Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
August 21, 2012
What is Call Center Schedule Adherence?
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor
The most expensive aspect of managing a call center is staffing; ensuring that agents are working efficiently within their set schedules is essential to the success of a business. Avoiding reoccurring call center schedule adherence issues and overhead shrinkage is all a matter of scheduling that fits the needs of agents and the call center.
Call center schedule adherence is a metric used in the call center to determine whether or not agents are working the amount of time they’re scheduled to work. Schedule adherence is measured by taking the total time a call center agent is available and dividing it by the time they are scheduled to work, expressed as a percentage.
Schedule adherence can take into account time spent on breaks or doing non-call related work. Most call centers define a target schedule adherence percentage allowing for cushion time beyond the scheduled break times.
If you run a small call center with five to 20 agents, you may think schedule adherence isn’t important. But Monet Software suggests that if you take a close look at the many junctures throughout the day where agent time is lost, you’ll see how it can add up to a huge loss of revenue for your business.
Specifically, schedule adherence is important for ensuring smooth transitions between shifts. Call center schedules tend to be complex, so there are junctures during a shift where an agent will go out of adherence.
For example, an agent may show up for his shift five minutes late; log on to the ACD seven minutes late; attend a training session eight minutes late; and exceed their break time by 10 minutes, Monet explained. This results in the agent being 30 minutes out of adherence for that one shift.
Keeping track of call center schedule adherence using manual systems like spreadsheets is time-consuming, which is where Web-based call center scheduling solutions are becoming essential to track schedule adherence in real-time with automatic alerts.
When deploying a schedule adherence program in your call center, Monet suggests discussing the changes with your employees first. In order to reduce negative backlash from your agents when implementing a new program, you should inform and educate them. Agents must understand the relevance of schedule adherence and how it affects the call center’s performance.
You should also measure schedule adherence using workforce management tools, and track adherence in real-time. Share these adherence reports with agents and discuss how they are doing as it is important to give regular feedback regarding adherence statistics.
Finally, you can provide incentives by rewarding agents that adhere to their schedule through recognition within the team. Monet says that it is critical agents are aware of the consequences for “out-of-adherence behavior,” as this establishes their responsibility to the success of the call center.
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Edited by Braden Becker