Unpredictability in Call Centers
Call center management is supposed to forecast schedules based on the history of call volumes. However, there are times when these volumes can prove unpredictable. In those situations, quick thinking is involved, unless instability has become a way of life. There are times when it is actually possible to forecast even when the call center weather is ever-changing.
By looking back on one to two years, it is easier to track events that may have occurred in the past. Impending weather tragedies can come with a “forecast,” so to speak. If there was a blizzard one year and an anticipated similar storm on the horizon, that can help track to staff. Put the same amount of agents as any blizzard year but ensure on-call agents are scheduled just in case the storm is not so bad or call volumes peak. That is always the best option.
Play out a handful of scenarios based on the amount of agents in the center; over-staffed, under-staffed, and the average amount of workers. See which agents can multi-task (they are assets) and which agents can use some cross-training. The more cross-trained agents, the less issues agents run into during shifts by not having to reroute calls constantly.
Spreadsheets are a legacy tool; it is time to implement an automated workforce management system so that schedules staff meetings and breaks can be properly monitored. If breaks are not factored in, compliance issues can become a factor leading to employee stress and over working thus turnover rates remain high. But also allow for flexibility in a schedule because in daily life, expect the unexpected!
What will you implement in your call center?
Edited by Maurice Nagle