Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
August 28, 2013
Call Center Scheduling: Beyond Schedule Adherence
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
If you’re a contact center and you’re still building schedules by hand, or using the popular “spread sheet” method, chances are, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. For starters, determining whether the contact center is in adherence with the schedule you’ve built becomes a virtual impossibility.
Many call centers are used to finding out they are out of adherence only days or even weeks later. Real-time adherence – receiving alerts when one or more elements of operations go out of adherence – can almost seem like science fiction when using manual scheduling methods.
Modern workforce management does much more than use historical information and forecasts to build schedules. Today’s technology allows for real-time monitoring and alerting of schedules to ensure that all steps are taken to stick to the day’s schedules, even down to 15 minute intervals. The trick, writes Monet Software’s Chuck Ciarlo in a recent blog post, is having the right tools for the job.
The benefits of modern workforce management aren’t limited to simply forecasting. Using WFM, call centers can actually run simulations based on historical data, enabling them to get as close as possible to a workable, reliable schedule. Intraday management capabilities helps contact centers understand when adjustments are necessary, and the solution can provide real-time updates so schedule goals are met regardless of changes.
By comparing forecasted data with actual daily activity, contact centers can make adjustments on-the-fly, better understanding where the bottle necks are occurring and taking steps to mitigate them.
One of the most compelling benefits of modern workforce management – impossible with manual methods – is the performance analysis and metrics that can be generated. These metrics can track agent teams, individual agents and skills, helping managers understand which areas specifically (or which agents) need more training or reorganization. It’s a way of focusing resources where they are truly needed rather than wasting time and effort where they are not. Dashboards that show real-time activity can keep managers up-to-date on what’s happening right now, and alerts can come via a variety of media to administrators, managers and executives, to assure them that operations are proceeding smoothly.
The goal, of course, is more consistent schedule adherence. While it may seem the benefits are to managers and agents in the right now, they ripple far beyond simply being able to say the schedule was followed. These benefits lead directly to escalated customer service quality, reduced customer churn and even reduced agent turnover.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi