Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
August 20, 2010
Monet AnyWhere: Flexibility in Call Center Scheduling Leads to Happier Agents
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
Once upon a time, a call center was a pretty inflexible place to work. Schedules were generated weeks – or months – in advance, skills were taken into consideration, and changes were made only if the business absolutely demanded it, usually under emergency circumstances. Agents were sometimes able to swap schedules, but this usually required a great deal of administrative time, on both the agents’ and the supervisor’s part, to approve.
Effective communication between agents, supervisors and managers for the purpose of exception planning and schedule adherence is critical in today’s call center environment where flexibility is the difference between succeeding or failing with customers. This kind of collaboration between agents, managers and supervisors is best achieved by a flexible, real-time Web-based workforce management application that allows changes to call center schedules to be managed on-the-fly and with ease.
With Monet Software’s Monet AnyWhere, agents can initiate requests for changes to their schedule. The requests are brought to the attention of the agent’s supervisor via an alert. The supervisor is then able to review the impact of the change, based on data generated by Monet’s WFM Live workforce management solution. The supervisor can then approve or decline the agent’s request on the spot. If the supervisor approves the change, the schedule is immediately updated automatically. The agent is then notified of the supervisor’s decision, one way or another, and the request is stored for future reporting. Via the schedule bidding method, call centers can save time – agents and supervisors can skip the old-fashioned paperwork and e-mail methods that were so time-consuming. Managers can also initiate the schedule changes, proposing swapped shifts and moved lunch breaks in order to accommodate changes in the call center schedule, such as an unexpected call volume spike.
Unfilled shifts are also handled with ease by Monet AnyWhere. It matches unfilled shifts with agents qualified to handle them and presents an opportunity for those agents, via an automatic notification, to bid on the unfilled shifts if they desire the extra work. If an unfilled shift receives multiple offers from qualified agents, supervisors can review the bids and designate the agent they wish to assign.
With more control over their schedules, call center agents tend to feel more empowered and valued and report higher job satisfaction and morale, which in turn leads to lower turnover and reduced training costs.
Monet AnyWhere is an optional add-on to Monet WFM Live, Monet’s flexible, feature-rich and affordable workforce management solution.
Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard