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What is Idle Agent?

In call center terminology, an idle agent is a call center executive who is neither on call nor doing any after work related to a call nor attending any training session or meeting. In simplest form, an idle agent can be defined as an executive who is sitting idle. If agents are unmotivated and spend their time idle, then it is more likely that they will take down time as a chance to:

·  Browse the Internet

· Spend time on social media sites

· Indulge in chat sessions with friends or coworkers

· Search out for other employment opportunities

It is not that occasional break is not beneficial and encouraging to morale, but in call center service industry, excessive agent idle time is often considered as an indication to take a look at operation and planning. Excessive agent idle time raises also the question of how that time could be spent in a more effective and productive manner.

To maximize productivity and minimize agent idle time, call centers are opting different methods to keep their agents focused on significant tasks even when there is a decline in call volume. Some of the methods employed by call centers to optimize productivity and improve idle time are:

1. Deliver targeted training: Monitoring agents’ call volume help managers identify times when call volumes fall below a pre-defined level and they can and enables them to remove agents from the queue for dynamic/random training tasks.

2. Maximize cross-channel customer experience: During a decline in call volumes, managers move agents from voice based process to other customer support channels such as chat, e-mail, social response etc.

3. Distribute back office work: Managers choose agents to do pre-allotted back office work when call volumes dip to a pre-determined level.

Such initiatives, not only elevate productivity but they also provide a satisfying environment to work at.

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