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Contact Center Shrinkage Survey Released by Knowlagent

January 14, 2011

Knowlagent has announced findings from the Contact Center Shrinkage Survey, described by company officials as “a first of its kind for the call center industry.”

Shrinkage is commonly caused by washing clothes in water that’s too hot... oh sorry, according to the report it’s understood to be “any part of an agent's time that is consumed by activities other than customer interactions and an unavoidable operational cost for the industry.”

According to the survey, shrinkage is probably a bigger problem than you think. It can take up a considerable amount of an agent's work day -- “as much as 30 percent of an agent's time can be spent on off-phone activities.”

Breaking it down even further, the report found a distinct differences between types of shrinkage: “Primary loss accounts for 54 percent of shrinkage -- this relates to activities falling outside of call center management's control, such as tardiness, lunch or absenteeism. And secondary loss is attributed to activities that can be managed, such as training, social learning or project work. Secondary loss constitutes 46 percent of shrinkage and, overall, 12 percent of an agent's day.”

The Contact Center Shrinkage Survey breaks down shrinkage by activity, industry, call center size, channels supported and contacts handled.

Other findings include that outsourcers report the lowest percentage of time in shrinkage, the largest and smallest centers surveyed reported the least shrinkage and a growth in support of social media, chat and text is trending for larger organizations.

Collections has the highest percentage of shrinkage at 26 percent, and “the vast majority” of contact centers, the survey found, “would be happy with shrinkage improvement between 1 and 10 percent.”

In June TMC (News - Alert) wrote  that call center management software provider Knowlagent has put together a punchy list of seven ways to improve your call center coaching, titled "Seven Fundamental Plays from the Coaching All-Star Playbook."

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

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