Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
September 10, 2013
Contact Centers Shortchange Customers, Agents and Operations with Manual Scheduling
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
In the call center, scheduling has always been a critical operation. There are too few agents, and the contact center is overly busy, leaving customers on hold and dealing with frazzled agents who make mistakes. Also, too many agents and workers spend time idling, playing solitaire and redoing their resumes so they can find a job that doesn’t bore them to tears. Both scenarios, understaffing or overstaffing, can cost the contact center big in wasted labor and lost customers.
Despite the importance of the scheduling process, many contact centers continue to schedule their workforces manually, using spreadsheets and complex mathematical algorithms that most people were happy to forget when they left calculus class.
To illustrate the limitations of manual scheduling in the call center, workforce optimization solutions provider Monet Software recently produced a fun cartoon video highlighting the adventures of Mary, “contact center supervisor extraordinaire,” whose job it is to ensure great customer service. It’s Mary’s job to forecast daily call volume and create schedules and performing other business-critical call center management activities. Unfortunately, Mary is trying to excel using spreadsheets and aging call center tools, which is limiting her scope and the contributions she can make toward helping the company succeed.
Thanks to Monet’s WFO Live solution, however, Mary is able to easily track call history and volume and use that data to create forecasts and schedules that are more accurate than ever. She can analyze and monitor agent adherence and performance, listen to both recorded and live calls, and receive alerts when the schedule goes out of adherence. Thanks to the solution, she can pinpoint the problems in a jiffy and take steps to correct the problem, ensuring the contact center remains on schedule and meets service levels. More importantly, she can do all this right from her desktop, since the solution is cloud-based and available at any time and from anywhere.
Smaller companies were once left out in the cold when it came to advanced contact center scheduling and forecasting solutions. These expensive, premise-based systems were once feasible only for the largest of organizations. Today, the cloud-based nature of many solutions is allowing contact centers with only a few seats to reap the same benefits as – and dodge the drawbacks of – large, premise-based scheduling solutions.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi