Contact Center Shrinkage Survey


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Knowlagent recently conducted a survey with over 100 respondents to answer some important questions about shrinkage. Our intent was to determine how much time is spent in shrinkage across different types of centers and to understand what activities make up shrinkage.

We also wanted to understand the impact the expanding role of the agent might be having on shrinkage, as well as differences among organizations of different industries and sizes.

Defining Shrinkage

There are two categories of shrinkage: Primary, which includes absenteeism, vacation, paid holidays, tardiness, breaks and lunch, and Secondary, which includes activities such as training, team meetings, coaching, paperwork, call research, knowledge base, e-mail and call backs.

Primary shrinkage makes up around 54% of overall shrinkage and is largely outside of the call center’s control. Activities in the secondary category – the remaining 46% – are more easily controlled through efficiency. Because these activities are not typically required to occur during specific times, they can take place during downtimes in call volume while agents sit idle, waiting for the next call.

How much time do agents spend in shrinkage?

Across all respondents, the average response was that 24% of an agent’s time is spent in shrinkage. The most frequent response was between 26-30%.

While there was no significant difference in overall shrinkage percentage for those supporting newer channels such as text, chat and social media, there were differences when respondents were filtered by industry, size and contacts handled.

Collections has the highest percentage of shrinkage at 26%, while technical support and outsourcers have the lowest at 21% and 20%. The survey average was 24%. According to those surveyed, the smallest and the largest centers have the lowest percentages of shrinkage time.

What constitutes meaningful improvement?

When asked what they would consider a meaningful improvement in shrinkage, those with collections and tech support functions are looking for more improvement in shrinkage. Some 22% of collections respondents selected a 10 or more percent improvement as meaningful and 15% of tech support. In contrast, sales functions are more likely to look for improvement in the 1-5% range, with 54% selecting this, as compared to customer service at 45%.

Click here to download the entire survey results.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shannon Cherry
Marketing Coordinator for Knowlagent Call Center Management Solutions. Responsible for developing advertising campaigns, webinars, white papers, landing pages, press releases, case studies and various sales tools.


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