Call Center Management Feature Article
November 17, 2011
Call Center Management Can Benefit from Tips for Effective Scheduling
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Tired of shuffling agents to try and meet your call volume? Searching for a way to minimize under- and over-staffing and maintaining a steady approach to scheduling and workforce management? Monet Software has a few tips useful for anyone in call center management.
This Monet Software blog offers call center management three ways to simplify call center scheduling, including focusing on a more accurate forecast, involving your agents in the process and automating repetitive tasks. By closely focusing on these simple elements, call center management can make their jobs and the operation of their centers a bit easier.
Focus on an accurate forecast – when call center management focuses on forecast accuracy, you can avoid under-staffing, while minimizing the crisis situation. At the same time, you also want to avoid shuffling agents around to fit your changing needs.
To get the best possible forecast baseline for your schedule, identify historic and future call volume drivers, such as events, special days, promotions, etc. Run various scenarios to prepare for potential situations, and include all customer service related activities into your forecast, remembering both call and non-call. Finally, include all communication channels to ensure optimal coverage.
Involve your agents – the individuals working the floor are often the best source of information for call center management. Get these individuals involved by asking them about their preferences, explaining the need for flexibility. With open communication, you can create an open and more enjoyable work environment, while also driving more effective schedules that drive results.
To engage your agents, all call center management should survey these individuals regarding preferences and personal needs and then work with them to match these needs with the needs of the business. It is also critical that incentives are provided for those agents who are willing to be flexible.
Automate repetitive tasks – automating certain tasks can free your agents to spend more time coaching, monitoring and training. Call center management can also automate reports and make it a routine to compare forecasted with actual call volume, schedule effectiveness and adherence to learn for sure what worked and what did not.
Call center management can easily automate the inclusion of call history into all forecasting procedures; automate forecasting and scheduling scenarios with simulation; and create a dashboard with a daily performance goal to streamline intra-day monitoring and management.
Driving effective call center management to ensure the proper operation of the call center does not have to be a complicated task. By following the three tips included here, you can streamline your efforts and keep your agents focused on the most important element within the call center: your customers.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco