How Many CSR Agents Do You Really Need?
Starting out when outsourcing you may be wondering “how many CSR agents do I need”?
That’s a great question!
And hopefully, after this blog something we have helped you answer.
Ensuring sufficient staffing is crucial.
With today’s consumers demanding 24/7 omnichannel customer support, you need to build a high-functioning team with the right amount of people.
At Smiles, we believe that world-class customer service is born out of expert oversight and management practices.
How to Calculate How Many CSR Agents You Really Need
Building the right team, with the right BPO, is crucial if you want to have the infrastructure you’ll need to scale or adapt quickly.
Starting out it can be difficult knowing where to start, you don’t want to squander your staffing budget with unnecessary surplus employees.
At the same time, not enough employees results in high call abandonment rates, a swell of disappointed unenthused customers.
To determine the number of contact center agents you must hire, here are the five factors to consider.
1. What’s the average number of inbound calls you handle?
There are several ways to find out how many inbound calls you get within a certain timeframe.
You should be able to extract this data from your automatic call distribution (ACD) system or your customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
If you aren’t using those tools, you may gather the relevant figures from your telecommunications provide
Another option is to ask your current agents to manually log the number of calls they handle every day for a given period.
It’s useful to make a note how your inbound calls vary throughout the week or during different times of the day to determine how many CSR agents you need.
2. What is your average handling time?
Average handling time (AHT) is a metric that contact centers use to monitor the amount of time an agent spends talking to a customer and solving their issues.
You can also access this information from your ACD or CRM system, or from agents’ manual call logs.
Afterwards, you can calculate your AHT by adding all the call durations recorded and then dividing the result by the total number of calls handled within a given period.
The calculated number may be used as a basis for determining the number of call center agents you need, in addition to the number of transactions you typically handle.
For instance, if your AHT is relatively short, you may need fewer agents on the operations floor.
3. What is Your Service Level Target?
Your service level refers to the percentage of calls that a live agent answers within a set amount of time.
Contact centers typically aim to answer 80% of inbound calls within 20 seconds.
Recently, some customer support providers have been aiming to respond to 90% of calls in 10 to 15 seconds.
Upon your enquiry, with us, we can agree or discuss the minimum service level you want to achieve and maintain and advise you accordingly.
The higher your target is, the more employees you’d have to hire.
In contact centers, shrinkage refers to the amount of time agents spend away from their computers.
It’s an important factor to consider when deciding how many CSR agents you need.
It includes things like lunch breaks, bathroom breaks, absences, authorized leaves, etc.
Uniquely, In order to optimize efficiency and protect levels of productivity, at Smiles we have what we call “relievers”.
Our teams operate at a ratio of _____ meaning that you will always have someone trained and ready to work, and you’ll never be without cover whatever the weather.
Which gives you peace of mind in case an agent is ill or has to take unplanned leave.
We operate 24/7 and can provide the coverage you need.
That said, our Smiles our agents work no more than 8 hours a day, with one-hour unpaid lunch, and two 15 minute breaks staggered strategically throughout the day.
Even with these breaks, due to the way we work at Smiles, you will never be without cover.
We’ve had years of experience, and we take shrinkage seriously to maximize output.
Our job is to help you calculate the number of customer support reps you need to cover for employee attendance gaps in the team.
It’s also nice to know that at Smiles we have a ton of effective incentives to keep your employees motivated, engaged and driven to deliver.
These include things such as paid vacations, 30% bonus rewards on top of their standard wage, paid lunch, free transport, healthcare and so much more…we’re always adding to the list.
By doing this we’ve minimized unexplained absences or leave from work compared to most other BPOs in the Philippines.
When someone new joins us, more often than not they’re with us for the long term.
5. What Are Your Seasonal Peaks and Downtimes?
It’s also important to consider the seasonal peaks and downtimes in your business.
For instance, during the holidays, most call centers handle more transactions than usual.
Many consumers are flocking to stores for last-minute shopping, which means brands are busier as well.
During these times, you must ensure that your team can handle sudden spikes in incoming customer requests.
Likewise, you should also plan for downtimes.
We can add more agents to your team as required but as with anything, the best results happen when you plan ahead.
Additional resources you may find useful:
- Why the phone is still the most important customer channel
- Labor shortages? Transforming the great resignation into the great hire.
- Why outsource to the Philippines?
Thank you for reading our blog about “how many CSR agents you need”, we hope it helped! !
If you have any questions, be sure to leave them for us in the comments section below we would love to hear from you.
If you’d like to talk to us about outsourcing aspects of your business please reach out to us using the contact form below to schedule a call.
We encourage you to take look around the blog to get the lay of the land and a deeper understanding of how we work at Smiles On Demand.
Until next time!