Workforce Management Feature Article
April 19, 2011
Workforce Management Drives Effective Scheduling for Optimal Call Center Performance
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Call center staffing is a challenging task for any call center leader as there are many elements to juggle to present a schedule that adheres to projected call volumes, available skill sets in agents and required service levels. With workforce management software, however, these center leaders can be much better equipped to meet these challenges head on and produce schedules that meet the need and deliver on performance expectations.
A recent Monet Software blog touched on this topic, highlighting how workforce management software can impact call center staffing. And, while call center leaders can in fact complete basic forecasting and scheduling with the use of a standard spreadsheet, the real value in workforce management software is found in the needs of the center beyond simply creating a schedule.
To derive the most value out of workforce management software solutions, call center managers want to be able to improve overall accuracy in staff scheduling; gain more visibility into call center operations overall; get a better handle on schedule adherence throughout the day; react faster to fluctuations in call volumes; and to more effectively and efficiently handle exceptions to the schedule that can occur for a number of reasons.
Workforce management software provides for more accurate forecasting so that the schedule can be optimized to ensure the call center can meet specific targeted service levels. Leaders in the call center space want to be able to avoid under- and over-staffing in the call center to keep costs in line with expectations. Workforce management solutions allow the manager to run different scenarios, forecast for special days and include call history into the planning to create a more effective and accurate schedule.
Call center leaders can also leverage workforce management solutions to provide a more flexible schedule to drive higher productivity. Workforce management enables the call center manager to more closely address the needs of the center as they correspond to the needs of the agents. The end result is a center that is more productive and efficient.
With robust workforce management solutions in place, the call center leaders are also better equipped to manage call and non-call activities, as well as improving schedule adherence to reduce shrinkage. The right workforce management platform can work non-call activities into the scheduling process, and with real-time adherence reports, they gain a better idea of who is sticking to the schedule and who may need some help.
This visibility not only provides managers with the information they need, it also helps to create reports so that agents can be educated about the impact that adherence can have on the call center. The more educated the agent base, the more likely they are to perform as expected, leading to a more productive center overall.
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 Jennifer Russell