One Formula for Calculating Call Center Service Levels

A lot of us choose the careers we want based on one simple premise: whether or  not there is math involved. 

Unfortunately, math cannot be entirely avoided, even at jobs that seem to work more with words than numbers. 

Take the task of providing great service at a call center. You need an effective script, and agents that know how to relate to customers, and a workforce optimization system that deliver forecasts and schedules that keep the business running at optimal efficiency. 

But how can you prove that service is where it needs to be? Here is one system that may help. And yes, some math is involved. Sorry. 

First, you need to define the terms that will impact how service is assessed, starting with abandoned calls. Do you count the ones that hang up before an agent responds as a “call offered”? Or ignore them entirely since there was no opportunity offered to achieve a successful result? 

Next, select a service level objective, and the service level formula that works best for your business. There are several to choose from:  

Once you have your formula, select a time interval and clearly define exactly when a call starts (when the phone rings, or when the caller selects the IVR option that links them to a live agent, or after the recording opening message completes). Then, decide on a measurement interval (by hour, shift, day, etc.). 

An automated workforce optimization solution will be invaluable here, as it will gather the data necessary to calculate your service level. Analyze the data, review the results, and make appropriate adjustments in procedure or technology that could help you reach your service goals. Then start the process all over again. At least the second time, the math will be easier. 

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