Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
September 25, 2012
Managing the Deluge of Contact Center Data
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
Once upon a time, a problem many call centers faced was not having enough quality data about their operations. Call center management was more of an art than a science, since experienced managers needed to make a lot of guesses: about call volume, about staffing, about queuing, about average handle times and time callers were on hold.
Nowadays, it’s likely that call centers have the opposite problem. Thanks to new, modern contact center platforms, 100 percent call recording and technologies such as analytics, call centers are drowning in data. The problem is, much of it is distracting noise, and many call center managers are having a hard time determining the best way to use the tidal wave of information that pours over them every day.
The information generated by call center solutions today is valuable as it can help improve operations, find new efficiencies, keep to optimum staffing and improve the caller’s experience. However, many managers still lack the skill – or even a starting place – to know how to make sense of all the data. Workforce optimization solutions provider Monet Software recently compiled a list of seven of the top performance measures that can most directly trigger improved results, whether directed at management, agents or customers.
1. Schedule Adherence and Efficiency. Do agents scheduled to work specific hours actually do so? If not, are calls being missed or delayed before they are addressed? According to Monet, corrections made here can boost productivity quickly. Once schedule adherence has been clarified, efficiencies can be gained that allow call center managers to assign the right number of agents for each day and each shift.
2. Call Answer Time. What is the average speed of answer (ASA) at the call center? Most centers have a defined wait threshold that should be met consistently.
3. Agent Occupancy. This is the time agents spend on the clock but not on calls. When staffing and scheduling is handled correctly, agents should be busy but not overworked. The goal is to avoid too much idle time, while also having enough available personnel so that each call is answered in an acceptable time frame, says Monet.
4. First Call Resolution. This is one of the most critical metrics in a contact center, because once it’s achieved, efficiencies and savings follow across the board. While it’s not always possible for agents to close all issues on one call, agents who are consistently unable to achieve FCR should be scheduled for additional training.
5. Transfer Rate. The best possible way to irritate customers is to force them to repeat their information and their issue to more than one person. Ensuring that transfers remain to a minimum is an important issue in a contact center.
6. Abandon Rates. When a customer hangs up, it will not always be the fault of the call center or the agent. Some people just have shorter fuses than others. However, abandon rates can often be reduced by shorter wait times and courteous agents, according to Monet.
7. Blocked Calls. Blocked calls are those that never make it through to an agent due to insufficient network capabilities, resulting in angry customers. Are some blocked calls inevitable at peak times? Or can these calls be taken with better scheduling, expanded trunks or other corrective measures?
All of these issues can be directly addressed with the information provided to call center managers from the ACD, the IVR, the workforce management solution, the call recording solutions and other systems. Configuring the contact center so that the landslide of information becomes a predictable stream of the right information to the right place at the right time can make all the difference in a contact center’s operations.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli