Small Improvements in Schedule Adherence Save Big Money
As a contact center manager, it’s your job to build the schedule. You may take great pride in your ability, your spreadsheets, and your timeliness in disseminating these schedules to the workforce. But none of your skills matter if your adherence is continually poor.
Adherence problems, of course, can lead directly to customer service problems. When agents aren’t sticking to schedules, call queues get longer, emails and chats pile up and customers begin to abandon calls, which harms your relationship with them as well as your employee engagement and even your brand. So no matter how great your schedules are, tacking the “monster” that is adherence is part of being a great contact center manager.
“Like most monsters, this one can do a lot of damage, but it isn’t very smart,” he wrote. “That’s why it is no match for the real-time adherence solutions.”
Real-time adherence is a feature of some workforce management solutions today. It allows managers to compare planned agent activity to actual activities throughout the day. It also provides managers with real-time views of forecasted and actual call volumes, handle times and other key performance indicators in easy to view dashboards that provide alerts when something’s not going according to plan. Using this feature, managers can keep an eye on the “pulse” of the day in real-time. Real-time adherence also allows managers to compare agents' actual activities against their schedules, review a breakdown of adherence by activity, and manage exceptions. For this reason, adherence functionality is critical to performance management as well as scheduling.
The results speak for themselves. According to Ciarlo, a 25-agent call center could save $30,000 a year by improving staff adherence by two percent, and reducing shrinkage by 15 minutes per agent per day.
“Considering how much money lack of adherence can cost your business, anything that can be done to get a handle on this deterrent to efficiency should be worth a look,” wrote Ciarlo. One of the most important ways to keep adherence up is to keep shrinkage at bay.
“A key component to managing adherence is shrinkage, which is the time for which agents are paid during times when they are not available to handle calls,” wrote Ciarlo. “Shrinkage can dramatically affect your center's ability to meet service levels. Real-time adherence provides you the capabilities and tools to manage and reduce shrinkage.”
For companies looking to get a better handle on adherence, Monet Software offers a 45-minute Webinar entitled, “The Adherence Monster.” (The Webinar is archived on Monet’s Web site.) The event provides listeners with ideas for boosting adherence and avoiding the “scary” specter of losing hours of time to continued lapses in adherence.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi