Knowlagent Customer Contact Center Productivity Survey Reveals Agents Average 49 Minutes of Idle Time Daily

A new survey of contact center leaders reveals that the average amount of idle time per day per employee is nearly an hour, as respondents report 49 minutes daily per agent on average. Knowlagent, provider of an agent productivity solution for 10 million call center agents, has released this and other findings from its 2011 Customer Contact Center Productivity Survey. Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, conducted the survey in August, which included input from 312 contact center executives, managers or supervisors.

Most respondents manage inbound call centers, and close to half say they provide service and support as a service center or help desk capacity. Leading industries represented in the survey include manufacturing, IT services and consulting, insurance, high tech and financial services.

The Knowlagent survey sought to understand contact center management's biggest challenges, and how they are leveraging technology, measuring productivity and performance, and delivering training. A free copy of the report's findings can be downloaded at

"For a 100-person contact center, 49 minutes of idle time equates to 82 hours of downtime in a day," says Knowlagent CEO Matt McConnell. "This is a vast amount of unproductive time. Harnessing this time could be an ideal opportunity to deploy off-phone activities, such as communications and training which respondents say drive performance in key improvement areas but say they have little time to deliver."

The 2011 Knowlagent Customer Contact Center Productivity Survey asked questions in four key areas: management, downtime, technology and training.

Seventy-three percent of respondents say contact centers are the company "face" to customers, yet 57% of call center managers are experiencing trouble finding or keeping employees with the right skills for their centers. Additionally, 41% say handling increased call volumes is the top contact center challenges for the year ahead. Fifty-nine percent also see productivity as a major challenge in the upcoming year.

A majority of respondents measure both contact center employee "performance," based on the final results of agents' work (63%), and "productivity," based on measurable output (52%). Leading performance measurement is quality (36%), followed by first call resolution (35%). The leading productivity measurement is average handle time (32%) followed by completed calls per day, month and week (30%).

Thirty percent of respondents see their contact centers' technology as behind comparable contact centers in their industry or region. Another 46% of respondents say getting a better return on investment (ROI) in technology they already own is also a main challenge in the upcoming year. When it comes to social media, results are mixed. Only 24% of call centers respond to customer inquiries via social network channels, such as Facebook or Twitter. Twenty-six percent of respondents say their companies maintain separate, distinct teams to engage customers through these channels, and another 26% say other departments - such as marketing - tend to take up the task themselves. 

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A free copy of the report's findings can be downloaded at