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Everything you need to know about Erlang C

Erlang C is a proven method or formula to successfully predict call center load. The Erlang C formula calculates based on basic information (like the expected number of calls) how many call center employees (or agents) are needed to meet your desired service level. Erlang C is the standard in the call center industry. If you are new to call center forecasting, want to improve your customer experience or do you want to cut costs? Erlang C is the proven methodology underneath Agenses and your means of reaching your goal.

What exactly is Erlang C?

Erlang C is the basic formula behind all services Agenses offers. “The Erlang C formula expresses the probability that an arriving customer will need to queue (as opposed to immediately being served” according to WikiPedia.

Erlang C is used to determine the number of call center employees which are needed to staff a call center. It does this based on a certain service level.

Service level
The service level exists of two numbers which determine a  certain user experience. For example: a caller should wait no longer than 20 seconds before he gets to speak with a call center employee; At least 90% of the callers should speak with an employee within this time (20% of callers can wait longer).

Agenses service uses a practical approach in achieving your desired customer experience. It does this with cost effectiveness in mind. When impact on customer experience is low we give you the suggestion of scheduling one less employee so you can safe on costs.

When should you use Erlang C?
If you want to save costs and or want to improve your customers experience you should have basic understanding of Erlang C and how to use it.

When you make a schedule for your employees you do this with an expectation in your mind of how many call center agents are needed. The better these expectations meet reality the better the user experience and the lower the costs. You indeed do not want too many employees on schedule when there are only a few calls. Based on your previous call load, and average call duration we should use Erlang C to determine how many employees are needed.

Agenses offers free and paid tools to make forecasting and scheduling easier. If you are new to forecasting you can start by using Agenses R. It is free and will stay free.

In conclusion

By understanding the principles behind Erlang C call center managers can better

  • Understand call load and call distribution
  • Understand service level
  • Manage costs
  • Create a more stable user experience

The Erlang C Formula explained in technical terms.


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