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Conformance measures how much time an agent works with respect to the time the contact center pays them to do so.
However, “work” does not only include engaging in customer conversations. It also involves taking part in coaching sessions, meetings, and huddles.
Why? Because the company is paying agents for their time. As this is the case, advisors are also “conforming” when enjoying a paid break.
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Why does Conformance Matter?
Conformance represents a cost. It helps contact centers to decipher whether they are getting enough “bang for their buck”.
If conformance rates are close to 100% – or slightly exceed that percentage – the contact center optimizes operational effectiveness and resource allocation.
When conformance rates fall short of this mark, leaders must step in to manage and support agents. If not, service levels will falter, wait times will increase, and agents will have a higher workload when they are working.
However, it is not just a metric for team leaders to concern themselves. By measuring conformance, operations may track the impact of leader interventions, finance can improve budget planning, and HR may monitor employee behaviors.
How to Calculate Conformance
Calculate contact center conformance with this simple formula:
To bring this formula to life, consider the following example of an agent who works a 4-hour (240 minutes) shift.
While the agent started ten minutes late, they stayed behind for 15 minutes afterward. So, despite being paid to work, 240 minutes, the agent works 245.
To calculate a conformance rate for the agent, enter these figures into the equation above like so:
(245/240) x 100 = 102.1%
Just be careful not to factor unpaid breaks into conformance calculations. Of course, in the scenario above, the agent takes a paid break. However, this is often not the case.
Also, avoid confusing conformance with schedule adherence. An agent starting their shift ten minutes late will hurt service levels, occupancy rates, and queue time. Conformance will not highlight such issues, but adherence will. Therefore, consider measuring both metrics separately.
Three Ways to Improve Conformance Rates
Here is an array of clever ideas to improve call center conformance rates.
- Define Conformance Clearly – Agents may confuse conformance with other metrics, such as adherence and occupancy. So, clearly define each metric and provide a simple glossary. Doing so ensures that the team understands each of the statistics on their dashboard.
- Engage in Conformance Conversations – Assess the current state of conformance. Who is not pulling weight? Quick, informal, and friendly conversations with these advisors – reminding them of the value of conformance – is often enough to influence behavior.
- Track and Act – After talking to particular agents, track how conformance rates change. If they do not, delve deeper. Is the agent leaving early or arriving too late? Then, discuss the problem with the agent and perhaps offer a slightly different shift pattern, if possible. Doing so will improve conformance and complement work-life balance.
Eager to track conformance, alongside schedule adherence and more planning metrics? Workforce management (WFM) software provides the perfect platform.