How do I calculate how many techs are required to work in tech support for 24/7 operation?
I am trying to determine the correct head count for the help desk. We are a 24/7 operation and tickets are being either missed or not closed out. I have done some research on this, and can't find a calculation or if one even exists.
Every support center is different. Over staff and estimate the number of tickets you might get. With the data you collect from that period of time you can calculate how many staff you need for optimal revenue and customer satisfaction.
Calculating the right head count for help desk/support centers is extremely important for customer satisfaction – there are a number of workforce management (WFM) tools that can be used to determine what you need on an ongoing basis, but you’ll need some basic information to get started. (Following is a very basic description of what you’ll need. You should consider getting expert help depending on your business and satisfaction goals. WFM mistakes can be costly.)
First, you’ll need to forecast your call volume (other contact channels can be considered separately) on a daily basis to get to an average number of calls per hour. This should be done using historical data as well as data based on what drives your contact volume (i.e. sales, seasonal trends, number of customers, etc.). Next, you’ll need to understand the average handle time (AHT) of your contacts (are calls 3 minutes or 20 minutes long? how much time does the agent need to log the call info into the ticket after the call?). Other factors that go into the calculation will be what kind of service levels you want (how long are you willing to make a customer wait for a rep?).
Additional factors that will go into staffing are call volumes over the course of the day (what times of day are your heaviest volumes?), week and month, etc.
Erlang C calculators are generally the most effective for forecasting head count. One I’ve used with success is cc-Modeler at www.kooltoolz.com.
You also mentioned missed and open tickets which could also be process and/or performance issues that should be addressed.
There are a lot of details to consider in setting up a successful help desk – especially if you’re business is growing. Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions.
Theoretically you need 4.5 persons per seat for 24/7 operations. In addition you need specialist resources on standby to respond to specific technical issues as and when tickets are raised for that specialty. Determination of full-time / part-time / single shift / on-call / standby can be made based on call volume for the specialty.
If you're worried only about attending calls 24/7 but do not have the call volumes to justify 4.5 resources just to attend calls, you could consider the following:
1. outsource to a 3rd party call center, who will receive calls and then divert the calls to specialists depending on the issue.
2. Set-up a system (call manager) which will route / forward calls to the mobile or home # of whoever is the designated resource for answering calls for the specific shift.
If some tickets are being missed, add one more tech.
That's the formula.