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Agent Productivity

What is Agent Productivity?

Agent productivity is defined by the median duration consumed by an Agent in handling calls with customers. If on average, an agent spends 4 minutes on a call, we can approximate that the agent probably takes anywhere from 60 to 70 calls a day while working. But if the agent is already well informed and has a transcript for basic problems customers face, that would mean the agent can finish a call earlier than usual, implying that they would be able to take at least 80 – 100 calls in a day, making their productivity rate more. In simpler terms productivity in the terms of agent productivity equals to the number of calls an agent can receive.    

How to calculate Agent Productivity?

To calculate Agent productivity, many factors need to be taken into consideration. But there is one simple formula that can be used to see and get a basic percentage of agent productivity in an organization. It’s called occupancy rate, and it is a way of measuring how much time an agent spends working on customer duties. The formula for calculating the productivity is: (Total Output / Total Input) x 100 = Labour Productivity  

To understand the formula better, let us take it apart one component at a time:  

  • Total Output means the amount of time a representative or agent spends on doing something for the organization, for instance talking to customers.  
  • Total Input time equals to the time the agent is spending on their daily work schedule.

Example: A customer representative or Agent has an eight-hour shift, that is basically the total time an agent is spending in the office, meaning their input. Out of the 8 hours the agent spends about 6 hours talking to customers, making it their output. Then to calculate their productivity:    

6/8 = 0.75*100 = 75% Productivity

This means that on an everyday basis, 75% of your agent’s or customer support representatives time is spent doing their job, such as talking to clients or customers, and 25% of their time is spent on other activities that have nothing to do with work.  


Importance of Improving Agent Productivity?    

Organizations often do agent productivity in order to figure out if they have hired the right agents as employees and if their work is up to the standards that the organisation has. The harsh truth of the matter is that over half the employees in an organization give their minimum effort required and change their company as soon as they get a slightly better offer.  

The reason why improving agent productivity is important is because productive employees help your company earn money, while unproductive employees create losses for your company. But beyond impacting company profitability, productive employees also improve values, increase customer satisfaction, and create a good culture in the company.  

In particular, call centre productivity is interlinked with positive customer experiences and satisfaction. That is because the best customer experiences aren’t just based on extremely good quality service, but also on completing the service in a timely and proper manner.    

For example, a productive agent or customer support representative would answer a call rapidly and solve the customer’s problem in a matter of minutes, which basically equals to increased customer satisfaction. The key to good customer satisfaction is being quick and informative, and that requires agent productivity.  

How to Increase Agent Productivity?    

  • Coaching Agents: One good way of improving productivity is by providing the agents with a coach who can help them through their difficulties and teach them tiny tricks of their job. Coaches will be able to help agents with building their confidence and teaching them how to interact with customers in a qualitative and efficient manner.  
  • Allow agents to see their productivity score or percentage: Through technologies such as speech analytics and other software available, it is easy to access the productivity rate of an agent. Allowing the agents to have access to this information will ensure that they can take control of how to improve their own performance, immediately seeing where they are going wrong and what they need to change. This would also serve as a positive reinforcement for the staff when they are able to see the scores of other agents’, which in turn would motivate those who need to improve and increase their ranking.  
  • Praising employees: When an employee is appreciated for the work they have done and are rewarded for it, this act often boosts their motivation to work harder and be more efficient with their work. Rewarding people build their confidence and also their dedication to the work they have been assigned to perform. This does not only mean money but can also mean giving titles such as “Employee of The Month” etc.  
  • Deliver live information to your agents: By using both your agent contact management system with caller identification (CLI) at the front end and customer records in the back office (CRM), you can give live information to agents about the caller to customize the service. This approach can also help contact centres to prioritize high-value clients, as well as increase conversion to sale and client loyalty/repeat purchase by improving customer satisfaction.  


What are call centre Key Performance Indicators (KPI)?    

There are many KPI that a call centre can manage, the list is as follows:  

1. Time to Answer: How long does it take for an agent to answer a customer's call  

2. Abandon Rate: Calls that are disconnected without having helped a customer in answering their questions.  

3. Call Handling Time: How long does it take the agent to complete the call and give a solution to the customer.  

4. First Call Resolution: Number of times it only took one call to resolve a customer's problem.  

5. Transfer Rate: How many times did the agent have to transfer the call to someone else.  

6. Idle Time: Amount of time an agent takes after the completion of a call to finish the work from that call  

7. Hold Time: Time taken by an agent to remove a customer from hold and speak to the customer.  

How to improve Customer Experience in call centres?  

  1. Understand who your customers are: It is extremely important for an agent to know who their customers are and what they exactly want. During a day of taking calls, an agent will be talking to people who have extremely different personalities and want different things to be resolved. The agent needs to know how to deal with them properly.  
  1. Recognize the stage of customer journey: Assigning certain number of agents to a certain number of customers does not mandate interaction with each customer in the same way. For example, say some live chat agents are in charge of interacting with customers through a chatbot. You might have people engaging who are already customer's having purchased something in the past, or someone who might be visiting for the first time and unaware about the product at the moment. Hence, talking to a new customer would be extremely different from talking to an existing customer.  
  1. Make it Easy for Your Customer: With the current level of competition going around, customers have it easy. Instant customer service through chatbots, then next-day shipping. These are all services created to make the process of buying somewhat easy for customers. The two factors that have helped increase sales exponentially are reducing customer efforts and making things easier for the customer.
  1. Collect customer feedback: Loyal customers will appreciate that you take the time to listen to their opinion and feedback. Besides that, you could also take some time to write to or call your brand ambassadors that have been the most loyal to you. Call centre customer service agents can also improve the customer experience by sending post-interaction short surveys in order to know how they did and be able to improve on their next customer interaction.
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