This is an update to a post in Call Center Best Practices, from an article called, Call Center Metrics: Bill To Pay or Productive To Pay.
Essentially this article is designed to help you identify and understand your call center agent productivity.
I originally learned this call center metric while working in the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) side of the business.
However, this is an excellent process to measure your call center agent productivity even if you manage an internal call center.
Moreover, this formula was used to identify the percentage of time that the call center agent was billable to the client (productive) against their payroll time.
The higher the percentage the better.
If you run an internal center you might think that this formula really doesn't apply to your situation. I would disagree.
How can measuring your call center agent's productivity against the time you pay them, not be a good measure of productivity?
Some may refer to this as call center utilization, or even occupancy.
But the fact remains true that how much time your call center agent's spend assisting customers against how much time they are on payroll is a good read in how effective they are.
Of course, this is not the only metric to look at but it is a good starting point.
Below the formula is a breakdown of the components.
Sidenote: 1 Available time may not be productive or “billed” time depending on the billing model used. Per hour billing methods typically include available time; per minute models do not. You should customize your B2P (Bill to Pay) model to reflect your billing model
Most contact center companies define a productive state as any state in which the agent’s time is billed (regardless of bill type).
Internal contact centers usually measure it as any state in which the agent is productive, within their control.
Phone states that are typically included are:
TIP: Some ACD’s have other states that may need to be included in calculating B2P or your productivity measure may be off.
Things to be aware of:
This is the best #callcentermetric formula to help determine productivity. #callcenter
The first step in developing the B2P target is understanding what the maximum average the target can be.
To develop the target, you will need to understand:
Use your best estimate or an average based on agent tenure. You don’t have to be exact when setting these numbers; however, the closer you are the better your goal will be.
Remember—just by measuring, you will increase productivity. That is the beauty of this call center metrics formula.
1 Even if training time is billed to the client, chances are it is at a different rate/gross margin. Consider leaving it out of B2P and adding it back in or calculating it separately only if it is substantial.
Using 2,080 annual hours and 430 unproductive hours:
Tela-Ring is an outsourced contact center provider, providing Technical Support to a global client.
Tela-Ring pays agents based on their log-in time, plus any paid time off; therefore, all associate time is captured by their ACD.
When an associate is off of the phone, they must use an “aux” state.John works full time at Tela-Ring as a Tech Support Associate.
During the last two-week pay period, John was paid for 80 hours. 8 hours of his paid time was for a vacation day.
John’s ACD statistics show the following:
Tela-Ring uses a scheduling software package that links to their switch. The following information was pulled from the system and correlated to John’s aux states (aggregated):
Total “known” off-phone/aux time 21.5h
Remember the formula...
If the goal was set at 70%, John would not have met goal. Why?
Continue with the Steps...
Step 5: Roll-up to Supervisor
Step 6: Roll-up to Center
Would you really want to pay an associate for 100% of their paid time consistently and only bill the client 69% of that time?
Was John as productive as he could have been? He was on vacation, should we cut him some slack? NO!
Look at the data and ask several questions:
- Was John on the phone in a productive state the time that he should have been? NO!
- John was paid for 80 hours and logged into the phone for 72 and had 8 hours of vacation: 72+8=80However, John was in AUX for over 17 hours, and you expected him to be in aux for 13 hours.
Remember the breakdown?
Total “known” off-phone/aux time 21.5h
21.5 hours – 8 hours vacation time = 13.5 hours.
John was in aux for 17.08 hours (17:05). That’s over 3.5 hrs “missing!”
Had John been in AVAIL, Talk, or even ACW, his B2P would have been:54.96 hours + 3.58 “missing time in aux” = 58.54 hours = 80
4 percentage points in B2P can make a huge difference to your bottom line!
How To Communicate To Your Leadership:
VP: “Why’s your B2P so low, Fred?”
Fred: “We were slow, so I took agents off the phone to up-train them on the new product.”
Fred: “Our occupancy was in the 50’s. I knew our B2P was at 87% last week, and since the volume was low, I took a hit on B2P to train on the new product. This drove our occupancy up to 75%. The extra training drove our B2P from 82% projected for the week to 78%. I decided that trade-off was worth the short-term hit.”
This has been a long post, but I believe it is excellent information.
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Greg is a seasoned Customer Experience and Call Center Efficiency Senior Consultant that has had an impact in the industry for the past 20+ years. He has developed products to help Call Center Leaders improve performance. If you want to motivate your teams to consistently achieve goals then Call Center Games is for you. If you want to increase employee engagement and hit amazing milestones in your call center then PRIDE Teams is for you. You can always visit our Call Center Resources to learn more about tools that will help you become a rockstar!
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