are using their teeth now. I have the feeling someone
inthe near future is going to be hauled up as an example and hit with maximum penalties.

Conversely, the goal of Queue Pacing is to achieve a higher degree of customer service by reduc-ing the wait time for the person being called.

I may be missing something here, but, Where has customer service ever featured in OB work? If you don't get through immediately I'm not going to hold onto a dead line for more than about 2sec.



Contact Centre Consultant

DarrylBeckford Limited

OFCOMs teeth
I'm currently a member of the DMA's contact centre council.

One of our main pastimes is to "liase" with OFCOM and push them to enforce the rules effectively in order to protect the industry. The response that's usually received is that OFCOM will only do what's needed to ensure compliance. With the recent Kitchen's direct case this wasn't much - they certainly didn't make an example of them. For this reason, I can't see OFCOM getting harder in the future.

I think this is a great, great shame. I honestly think that the poor enforcment of current rules will lead to further legislation in the near future. I've documented some of my views here.


Business Support Manager

Local Authority


I agree with many of the points here and I've maybe been lucky in never having received many cold marketing calls. Certainly the DMA guidelines are pretty clear in regulating marketing calls however as Darryl points out, other business types that have existing relationships with customers wont be restricted by any DMA advice. It is important to clarify these issues because until every industry shares the same rules an individual could certainly complain about an unsolicited marketing call however not about a debt collection call. Again, the automated message issue (dialler calls and leaves a message for you to call back company x using reference y) is clouded, especially if not a marketing call and there is an existing relationship. The guidelines relating to automated messaging again seem to limit marketers only. I'm advised the NHS leave automated messages on phones regarding appointments, clearly where an existing relationship is in place. It is very important for outbound operations to be run responsibly but at the same time I feel that the public think every call from every company is something to complain about whereas the guidelines allow for certain calls (as much because of lack of clarity).


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