Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
March 14, 2012
Call Center Scheduling Tips by Monet Software
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor
Monet Software has established a list of call center scheduling tips to keep your call center running efficiently, keep service levels increasing, and your customer base and revenues growing. Be sure to follow these scheduling tips to improve the overall operations of your call center.
Use a flexible shift model: Using fixed start times, lunch breaks, and end times will result in overstaffing, which means higher costs, or understaffing, which means lower service levels and revenues. Monet advises that you gradually implement a flexible shift model by introducing it to some of your agents to start, and slowly move the whole center to the model. This will Increase your service levels by one or two percent and result in a similar percentage of savings in personnel costs.
Track and minimize shrinkage: 15 minutes shrinkage per day in a 25 agent center costs $23,437 per year. Minimize this cost by better matching call volume and agent availability through a flexible shift model. Increase forecast and schedule accuracy by including all tasks.
Track and improve schedule adherence: Inform and educate agents because agents need to understand the relevance of schedule adherence. Monet says to explain how just 10 minutes impacts the entire center performance. Also, measure and manage adherence by using workforce management tools. Then share adherence reports with your agents to show them how they are doing. Provide incentives such as rewarding agents with recognition and/or bonuses.
Cross train multi-skill agents: Reduce the number of agents needed to handle your call volume. Form overlapping groups such as one group for call type A and B, and one group for C and D. You can even improve by adding a group that is able to handle B and C.
Compare ACD log-on time to time clock entries: Make sure agents are logged in and ready for calls coordinating with the clock time. Monet suggests you consider using the ACD agent log-in and log-out times for payroll depending on the culture and procedures you have established in your center.
Include all activities in the schedule: When developing your call center’s forecast and schedule make sure to include breaks and lunches, multiple tasks like calls and email, training, and time-off.
Rank agents and match teams by personality: Creating a schedule by agent rank can be very effective in reducing costs and increasing sales. Rank according to call completion time, calls per hour or other performance measures including sales. According to Monet, studies have shown that a positive relationship with colleagues drives motivation and performance.
Edited by Jamie Epstein