How Many Call Center Agents do I Need?

The UK call center market is expanding rapidly and brought in roughly £2.5bn in revenue in 2022 . Starting a call center can be extremely lucrative and there are plenty of opportunities to increase profitability and expand.

That said, customer expectations have never been higher and there is fierce competition in the customer service sector. One question that businesses often struggle to answer is, “How many call center agents do I need?”. Balancing customer satisfaction with operational efficiency can be challenging and requires a deep understanding of your customer service goals and staffing needs.

This article will provide practical insights to help you streamline your call center operations effectively.

Knowing Your Customer Service Goals

You must have a good understanding of your customer service goals before you can determine the right number of call center agents for your business.

Are you aiming for quick response times, maintaining high customer satisfaction scores, or optimizing cost efficiency? These goals should guide your staffing decisions and each objective requires a different approach.

For instance, you will likely need more agents to handle a higher volume of calls if your main goal is rapid response times. If cost efficiency is your top priority, you will need to focus on striking a balance between having enough agents to meet demand without overstaffing.

Using the Erlang Formula

The Erlang Formula is a mathematical formula that is commonly used to calculate the number of agents needed in a call center. This equation considers critical factors such as average call duration, call volume, and desired service level to estimate how many agents are required during different time intervals.

The Erlang Formula is a powerful tool that can help you plan your staffing needs. However, it requires accurate historical call data and a realistic service level target to produce reliable staffing predictions. You can use a free online Erlang calculator to determine how many agents you require in your call center.

What Impacts Call Center Agent Staffing?

You should also consider what factors may impact your staffing requirements when deciding how many call center agents you need. Take into account:

Staff Turnover

Statistics reveal that staff turnover in the call center industry is roughly 26% , considerably higher than the national average of 15%.

High staff turnover rates can impact your staffing calculations as hiring and training new agents can be timeintensive and costly. Implementing strategies to reduce staff turnover, such as offering competitive salary packages and improving the workplace environment conditions, can help you.

Hiring Quality Candidates

Agents that are well-trained and motivated will handle customer calls more efficiently. This should lead to faster resolution times, increased sales, and higher overall business performance. With that in mind, it pays to invest in a rigorous recruitment process that focuses on hiring high-calibre candidates.

Performance Management

Effective performance management can enhance the productivity of your call center agents. Regular performance evaluations, training, and feedback can help agents improve their efficiency and build on their confidence, reducing the need for excessive staffing.

Pro tip: Performance-based incentive programs can further motivate your team and have been shown to boost performance by 27% . Various studies have revealed that call center agents will work harder if they feel appreciated and valued.

Call Center Agent Motivation

Motivated agents are more likely to handle a higher volume of calls effectively, reducing the need for additional staffing. Foster a positive work environment by recognizing and rewarding top performers. You should also provide opportunities for career growth to keep your agents motivated and engaged.

How EvaluAgent Can Help You Get The Most Out Of Your Call Center Agents

In conclusion, determining how many agents you need is a complex task that involves balancing your staffing decisions with your customer service goals, using mathematical models like the Erlang Formula, and addressing critical factors like staff turnover and performance management.

At EvaluAgent, we offer advanced, industry-leading call center quality assurance software that gives you a comprehensive overview of your call center and helps you get the most out of your call center agents.

With features including automation, coaching and in-depth analytics,

Meeting customer needs while maintaining cost-effectiveness has never been so achievable.

Get in touch with our experts to book a free demo and see how our technology can help you optimise your call center staffing and maximise revenue.