Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
July 29, 2014
A Change in Scheduling Practices Can Save 20 Percent of Contact Center Labor Costs
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
For most businesses, labor is the single largest cost of doing business. This is particularly true in contact centers, where labor can make up nearly 80 percent of a support organization’s overall operating costs. This figure is particularly high since contact centers generally suffer from high turnover rates, which means that the company is perpetually in recruiting, hiring and training mode for new employee. A significant portion of new employees means that customers are not receiving the kind of service that comes with experienced agents.
For most contact centers, even a small percentage reduction in labor costs could translate to significant savings for the year for the business. Smart organizations are accomplishing this by automating more processes using modern technologies and ditching manual processes that leave a great deal of room for error, such as scheduling and workforce management on spreadsheets, something a surprising number of companies still engage in today, according to Monet Software CEO Chuck Ciarlo in a recent blog post.
“Spreadsheets were a great idea for call center staffing, forecasting and scheduling – last century,” writes Ciarlo. “Today, there are faster, easier ways to handle these vital functions that are also more accurate, more agent-friendly, and more economical for call centers of all sizes.”
Twenty-first century workforce management solutions, which can be economically delivered via the software-as-a-service model (thus keeping cost of ownership down), yield many benefits to a contact center. They provide easier skills-based scheduling that can boost quality of service, offer real-time adherence monitoring and analysis, cut down the amount of time required for scheduling and improve service levels, which benefits both customers and employees.
The result writes Ciarlo, can save man-hours and therefore labor costs thanks to automation, improved accuracy and advanced features such as exception management, which is non-existent in manual processes.
“With a WFM solution such as Monet WFM Live, managers have the flexibility to adjust to unexpected events, manage exceptions more efficiently, and reduce shrinkage by as much as 15 minutes per agent per day,” writes Ciarlo, who notes that these solutions represent a quantum leap forward from spreadsheets, at a cost within reach of any size call center.
It’s not hard to see that 15 minutes each day times each agent in the contact center will lead to a significant amount of labor savings. Any solution that can make a 20 percent dent in the contact center’s largest expenses is worth the investment.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi