Workforce Management Feature Article
November 17, 2011
With the Right Workforce Management Solution, Call Center Scheduling is Easy
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
The average call center has a significant list of things to accomplish on any given day. Even with a large and skilled team of agents, the workload can seem overwhelming. With the right call center scheduling in place, however, many of the necessary tasks that must be completed can be scheduled according to availability and call volume, taking the pressure off the agent and his or her supervisor.
A recent Monet Software blog focused in on this topic, highlighting the value of call center scheduling as it relates to workforce management. Such software can automate key tasks that have an instant impact on the bottom line, including forecasting for call volume, optimum scheduling and daily performance tracking.
To help streamline the process, Monet Software offers insight on a few key capabilities to consider when comparing workforce management software to enhance call center scheduling.
Forecasting – probably one of the more difficult tasks within call center scheduling, management can benefit from a workforce management solution that will run simulations to calculate a precise forecast based on anticipated call volume, agent requirements and average handle time for any interval throughout the day, according to historical data captured from the ACD.
Scheduling – the engine used for call center scheduling within the workforce management platform should incorporate all activities – both call and non-call – that generate staffing schedules that will optimize a wide range of factors, such as availability of agents, work rules, skills, holidays, breaks, service levels and even center budgets.
Intra-day management – call center scheduling for each agent can be easily manipulated by dragging and dropping lunches, breaks and other exceptions. Any workforce management platform under consideration should provide real-time updates to required and assigned agents instantly, while also displaying surpluses and shortages for each time period throughout the day.
Exception planning – proper call center scheduling should always make room for exceptions and an integrated exception calendar can simplify the process.
Real-time adherence – worthy workforce management solutions will compare planned agent activities to actual activities throughout the day to determine if changes need to be made to call center scheduling. It should also provide real-time views of forecasted and actual call volumes, handle times and other key performance indicators.
Configuration and administration – any program to support call center scheduling should have the ability to build an unlimited number of agents groups or center splits, and each should have its own set of service guidelines and objectives. It should also be able to manage multiple sites and time zones, set hours of operation by day of week and service level goals by intervals as small as 15 minutes.
Performance Analysis – call center scheduling adherence and key performance indicators should be captured and easily reported for analysis. Managers should be able to review service level results, costs and revenue.
ACD Integration – data should be collected from the ACD to build out a historical database, capturing the center workload and work statistics in real-time.
If you can find a workforce management solution that meets these requirements while also optimizing on call center scheduling activities, your call center will be on track for profitable success. For a good place to start, check out offerings from Monet Software.
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 Chris DiMarco