In the contact center, few functions are more important than scheduling, workforce management and performance management. A good scheduling solution ensures that the right people are on the telephone (or other media, such as Web chat or email) at the right time so that customers don’t need to wait to have their problems or queries handled. Performance management and call monitoring ensure that the quality of service being offered is up to par.
A schedule, however, is not the end-all of a successful contact center, however, nor is quality monitoring. Schedules and monitoring don’t ensure that every employee who is scheduled will be present and doing the task he or she has been assigned to. For this reason, most successful contact centers track adherence, or how closely call center workers are sticking to the schedule. This is where attendance monitoring comes in, according to a recent blog post by Focus HR that outlines the different ways companies can track attendance.
“Call center industries, for example, use phone monitoring software which work not only in monitoring attendance but also in calculating response time for establishing headcount productivity,” wrote Focus HR. “Certain verticals like the call center industry benefit from a system like this for monitoring key performance indicators like average handling time and response time which are vital for profitability.”
It’s a little bit like the days when employees punched a clock, but updated for the twenty-first century. Some organizations go very high tech and use technologies such as biometrics to ensure the right people are at their posts at the right time. In the contact center industry, of course, this is impractical, since agents may be working from anywhere, including their homes.
For contact centers that may be virtual or distributed, other technologies step in to ensure better adherence. Focus HR offers a solution called WebClock, an internet-based product that allows employees to click in or out or view their time cards conveniently over a Web browser from any authorized workstation. Thanks to IP filters, employers can restrict which computers act as a time clock, ensuring that agents are not “clocking in” from an Internet café, for example. According to the company, it’s a good solution for environments with workstations connected to the Web, and who many not need a traditional wall-mounted time clock.
Improving adherence – long a goal in most contact centers – can rely on technology today to help. Because the best schedule in the world is of no value to a contact center if employees aren’t adhering to it.