Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
December 28, 2011
Call Center Management Can Flourish with Robust Scheduling Tools
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
The scheduling requirements within your call center can determine the level of complexity involved in your overall call center management. With the right tools in place, however, you can easily avoid some of the pitfalls that result in over- or under-staffing within the call center, which can lead to even bigger problems.
This latest Monet Software blog offers tips and best practices that can apply to the different scheduling challenges faced by call center management. During the holiday season, scheduling for holidays, vacations and requested time off can be tricky. Call center management would do well to implement a robust workforce management solution that takes special days and holidays into account when scheduling for anticipated call volumes.
Call center management must also determine what activities should be included in the call center schedule. This requires a clear focus on activities that are relevant to the performance of the call center, including time on the phones, time spent wrapping up the call after it’s complete, time spent in coaching or training sessions and time spent on breaks. The right scheduling tools helps to ensure all of these activities are included in the schedule.
If your environment supports the full-time, part-time and flex-time worker, you need a robust scheduling platform to allow call center management to schedule according to different agent availability. You may also have multiple channels within your call center, each of which require specific forecasting and scheduling to ensure the agents you have on staff are not only qualified, but also available to interact through multiple channels.
Allowing shift bidding and trading by the call center management is a great way to boost motivation and keep agents engaged in scheduling activities. It also allows you to integrate added flexibility into your schedule with automated shift bidding and trading. This process is made even easier when you have a web-based tool at the ready that allows supervisors and agents to collaborate on shift bidding and trading.
Did you know you can effectively reduce the number of agents needed to handle a higher volume of calls if you use skill-based routing and scheduling? This can dramatically reduce your overall cost, while also delivering a better experience for your customers.
Finally, flexibility in your start and end times allows agents to come in later or work longer hours on specific days. You can base this on agent requests, as well as the needs of call center management. This is not something you should attempt to do manually. Instead, invest in a robust workforce management solution that allows you to capture all necessary hours so you never under-staff or over-staff the center. In the end, everyone will be happier in their position and your performance numbers will soar.
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