Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
January 09, 2013
How to Minimize Call Center Shrinkage
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor
Schedule adherence is one of the key challenges call center managers face every day. Companies that offer call center scheduling solutions must understand that increasing schedule adherence has a huge cost saving and efficiency potential, but customers need the right tools in order to better track all agent activities to get to the next level.
One of the most important areas of call center scheduling adherence is shrinkage, according to a recent blog post by Monet Software, a global provider of workforce optimization solutions for small- and medium-sized contact centers. Ultimately, shrinkage is the amount of minutes per day that agents are being paid to be on the phone when they are not actually working or available to receive calls.
The complexity of call center configurations with multiple locations, time zones, more demanding customer interactions and new communication channels make it more difficult to manage shrinkage.
“You cannot any longer manage the shrinkage in today’s complex call centers just by standing up and looking out across your center or using a manual/spreadsheet based approach,” explained Monet.
Therefore, shrinkage becomes more of an issue for call centers that don’t leverage workforce management solutions. Usually, they don’t have the necessary visibility into what happens at any moment in time and what is supposed to happen based on the published schedule.
There are many reasons for shrinkage, and it has to be taken into account when scheduling the required number of agents to meet call volumes. But, according to Monet, most companies seriously under-estimate the volume of shrinkage that besets their call centers because of hidden areas of shrinkage including lateness, talking to associates, personal calls, leaving early and longer breaks.
Unfortunately, shrinkage is a major factor in failing to meet service level targets in the call center. Call centers that take shrinkage parameters into account in their forecasting and scheduling actually achieve higher service levels at lower operating costs.
Monet has shared a few suggestions on how to reduce shrinkage, which include:
1. Increase forecast and schedule accuracy by including all activities into your schedule:
- Call time and after work-related to calls
- Outbound if triggered by inbound calls
- Chat (if important to your business)
- Outbound calls
- Other unproductive time
2. Monitor schedule adherence and work with agents to improve over time
- Monitor in real-time
- Run reports and share with the call center team
For more information on shrinkage, download Monet’s whitepaper about improving schedule adherence in your call center.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey