Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
February 21, 2012
Advanced Agent Adherence Improves Call Center Scheduling
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor
Call center scheduling is fragile as agents may arrive late, log in to the wrong work queue, take breaks or lunch at different times, or get called away for an unexpected meeting or conference. The more agents a call center has, the more can go wrong. Therefore, greater return can be reaped from a real-time adherence system. For call center scheduling, advanced agent adherence systems is a great solution.
On a recent Monet Software blog post, the company highlights a challenge in tracking and monitoring call center schedule adherence as agents can have different non-call tasks and exceptions, and states that it is difficult to plan for and then monitor those states. Advanced Agent Adherence allows the creation of custom states and rules to match the unique needs of your call center.
Agents' failure to be in the right place at the right time can stem from many factors besides obvious reasons like tardiness, bathroom visits, or failure to promptly return to their desks after scheduled breaks.
Pipkins (News - Alert).com reported that if two percent of call center agents are not at their assigned posts, then the percentage of calls answered within 30 seconds will drop by 10 percent. If 10 percent of agents are out of sync, half of the center's incoming calls will likely not be answered within the target time frame. Understaffing caused by agents' failure to adhere to their schedules can lead to abandoned calls, angry customers, lost sales, and an inability to meet service level agreements.
In order to avoid complications like these, call center scheduling needs strategies for stopping adherence violations.
Advanced agent adherence creates custom states for any number of activities and sets thresholds for each state so that time in a particular state can automatically be broken down into acceptable and unacceptable time.
Large companies can benefit from the use of advanced agent adherence systems that come as optional modules with the more advanced workforce scheduling programs. These adherence systems communicate with the call center's Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) to determine each agent's current activity and compare that information to his or her assigned schedule. These targets are then used in reports that track each agent's performance over time to aid in personnel evaluations and ongoing quality-of-service efforts.
Exceptions and non-call activities will be added by default and will be considered “scheduled activities,” along with available, break, lunch, and logged out states. Call center managers can customize which statuses are allowed and not allowed for each scheduled activity.Since every call center has unique agent activity types and this flexible approach to agent adherence monitoring gives centers a new level of accuracy in managing call center performance. The goal of real-time adherence monitoring is simply to reduce unproductive time.
Edited by Tammy Wolf