Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
February 27, 2012
Spreadsheets Not as Effective for Call Center Scheduling, Says Monet Software
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor
Many smaller call centers still use spreadsheets to manage call center schedules and workforce planning with the idea that spreadsheets are a sufficient tool for fewer call center agents. However, Monet Software recently explained that it is actually more difficult to use spreadsheets to manage fewer agents.
Monet Software recently posted a blog explaining why smaller companies need a strategy other than spreadsheets to manage call center schedules. Some of the reasons include: behavior of individual agents have bigger impact on overall call center performance; fewer agents need to multi-task, making skill-based scheduling more complex; and it is more difficult to correct the schedule once it has been upset by unexpected events.
According to Monet, staffing is the most expensive resource in the entire call center budget (60 to 80 percent), therefore, even a one percent increase in productivity will significantly impact the bottom line. Sometimes, spreadsheets for forecasting and scheduling seem to work fine, however, call center adherence can be difficult or almost impossible to manage using spreadsheets. There are also other forecasting and scheduling tasks that can be very challenging with spreadsheets. Monet Software has come up with a list of areas within call center scheduling that spreadsheets simply do not support.
According to Monet, studies have shown that spreadsheets do not support schedule adherence well. Monet says that tracking and monitoring agent adherence in real-time has a tremendous positive impact on call center performance.
Exception handling can also be a very manual process and complicated with spreadsheets, while automated exception handling of modern WFM solutions keep agents happy and results in higher productivity.
Spreadsheets limit schedule flexibility as you might not be able to take advantage of schedules with flexible start-time, end-time and breaks to boost service levels.
Call history is not supported well with the use of spreadsheets because call history needs real-time automated data that handles very large amounts of data history.
Skill-based routing and scheduling is extremely complicated to manage with spreadsheets, so call centers often can't realize productivity advantages of skill-based scheduling.
If you are a smaller company that is still using spreadsheets for call center manager, review Monet Software’s recommendations to evaluate the potential for improving call center operation. You can also learn more about call center scheduling solutions by looking at Monet’s automating forecasting, scheduling and adherence tracking.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin