We are on an intelligence high this week, have you noticed? There’s just one more metric we want to send your way and it’s a common service desk KPI — agent utilization.
The overall workload of the service and support team typically encompasses both inbound and outbound contacts through voice, email, voicemail, chat, walk-up, etc. Here’s how you calculate agent utilization (note: it factors in the hours in a work day, break times, vacation and sick days, and training time):
The service desk is a labor intensive function, with over 50% of the costs of a support organization tied up in personnel. This makes their productivity extremely important in helping keep costs in check. For that reason, agent utilization is seen as a key driver for cost per ticket.
Customer and Agent Satisfaction Correlation?
The key to agent utilization is a balancing act to make sure that agents are not sitting idle, while at the same time not overloaded to the point that their service levels are impacted negatively (increasing your cost per contact). The higher the agent utilization percentage is, the busier your agents are. If agents are too busy over a large portion of their time, agent frustration and burnout problems may begin to appear. These conditions can mean that agents cannot handle the volume of calls as expected and agent turnover rates may increase.
Additionally, agent frustration and burnout can lead to decreased first-call resolution and increased frustration by IT customers, leading to lower CSAT scores. Service desk and desktop support are the leading contributors to overall IT customer satisfaction.Source: MetricNet
What is the Golden Agent Utilization Percentage?
MetricNet’s benchmarking database states that the average agent utilization for service desks worldwide is about 48 percent.
Agent utilization varies widely, from 22 percent all the way to 76%. Smaller service desks, perhaps found in smaller companies, are most likely found in the low end of the agent utilization range and those on the high end typically are outsourcers, located in places like India, who have monetary incentives that allow them to keep agent utilization rates in the higher spectrum.
Agent utilization is a metric that influences many other service desk KPIs (i.e. cost per contact, first-call resolution, customer satisfaction) and is one that you should put on your list of metrics to monitor.