Shrinkage is of the most important elements in schedule adherence. It is defined as the amount of minutes per day that agents are paid to be on the phone when they are not actually working, or available to receive calls or work on customer related issues. When too much time is occupied this way, it can be a major factor in a contact center failing to meet service level targets.
There are many causes for shrinkage, such as lateness, talking to associates, personal calls and emergencies, leaving early and taking longer breaks. Call centers that take shrinkage parameters into account in their forecasting and scheduling typically achieve higher service levels at lower operating costs. They do so by use workforce management to include all call related activities into the forecast and schedule planning process.