Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
December 04, 2008
Call Center Scheduling Solutions Drive Efficiency
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
An ICMI study found that more than half, or 52.8 percent, of call centers have a dedicated workforce manager or team in charge of scheduling. Another 46.1 percent of respondents reported that their center’s scheduling efforts were effective, while 24.7 percent considered them to be very effective.
Even though these call centers are finding the manual methods effective, the implementation of an automated call center scheduling system could in fact improve productivity and efficiency, while also eliminating the need for physical labor associated with manual practices.
Just over half of call centers have an automated workforce management system in place, while 63.9 percent of centers use permanent part-time agents. When trying to manage both part-time and full-time agents, a variety of experience, skills and knowledge, the call center can gain significant benefit from an automated scheduling solution that can account for all variables when scheduling according to demand.
Surprisingly, while agents in most centers are satisfied at 51.4 percent, or very satisfied at 10.6 percent, with the scheduling processes in place, it could be possible that this satisfaction is driven more by lack of information than pure satisfaction. In other words, are these agents satisfied because they have not experienced anything better?
At the time of the ICMI study, only 18.9 percent of call centers were using an outsourcing agency to help handle contact volume. According to these numbers, the majority of these centers is focused on keeping the agents in-house and must have the proper processing in place to manage agent scheduling.
Those charged with handling call center scheduling must also remember that in 35 percent of centers, agents are often working non-traditional shifts. Some agents may be working longer hours some days and shorter hours on other days. The call center scheduling solution must be able to account for different shifts and the needs associated with such scheduling.
Implementing an automated call center scheduling system can deliver significant benefits to the organization, automating time consuming manual processes that can be prone to human error.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Michelle Robart