Time Tracking in the Contact Center


Command and control is, perhaps, the most fundamental set of processes in the contact center.  Knowing what is going on, both in real time and historically, is just plain old “good management.”  With companies struggling to gauge the productivity levels of customer service representatives (CSRs) and as long as contact centers have been a critical part of business, one would think the technologies and processes to record agent activity would be firmly understood and consistently applied.  BUT they are not!  Inconsistencies in time accounting make a mockery of benchmarking studies because no two operations record activity the same way.


A manager will always have difficulty justifying and obtaining the resources s/he needs without an accurate, mathematical description of the work that goes on in the contact center.  When budget time comes around, senior management take their calculator and multiply talk time by the number of calls and declare THAT is the staffing requirement!  It is incredibly tough to explain why the center needs as much as double that number without firm justification.


So, what are the underlying principles of time accounting in the contact center?  What needs recording and how should it be measured?  What tools does the automated call distribution (ACD) and contact management software have to help and how should they be used?  

Time Tracking in the Contact Center


This article originally appeared in Business Communications Review, July 2004

Common AUX Workstates

1.    Break

2.    Project Work

3.    Delayed Wrap

4.    Training

5.    Team Meeting

6.    Other

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Figure 1

Shrinkage Metric Breakout

Sick   5 days  


Vacation  10 days 


Breaks   30 min/day


Training  40 hrs/year


Team meetings 30min/week 


Project work  30 min/day 


True unproductive 30 min/day 


Total Shrinkage