What Is the Erlang C Formula?

Erlang C Calculation written on Mathematical Background


The Erlang C formula is a mathematical equation for calculating the number of agents (advisors) that you need in a call centre, given the number of calls and the service level that you want to achieve.

Erlang Formula Inputs

  • The inputs to the Erlang C formula are
  • Incoming Contacts (calls)
  • Reporting Period (minutes
  • Average Handling Time (AHT) (seconds)
  • Required Service Level Percentage
  • Target Answer Time (seconds)

For example you have 400 calls per half hour.  The average time taken to handle a call is 600 seconds and you want to answer 80% of the calls in 20 seconds.

There are also a number of ways to extend the basic formula

  • Shrinkage – A factor to include holidays, meetings, training etc
  • Maximum Occupancy (usually set to 85%
  • Average time to abandon (used in the Erlang A formula)

Erlang Formula Outputs

The main output of the Erlang C formula is the number of agents needed to handle the contact volume.

Erlang C Formula Step By Step

The mathematics behind it can be quite complex but there is a good article that describes the Erlang C formula step-by-step.

The Erlang Calculator

Luckily the easiest way to use the Erlang C formula is to use an erlang calculator.

There are two main types of Erlang Calculator

Published On: 12th May 2022
Read more about - Definitions,

Recommended Articles

A picture of the Erlang A formula
A Beginner’s Guide to the Erlang A Formula
The Erlang C Formula
Erlang C Formula - Made Simple With an Easy Worked Example
Erlang Calculator v6 Featured Image
New Excel Based Erlang Calculator – with Maximum Occupancy
Get the latest exciting call centre reports, specialist whitepapers and interesting case-studies.

Choose the content that you want to receive.