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Call Center Agent Utilization: A Comprehensive Guide



Call Center Agent Utilization A Comprehensive Guide

Underutilized agents may hamper📉 the effectiveness of call center operations, resulting in higher expenses and unhappy clients. This frequent issue can seriously harm the service’s reputation and overall performance.

Resolving this issue is essential for improving customer happiness and operational effectiveness💡. When call center agents are deployed properly, resources are used more efficiently, which results in better service and faster response times.

Similarly, Call centers☎️ can raise productivity, cut expenses, and boost client satisfaction by comprehending and applying tactics to optimize agent utilization. 

This blog will explore call center utilization, its key components and benefits, the calculation of the agent utilization rate, and the best tips for improving it. 

So, now let’s dive in and unlock the potential of call center agent utilization.


  • Call center agent utilization refers to the efficiency with which agents are employed during business hours. 
  • Idle Time, Occupancy rate, and After-call work are the key components of call center agent utilization.
  • Agent utilization in call centers has benefits, such as improving customer satisfaction, boosting agent efficiency, and saving costs.
  • Some benefits of using agents in a call center include setting logical goals, analyzing patterns, and providing visual support.

What Is Call Center Agent Utilization?

Call center agent utilization is the efficiency of agents employed during business hours. Also, a call center’s utilization rate indicates the amount of its agents’ time spent on productive activities like answering calls and solving customer concerns. 

Agent utilization involves tracking how long agents spend actively answering customers’ calls and carrying out other relevant tasks. Other productive or relevant tasks include returning calls, resolving problems, or doing administrative duties quickly.

What Is Call Center Agent Utilization

High agent utilization usage indicates that agents actively take calls, increasing output. Low utilization indicates inefficiencies caused by agents spending too much time idle.

Optimizing agent utilization ensures that resources are used effectively, lowers costs, and improves customer service. Proper use is crucial for a call center’s overall effectiveness and success.

👋 Take a look at: Call Center Operations: Best Practices, Challenges, and Solution

Key Components Of Call Center Agent Utilization

Here are some of the key components of center agent utilization :

1. Idle Time

Idle call center agent usage, or “idle time,” refers to when agents aren’t focusing on productive tasks and are between client engagements. Low call volumes, system problems, and pauses between calls cause this downtime. Reducing idle time makes agents available, which maximizes resource and call center productivity.

2. Occupancy Rate

The percentage of an agent’s available work time managing customer contacts is measured by the contact center agent’s occupancy rate. This rate shows the effectiveness of agents working on productive duties like returning calls or addressing inquiries. A higher occupancy rate indicates better use of agents’ time and assets in customer care.

3. After-call Work

Regarding call center agent usage,after-call work refers to the duties agents carry out immediately following a client connection, such as upgrading records, completing paperwork, or getting ready for the next call. It’s crucial for guaranteeing correct recordkeeping and efficiently concluding consumer encounters. 

Read more🔖: Top 12 Qualities Call Center Skills Every Agent Should Have

What Are The Benefits Of Agent Utilization In Call Centers?

“Agent utilization” describes how effectively agents are deployed in call centers during business hours. It ensures that employees actively work on worthwhile projects, like responding quickly to customer concerns and managing queries.

Some of the benefits of agent utilization in call centers are :

What Are The Benefits Of Agent Utilization In Call Centers

1. Improves Customer Satisfaction

When agent use is optimized, customers will always receive faster responses and lower wait times. Improved agent utilization in call centers increases customer satisfaction and meets SLAs. This means customers are happier because service quality targets are achieved..

Consistent productivity increases in agents lead to better service quality and more effective client demand meetings. Therefore, optimizing the agent results in higher client happiness and greater loyalty.

2. Boost Agent Efficiency

Optimizing agent usage greatly increases agent efficiency by reducing idle time and guaranteeing that agents are continuously working on valuable tasks. Agents’ ability to manage more client interactions during shifts will increase productivity.

More efficient agents can handle larger call volumes and handle problems more quickly. This helps to run a call center more efficiently and effectively while increasing its output.

3. Cost Saving

Optimizing agent usage results in significant cost savings by lowering overstaffing requirements. More calls are handled by agents who use their time well, which reduces the need for new personnel. This reduces labor expenses and streamlines processes.

Improved agent utilization involves making better use of every dollar spent using less time and equipment.. To further increase efficiency, these cost savings can be used to improve the infrastructure and training of contact centers.

4. Enhance Productivity

Practical agent usage increases productivity by guaranteeing that agents constantly interact with customers. This allows them to make the most of their time at work, handle more calls, and handle problems efficiently.

Also, increased productivity allows agents to complete more work without sacrificing quality. As a result, the call center performs better overall and provides better services.

5. Reduces Wait Times

Maximizing agent usage decreases wait times, as agents are constantly prepared to answer incoming calls. Shorter wait times result in a more seamless and fulfilling customer experience. 

Clients see prompt assistance improving the call center’s general dependability and effectiveness. As a result, clients receive assistance more quickly and spend less time waiting for it.

6. Flexibility And Scalability

Optimizing agent utilization improves flexibility by enabling call centers to swiftly adjust to changing call volumes. Effectively used agents can manage a range of workloads without sacrificing service quality.

Additionally, improved scalability effortlessly allows a call center to grow or shrink its operations in response to demand. Regardless of shifting client needs, this scalability and adaptability guarantee consistent performance.

7. Improve Workforce Management

Optimizing agent usage enhances call center workforce management by giving managers more insight into staffing requirements and agent performance. This allows managers to plan shifts better and distribute assets where they are most required.

Similarly, call centers may implement enhanced workforce management to guarantee that the appropriate number of agents are accessible during peak hours. This results in a balanced workload, which lowers burnout and boosts general productivity.

You may also like 👀:Call Center Management: The Definite Guide In 2024

How To Calculate The Call Center Agent Utilization Rate?

You can use the following formula to find your call center’s agent utilization rate:

Call center agent utilization rate = (Total worked hours / Total available hours) x 100 

Agent utilization rate is calculated by dividing the total working hours by the total available hours and then multiplying the result by 100 to find the percentage of call center agent utilization. Hours spent actively taking calls or managing customer-related duties are considered total worked hours or productive time.

Similarly, various call center software systems may present call center agent utilization data differently using analytics and reporting. However, the basic concept stays unchanged: the utilization rate analyzes how well agents use their available work time.

10 Best Tips To Improve Call Center Agent Utilization Rate

Here are some of the 10 best tips to improve call center agent utilization rate :

Best Tips To Improve Call Center Agent Utilization Rate

1. Set Logical Goals

Setting specific goals is essential to increase call center agent usage rates by dividing significant objectives into smaller, more possible activities. Based on performance data, adjust these goals to keep them reasonable and aligned with available resources. 

Similarly, optimize shifts using sophisticated scheduling tools to ensure a balanced workload and avoid fatigue. By taking these actions, call center performance will be enhanced overall, and high utilization rates will be maintained.

2. Analyzing Patterns 

Analyze call volume and agent performance trends to increase agent utilization rates in call centers. Determine peak hours and modify worker levels accordingly to provide ideal coverage. Use past data to forecast patterns and prepare for demand variations.

In addition, agents should be encouraged to exchange effective tactics and best practices to boost productivity. This strategy contributes to developing a more productive and cooperative work environment, resulting in higher utilization rates.

3.  Visual Support 

Employ visual dashboards to track call data and real-time performance to increase agent utilization rates in call centers. These tools support agents in monitoring their output and pinpointing areas for development. Precise visual data can motivate agents to accomplish their targets more successfully.

Likewise, use visual processes and scripts to help agents navigate challenging interactions. This capability facilitates error reduction and improves call handling effectiveness. 

4. Utilize Tools And CRMs

Simplify processes with CRM systems and advanced tools to increase agents in call center utilization rates. These technologies shorten the time it takes for agents to handle calls by giving them quick access to consumer information.

Integrating CRMs with other technologies reduces manual data entry and automates frustrating processes. As a result, agents can spend more time on meaningful customer interactions. Using the appropriate CRMs and solutions ensures higher utilization rates and more efficient operations.

5. Managing The Workforce Effectively

Strategic scheduling can help you manage the workforce more efficiently and increase call center agent usage rates. To ensure optimal coverage, shifts should align with peak call hours. This will avoid agent burnout and balance workloads.

Continuing instruction and assistance should also be provided to improve agent proficiency and effectiveness. Frequent coaching sessions and feedback can help resolve performance difficulties quickly. Effective workforce management results in a more productive workplace and higher utilization rates.

6. Saving Down On Idle Time

Optimize call routing and minimize hold times to cut down on idle time and raise agent utilization rates in the call center. Automated systems can promptly route calls to the appropriate agents, guaranteeing that agents will serve consumers for longer periods of time and wait less.

Likewise, cross-training programs should be implemented to enable agents to manage various calls and responsibilities. This adaptability lowers downtime and facilitates efficient call volume management. Reducing idle time results in higher productivity and improved utilization rates.

7. Effective After-Call Work (ACW) System

Implement Effective After-Call Work (ACW) systems that maximize post-call tasks to raise agent utilization rates. Give agents the tools and clear instructions to finish any unfinished business quickly after every call, such as updating records or recording exchanges. 

In addition, ACW time should be incorporated into workload management and scheduling to balance agent availability and job completion. An efficient ACW system maximizes the duration agents spend interacting with consumers, increasing productivity and usage rates.

8. Routing Based On Skills

Implement skill-based routing to ensure calls are routed to agents with the right knowledge, increasing agent utilization rates in a call center. Pairing callers with qualified agents to handle their questions may shorten call transfer times and improve first-call resolution rates.

Similarly, regularly update and improve skill profiles to reflect evolving agent skills and client needs. Analyze performance using analytics, then modify routing rules as necessary. The contact center may maximize general utilization rates and operational efficiency by taking a proactive stance.

9. Channels Of Integrated Communication

Combining chat, email, social media, and phone into one platform will increase the usage rates of call center agents. Thanks to this consolidation, agents may now easily manage interactions across several channels, which minimizes idle time and eliminates the need to transfer between platforms.

Install a single dashboard and interface that gives agents access to all customer histories and interactions across all channels. This centralized access improves the whole client experience and shortens response times. 

10. Motivating and Engaging 

By engaging and motivating agents to reach targets, you can increase the rates at which agents utilize your call center. Celebrate victories and achievements regularly to create a happy workplace that inspires increased output and dedication to performance goals.

Likewise, to keep agents engaged, involve them in decision-making procedures and ask them for input on improving operations. By making them feel important and invested in the company’s success, this participation enhances job satisfaction and motivates agents to contribute to reaching better utilization rates.

Read more 📚: Call Center Optimization: The Ultimate Guide 


Utilizing call center agents is essential for maximizing customer happiness and operational efficiency. Strategic workforce management, efficient use of technology, such as CRMs and integrated communication channels, and ongoing agent training are important elements for agent utilization.💫

In addition to reducing expenses, call centers can improve service delivery by increasing agent productivity and decreasing idle time. Higher agent-in-call center utilization rates also increase first-call resolution, better resource allocation, and higher customer satisfaction, which increase productivity and provide agents with the tools they need to deliver great customer service continuously.🚀


What is utilization in BPO?

In BPO, utilization is the effectiveness with which resources, especially human agents, are used to manage tasks and processes.

What is occupancy vs. utilization in a call center? 

Two separate but connected call center management measures are occupancy and utilization:

  • Occupancy Rate: This statistic indicates the proportion of time that an agent actively handles in-person interactions, such as speaking and waiting times. It is computed as (Total Talk Time + Total Hold Time) / Total Logged-in Time. An agent’s time is used more effectively when the occupancy rate increases.
  • Utilization Rate: This measure assesses how much of an agent’s total work hours they devote to productive tasks. The formula is (Total Worked Hours / Total Available Hours) * 100.

What is a reasonable utilization rate for a call center? 

Approximately 75% is a generally acknowledged good call center agent usage benchmark. That figure, however, could differ dramatically depending on various variables, such as the industry, call center size, objectives, and operational needs.

What are the tools that can improve agent utilization? 

Some of the tools that can improve agent utilization are:

  • Predictive Dialer
  • Customer Relationship Management CRM)
  • Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)

What are the key metrics used to measure agent utilization?

Some of the key metrics used to measure agent utilization are:

  • Utilization Rate
  • Occupancy Rate
  • Average Handle Time (AHT)
  • Service Level
  • Monitoring to Schedule
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Dinesh Silwal

Dinesh Silwal is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of KrispCall. For the past few years, he has been advancing and innovating in the cloud telephony industry, using AI to enhance and improve telephony solutions, and driving KrispCall to the forefront of the field.

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