Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
October 10, 2012
Lack of Schedule Adherence Costs Call Centers Money and Customer Good Will
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
Maintaining a good schedule in the contact center is a two-part strategy. First, of course, there is the building of a high quality schedule that reflects your contact center’s business and call/contact traffic. The next part is trickier: adhering to that schedule once it’s built. Being out of adherence can cause a number of problems in the contact center, all of them widening out – like a small stone tossed into a pond – in concentric circles to affect the entire call center.
There are three areas in particular that are affected when a call center falls out of adherence:
· Speed of answer to customers is reduced (service level and satisfaction);
· Staff workload and occupancy are affected (productivity and staffing cost); and
· Telephone costs can soar (operational costs).
All of these can raise costs – sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the call center -- lower customer service quality and burn out agents, leading to higher turnover. For this reason, it’s necessary to try and stay as close to adherence as possible. Many companies find the task of maintain adherence easier with the help of real-time adherence monitoring features built into their contact center solutions.
Real-time schedule adherence functionality continuously monitors and records the real-time status of your staff to show which agents are on the phone and which ones are not, so you can quickly take corrective action to streamline workflow processes, wrote Monet Software in a recent blog on the topic. Adherence screens display when agents are available for calls and when they take their lunches and breaks based on predetermined schedules.
Specifically, advanced agent adherence can allow for the creation of custom states and rules to match the unique needs of the call center, allowing call centers to create custom states for any number of activities, such as call wrap-up, special after call work, or outbound preparation; set thresholds for each state, indicating how much time is considered “in adherence” so that time in a particular state can automatically be broken down into acceptable and unacceptable time; and define which states are included or not included in the agent adherence calculation.
To help contact centers learn more ways to raise adherence in the contact center, Monet has prepared this white paper entitled, “Strategies For Improving Scheduling Adherence.”
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli