Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
April 08, 2010
Call Center Survey Yields Three Key Findings
By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor
A survey of call center professionals conducted by call center scheduling solutions provider Monet Software in December 2009 yielded three key findings and associated best practices:
Finding 1: More than 53 percent of respondents use a flexible shift model to manage the call center staff.
Call centers that use a fixed schedule indicated that their type of business either does not require a flexible schedule, or that they use spreadsheets that don't provide the capabilities to manage a flexible shift model, the survey found.
The best practices Monet officials recommend for this: A flexible shift model helps call centers better adjust staffing according to call volumes. In addition to using call center scheduling tools, call centers should gradually implement a flexible shift model by introducing it to some agents first, and over time move the whole center to a flexible shift model.
'This change can increase service levels by 1 to 2 percent and can result in a similar percentage of savings in personnel costs,' Monet officials say.
Finding 2: The majority (88.5 percent) of respondents use cross-training of their agents and 76.2 percent use skill-based routing in their call centers.
The best practices Monet officials recommend for this: Call centers that want to fully use cross-training and skill-based routing should consider using a call center scheduling product. 'When setting up multi- skilled agents it is important to form overlapping groups,' Monet officials say:
'For example, having one group that can handle calls type A and B while another group takes calls type C and D, can be substantially improved by adding a group that is able to handle calls type B and C or one of the other three combinations. This model provides a lot of flexibility that is especially useful in times of fewer resources and changing call volumes and patterns.'
Finding 3: Fifty percent of respondents don't monitor schedule adherence. Almost half of the respondents (23.1 percent) that track schedule adherence share this data with their agents and also provide incentives.
The best practices Monet officials recommend for this: Out-of-adherence is one of the key challenges for call centers that often result in higher shrinkage, lost productivity, and lower service levels. Based on call center best practices, the 'monitor - share - incentive' model has a very positive impact on adherence, since the whole call center is actively involved and agents are more motivated.
Interested in learning more about the relationship between call center scheduling and best practices? Then be sure to download Monet Software's Workforce Management Success Kit, available on the company's website. The Success Kit includes numerous valuable resources, including '10 Tips to Weather the Challenging Economy in your Call Center;' 'How to Select a WFM Solution;' 'How to Calculate Cost Savings for WFM;' 'The Real Costs of Spreadsheet Based Scheduling,' and 'What is SaaS (News - Alert)-Based Workforce Management?' It also includes 'Fast Track: A Guide for Rapid Implementation of WFM,' as well as product overviews of Monet WFM Live, Monet Software's fully cloud-based call center scheduling solution, and Monet Anywhere, the company's flexible and powerful agent/supervisor portal.