Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
October 12, 2009
Tips for Selecting Call Center Scheduling Software, Part 1
By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet
Call center scheduling software – also referred to as workforce management software – continues to see strong adoption, despite the economic downturn. In fact, as companies look for new efficiencies in labor, many of them are viewing the investment in these systems as a cost savings measure for the long term.
Years ago, such software was only found in the call centers of large enterprises. But now that it is available by way of the software-as-a-service model, the cost has come down considerably – especially the up-front cost. As a result, many small to medium-sized businesses are discovering the advantages today’s call center scheduling software has over spreadsheets and manual systems.
Call center scheduling software can be deployed on-premises but increasingly vendors are delivering the software over the Internet. This offers many advantages but perhaps most importantly it delivers fast return on investment, as there is no need to purchase expensive new hardware, software licenses or network upgrades. All you need to start using today’s Web-based call center scheduling systems are the computers and a high-speed connection.
In recent years, the call center scheduling software market has seen a flood of new entrants, making it difficult to choose a system that’s right for your company’s needs. So how does one go about selecting a call center scheduling solution? In this multi-part series, we’ll offer some tips to help you navigate the sea of solutions.
Forecasting and Scheduling Capabilities
Call center scheduling is all about efficient use of your workforce to meet or exceed service levels and reduction of costs tied to inefficient use of human resources. It’s done primarily through accurate forecasting and optimization of agent schedules i.e. having enough agents for peak periods and avoiding agents sitting idle by scheduling accordingly. Therefore it is important to select a system that has advanced analytics capabilities and is able to generate accurate forecasts to arrive at more efficient scheduling of agents. To that end, ask if the solution you are investigating offers the following capabilities:
--Does it accurately forecast call volumes by supporting the use of historical data and real-time ACD integration?
--Can you create schedules based on “what-if” scenarios, different shift patterns, skill levels and other criteria?
--Can you easily include agent exceptions (e.g. training, time-off) into the schedule?
--Can you make intra-day changes to forecast and schedule based on changing call volumes “on the fly” during the work day?
Monet Software’s WFM Live
offering is a fully Web-based call center scheduling system delivering advanced features and capabilities, including forecasting for accurate scheduling of agents. To learn more about the company’s call center scheduling solutions, be sure to check out its newly redesigned Web site
. Here visitors can access a Workforce Management Success Kit
offering additional tips on how to select a call center scheduling system.
Next week, we’ll take a look at some more tips on how to select a call center scheduling system.
Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan
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