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How to Properly Staff Your Call Center

How to Properly Staff Your Call Center telrep

Understaffing can result in subpar customer experiences, while overstaffing proves financially wasteful.

Achieving success in a contact center hinges on the delicate equilibrium between providing exceptional customer experiences and effectively managing operational costs. A pivotal facet of striking this equilibrium lies in the precise staffing of call center agents. Efficient call management executed by these agents can substantially diminish wait times and elevate the number of calls they can handle within an hour. This, in turn, translates to tangible cost savings for the call center, owing to heightened productivity and improved operational efficiency.

The challenge, however, is to ascertain the optimal number of agents required for a contact center. Understaffing can result in subpar customer experiences, while overstaffing proves financially wasteful. So, how does one determine how to properly staff a call center?

Use This Formula First

The initial step in determining the necessary number of agents for a contact center involves assessing call volume. Once you’ve established the hourly call influx, the subsequent calculation necessitates the determination of each call’s Average Handling Time (AHT), encompassing:


  • The duration of the conversation with the customer,
  • Time spent on hold, and
  • Any post-call tasks.


Once you have this, you can use this formula to determine how many agents you should need:

Agents Required = (Call Volume x AHT) / (Work Time Available x Occupancy Rate)

In this context, “work time” encompasses the total duration agents are available to manage calls, accounting for factors like lunch breaks, training sessions, and other activities that might momentarily draw agents away from their workstations.

The “occupancy rate” denotes the proportion of time agents dedicate to call-related responsibilities. Typically, a reasonable occupancy rate falls between 80% and 85%, signifying that agents allocate 80% to 85% of their available time to handle calls.

Going Beyond Formulas

While that is useful in helping establish a baseline for your call center, remember that staffing at every center is a unique challenge. Plenty of other influences like customer demographics, your technology, and so on can impact how much staff you need. At this point, you need to be dynamic and responsive enough to change your team depending on what’s going on in your call center. If you’re finding that you’re flooded by calls often, you might need more employees than the formula would suggest. Bring on some call agents and see what happens and you can adjust from there.

Experience the Benefits of Call Center Services from TeleRep

Whether you need help with an inbound call center or an outbound call center, TeleRep is here to help. If you still have more questions, our trained professionals are ready to answer them. We know how important customer feedback is to you and your business, so let them know that you care with an answering service. To learn how TeleRep can help you today, visit us online or give us a call at 1-800-638-2000. To keep up with our work and to see what we have been up to, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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