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Does your Contact Center Measure for Adherence and Conformance?

Are your forecasted call volumes excellent, but you just can’t seem to reach your targeted service level? Do you have all the necessary resources at your disposal, but find that your customer wait times continue to increase? What about the adherence and conformance of your agents?

Does your Contact Center Measure for Adherence and Conformance?

The best-designed schedules can be rendered useless if they are not respected. The proper application of schedules is the critical point that is often overlooked and can explain the reason for lower service level results.

Distinguishing between Adherence and Conformance

While many may attempt to combine these indicators to simplify the analysis, we believe it is very important to measure the two separately. The reason is simple. ​ Adherence measures the punctuality of agents. It assesses compliance with the schedule throughout the day. In contrast, conformance refers to productive hours worked by the agent for an entire day. ​ An employee could be conforming without adhering. For example, an agent arrives 20 minutes late for work. This agent is not adhering to his or her schedule. However, the same agent also remains at work 20 minutes later than scheduled. The agent is therefore respecting the total number of hours planned.

Calculating Adherence

The adherence is measured by subtracting the total planned minutes (according to the schedule) by the total actual minutes out of adherence and dividing by the total planned minutes (according to the schedule), only when the agent is present for work. ​ Since the agent may be delayed by a longer-than-expected call, it is recommended to leave a margin of error of 2 minutes per activity (breaks and meals). This margin may be adjusted upward if the call processing time is longer.

Calculating Conformance

Conformance is measured by dividing the minutes worked by the minutes planned in service based on the schedule. To calculate conformance, simply calculate the daily productive hours, then divide the hours worked by the daily productive hours.

Productive Hours

Calculating Productive Hours


Calculating Conformance

Why be adherent and conformant?

The adherence and conformance have a direct impact on the service level and consequently the waiting times, the occupancy rate and the abandoned rate. ​ Agents must therefore be adherent and conformant out of respect to the customers, colleagues and to the organization. ​ For example, if some agents delay taking their break while others take them early, A significant number of agents will be off the lines at once! This absence will have an immediate effect on the service level and the waiting time (see the table below).

Table - Adherence and Conformance
Customer's Waiting Impact - Adherence and Conformance

Adherence and conformance are often neglected by both agents and managers. Yet, once measured, these indicators allow contact centers to truly benefit from optimal workforce planning in order to achieve their goals.

To achieve this:

  • Set goals for these indicators and empower agents by joining these goals in their performance management program.

  • Educate agents on the impacts of non-adherence and non-conformance

  • Ensure a real-time look at adherence to identify irregularities in order to quickly intervene and reduce impacts on service coverage.

​ i3vision can assist you in setting up the adherence and conformity indicators for your Customer Contact Center. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Redacted by: Marie-Helene Savard - Senior Director, Customer Experience

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