Call center shrinkage is a measure the time wasted in the call center due to things like vacation, breaks, lunch, holidays, sick time, training and more. Shrinkage is a measure used in contact centers that helps calculate the difference between the number of staff that a forecasting system says is required and the practical considerations of how many employees are available at a particular time.
It consists of two main components namely:
i) Internal shrinkage:
This type of shrinkage is also known as in- center shrinkage. The factors responsible for this type of shrinkage include training, team meetings, unplanned facility breaks, system downtime etc.
ii) External shrinkage:
This type of call center shrinkage is also called in- center shrinkage. It is caused due to sickness, holidays, public holidays, paid breaks etc.
Mostly, call center managers take all these factors into consideration. However, there are a few factors that affect the shrinkage to a great extent. Some of them include lateness, talking to associates, personal calls, and emergencies, leaving early and taking longer breaks. The bottom line on shrinkage is the number of minutes per day that agents are being paid to be on the phone when they are not actually working or available to receive calls or work on customer related issues.
The mathematical formula for calculating call center shrinkage is:
Shrinkage (%) = [Total hours of external shrinkage + Total hours of internal shrinkage] / Total hours available * 100
Call center shrinkage is a major factor in failing to meet service level targets. According to a research, all centers that take shrinkage parameters into account in their forecasting and scheduling achieve higher service levels at lower operating costs. This is achieved by including all call related activities into the forecast and schedule planning process beforehand. This helps in exceeding the expected level of service.