Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
December 22, 2011
The Critical Role of Call Center Scheduling
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
The agent that spends most of his time reading emails, taking breaks and navigating online training tools is hurting your schedule adherence and consequently, your bottom line. With the right call center scheduling tools in place, you can better monitor this individual and keep him on the phones.
This Monet Software blog highlights the importance of adherence in the call center. Without robust call center scheduling tools, three areas can be immediately affected due to out-of-adherence: a reduction in the speed of answer, which reduces services levels and satisfaction; a reduction in productivity as it affects workload and occupancy, driving up staffing costs; and a dramatic increase in telephony costs.
Fortunately, if you put the right tools in place, you can minimize out-of-adherence among your call center staff, keeping everyone aligned with your call center scheduling goals. To truly realize the benefits, however, you need to be able to understand the costs to your center when call center scheduling activities do not reduce out-of-adherence among the agent base. As such, it’s important that you measure and quantify the overall effect.
Consider the call center environment with 200 agents. As a result of out-of-adherence activities, the call center is losing 10 minutes per day. The average hourly wage for the 200 agents is $15, producing a shrinkage cost of $130,000 per year. Let’s do the math:
- 10 minutes x 5 days x 52 weeks = 2,600 minutes per year = 43.3 hours per year.
- 43.3 hours x $15 = $650 per person x 200 agents = $130,000.
Once you understand the cost of agents performing outside of your call center scheduling standards, you begin to understand the importance of this practice. These are hard dollar costs that your call center could easily avoid if you implement the right call center scheduling tools that enable you to schedule effectively, monitor for out-of-adherence and measure the impact.
At the same time, it’s important to educate your call center staff on the importance of adherence. If your agents don’t understand why it’s critical to stick to the schedule and what it can mean to key performance indicators (KPIs), overall performance and even their opportunity to earn bonuses, they’re less likely to adhere to the schedule.
Once your agents understand the importance of call center scheduling, provide them with incentives to improve performance and reduce overall shrinkage. They are part of a team and their actions matter. If you get them excited about that fact and provide them insight to the bigger picture, they’re more likely to stick to the schedule, focusing on productivity and efficiency.
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