Our staffing model currently splits the workload so that two utilization numbers are used -- a very low number (29%) for phone volume, and a very high number (150%+) for OLCS volume. This does not seem accurate to me. Do you have specific examples of how to calculate utilization with different workloads (phone and off-phone work)? We basically operate under the assumption that if an employee is not on a call, they should be doing off-phone work.
As a call center manager with a small group of 20, it is hard to schedule the off-phone work and still have enough people on the phones to deliver a decent service level while still having good utilization. Depending on the nature of your off-phone time, you may be able to do a hybrid – schedule non-phone time part of the day, and weave some of the smaller and less demanding non-phone tasks in while waiting for calls. Ideally you want to avoid the purely interrupt driven approach, which is based on putting everyone on the phones and requiring them to weave in their other tasks when they don't have calls; this approach can result in inefficiency and errors.
This was first published in March 2007