Call Center Scheduling: One Key to Better Service
There are companies out there, no doubt, that look forward to the mainstream arrival of robotic workers with a rapturous glee commonly reserved for a child's first trip to Disneyland, thanks to a much easier workforce to manage. For now, though, humans are the way to go, and that means that call center scheduling can be a big help in providing the best customer experience.
Customer service is commonly recognized as a cornerstone of getting ahead in the field; when customers are happy, they tend to come back, and even downturns in the economy will only keep so many happy customers from coming back. Most of those customers want to come back when things improve. So making customers happy is a key to long-term success.
So what does that have to do with call center scheduling? It's actually quite simple; customers call a call center when there are problems or questions. Those customers are actively having a bad experience with a company—almost no one calls in to say how terrific a company's product is—but can readily be pulled out of that bad experience and placed into a good one...assuming customer service can deliver help.
The numbers support it; a recent study found that 76 percent of consumers believed that customer service represents what a company really thinks about its customers, and 81 percent noted that the ability to deliver the best in customer experience means a company that's beating the competition.
What's more, over half—55 percent—noted that they've stopped doing business with a company just in the last year thanks to bad customer experience. For 40 percent of customers, even one bad experience will send those customers to competitors for at least two years.
This means a business' call center needs to be at its best. Constantly. It needs to be staffed with knowledgeable, personable experts who understand a product inside and out, and are unencumbered by company policies that actively prevent solutions. A report from the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) back in 2015 revealed that most call center agents are under high levels of stress daily, and that's not sustainable. High stress for prolonged periods turns to apathy, and apathy means disaster in call centers.
Better scheduling will likely help. Few do their best work when trying to fit a call to an insurance company or a dental visit into a workday, or being concerned with other matters like picking a child up from school. Flexible scheduling can be a help here, allowing companies to fit in those necessary parts of life outside of work more readily. There's too much reason to not engage in such practices, especially with so much at stake in the call center.
Edited by Alicia Young