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Agent occupancy is an IT service desk metric that measures the percentage of logged in time that an agent is actually delivering customer service. Let’s say, for example, that an agent is logged into the service desk ACD for six hours a day, and is in talk, hold, or wrap mode for four of those six hours. In this case, agent occupancy would be calculated as 4 hours ÷ 6 hours = 66.7% agent occupancy. Likewise, let’s say that an agent is logged into the ticketing system for seven hours a day, and is responding to customer tickets that are emailed to the service desk for five of those seven hours. The calculation for agent occupancy in this case would be 5 hours ÷ 7 hours = 71.4% agent occupancy.

Agent occupancy is oftentimes confused with agent utilization. Although the numerator is the same for both metrics, the denominator is different. The denominator for occupancy, as explained above, is the total time that a voice, email, or chat agent is logged into the system. By contrast, the denominator for agent utilization is the total time that a voice, email, or chat agent is at work, including the time that the agent is logged into the system.

To continue with our example from above, let’s assume in both cases that the agent is at work for a total of eight hours.  In the first example, the agent utilization would be 4 hours ÷ 8 hours = 50% agent utilization.  Likewise, in our second example the agent utilization would be 5 hours ÷ 8 hours = 62.5% agent utilization.  Agent utilization will always be less than or equal to agent occupancy.

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Jeffrey Rumburg

Jeff Rumburg is a co-founder and Managing Partner of MetricNet, where he is responsible for global strategy, product development, and financial operations for the company. As a leading expert in benchmarking and re-engineering, Mr. Rumburg authored a best selling book on benchmarking, and has been retained as a benchmarking expert by such well known companies as American Express, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors, IBM, and Sony. Mr. Rumburg was honored in 2014 by receiving the Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the IT Service and Support industry. Prior to co-founding MetricNet, Mr. Rumburg was president and founder of The Verity Group, an international management consulting firm specializing in IT benchmarking. While at Verity, Mr. Rumburg launched a number of syndicated benchmarking services that provided low cost benchmarks to more than 1,000 corporations worldwide. Mr. Rumburg has also held a number of executive positions at META Group, and Gartner. As a vice president at Gartner, Mr. Rumburg led a project team that reengineered Gartner’s global benchmarking product suite. And as vice president at META Group, Mr. Rumburg’s career was focused on business and product development for IT benchmarking. Mr. Rumburg’s education includes an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, an M.S. magna cum laude in Operations Research from Stanford University, and a B.S. magna cum laude in Mechanical Engineering. He is author of A Hands-On Guide to Competitive Benchmarking: The Path to Continuous Quality and Productivity Improvement, and has taught graduate-level engineering and business courses.

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