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How do separate billing models affect cost per call?

How do separate billing models affect cost per call?

I'm in the process of calculating cost per call for few accounts that we have here. I'm a bit confused as to how the calculation will work when you have separate billing models. (I'm considering this for a target setting.) Is cost per call (direct + indirect cost )/ transactions handled more appropriate to use than identifying the cost of operations per minute and multiplying it by the AHT? Also will occupancy and utilization have any impact when the latter approach is used?
In an operating environment where resources are equally allocated to all transaction types, the two calculations should give you the same result. If that is the case, it's generally easier to use the second approach:

(Operating budget/minutes) * Average handle time

If all calls/transactions are not treated and billed equally – which happens when transactions include different types (customer service, help desk, sales, etc), and media (calls, e-mails, collaboration sessions, etc.), then it will be more accurate to use your first approach:

(direct costs + indirect costs)/transactions

There are two challenges with this formula. The first is that you have to identify and quantify all direct cost categories that are not the same on a per minute basis for your various transition types. (All other direct costs can be distributed equally on a per minute basis.) The second challenge is to have visibility on indirect costs. It then becomes primarily a question of which indirect costs to include -- only those directly attributable to your department's activities or also those that are corporate overhead.

Occupancy and utilization charges are always included in total cost per call.

This was last published in January 2006

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