Workforce Management Feature Article
March 19, 2012
Tips for Optimizing Workforce Management Platforms
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
You know you need to focus on call center scheduling to keep all channels manned at all times. But is it enough to simply provide the right number of agents at the right time? Wouldn’t you prefer to provide the right number of agents with the right skills manning the right channels to ensure quality customer care and optimized productivity? If so, workforce management is a great focus.
A recent Monet Software blog explored the power of workforce management, providing key tips to keep in mind when optimizing the call center environment. When these call center scheduling tips are in place, service levels increase while the customer base and revenues continue to grow.
The Flexible Shift Model
When you only use fixed start times, end times, training schedules, etc., you easily end up with overstaffing – which leads to higher costs, and understaffing – which results in lower service levels and revenues. A robust workforce management solution will enable you to gradually implement a flexible shift model by introducing it to the agent base in increments. A flexible shift model has been shown to increase service levels by 1 to 2 percent, while also driving a similar percentage of savings in relation to personnel costs.
Shrinkage: Track it, Minimize it
If you have shrinkage in your 25-seat call center of just 15 minutes per day, you’ve incurred a cost of $23,437 per year. Fortunately, with a robust workforce management solution, you can reduce this unnecessary cost by better matching your call volume with agent availability through the flexible shift model; increase your forecast and schedule accuracy by including all necessary tasks in the forecast and schedule; and monitor and improve agent adherence to the established schedule.
Adherence: Track it, Improve it
Your agents need to be informed and educated if you expect them to adhere to the schedule you’ve put in place. With workforce management, you can push out information to your agents and help them to understand the relevance of schedule adherence. You can also demonstrate how even 10 minutes can impact the performance of the entire center.
Workforce management tools also allow you to measure and track adherence and then share reports with individual agents. Those agents who maintain 95 percent adherence can be rewarded with recognitions and bonuses, while also keeping the agent base aware of the consequences of out-of-adherence behaviors.
Multiple Skills are Great – Can You Cross-Train?
To drive the most productivity and efficiency from your environment, you need agents with multiple skills and skill-based routing. With a proven method in place, you can reduce the number of agents handling your call volume and drive productivity increases by 10-15 percent. You can also implement a group structure that allows one group to overlap the other two to improve productivity.
Keep these tips in mind when evaluating the potential of workforce management platforms as it takes more to drive results than just implementing the system. A strategic approach to the roll-out and adoption will help to deliver the benefits promised.