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Tips for calculating maximum occupancy in the call center

Expert Lori Bocklund defines maximum occupancy in the call center and explains the maximum occupancy formula in this tip.

How does maximum occupancy differ from occupancy in the calculation of call volume capacity? What is the formula...

for maximum occupancy?

Maximum occupancy is a term used in some workforce management (WFM) systems to refer the "maximum" or highest level of occupancy you will allow when building a call center schedule or determining headcount. You'll need to consult your vendor or their product documentation to determine their specific maximum occupancy calculation.

Generally, occupancy, also called utilization, is the percent of time agents are actively handling calls. It is calculated based on the time agents are on calls or in wrap-up divided by total time logged in -- or as an equation, (ACD time+wrap-up time)logged-in time. You can view occupancy across a day or in time intervals, such as each half hour. You can also view it for the team or for individuals.

In calculating call volume capacity, you need to conduct Erlang modeling to consider random arrivals. Occupancy is one output of Erlang modeling. The inputs are call volume, handle time (talk and wrap), and target service level. Other outputs include the percent of calls meeting service level and agent occupancy. If you are trying to calculate how many calls a group can handle, you can back into that through some reverse engineering -- based on your talk and wrap time, staffing levels and target service level, and use trial and error to land on the right number of calls mapped to the agent levels. Such a calculation will show you your occupancy.

This was last published in October 2008

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