Workforce Management Feature Article
August 15, 2012
Effective Workforce Management Solves Most Call Center Pain Points
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
If you run a call center, you'll know the challenges are many. High turnover is one of the biggest challenges – a majority of a call center's budget is chewed up by turnover, which requires constant recruiting, hiring and training efforts. Meeting clients' agreed upon service level requirements is another. Even seemingly small headaches like keeping agents in working headsets can add up to big headaches.
Intraday management solutions provider Knowlagent released the results of a survey in the spring that identified some of call centers' top pain points. The survey, conducted of nearly 400 workforce managers and workforce management team members to help identify the biggest challenges and opportunities workforce managers face concerning contact center productivity, as well as agent scheduling and satisfaction, found the biggest call center challenges are multi-pronged. At the top of the list was the need to balance service levels with other off-phone activities (65.7 percent of respondents put this as their top pain point), enhancing forecasting and staffing processes (59.1 percent) and improving forecasting accuracy (55.1 percent).
It's probably not a coincidence that each one of these problems could be addressed with the right type of workforce management and scheduling solution. Despite the availability for decades now of modern call center workforce management solutions, too few companies take advantage of them, choosing instead to manually work out schedules on Excel spreadsheets using equations such as Erlang-C. While these methods may have worked long ago, the humble spreadsheet has been overwhelmed by the needs of the modern contact center.
Workforce management solutions enable contact center professionals to automatically deliver off-phone work sessions during idle time based on real-time ACD data, solving call centers' number one headache. This enables them to find the time to complete more training, coaching, communications and other activities that drive agent productivity and performance.
Essentially, a properly crafted workforce management solution can solve most of the headaches of a modern call center. With a properly crafted schedule in hand, a call center can find the time they need to do things such as effective training and coaching and off-phone work. This helps lead to better customer satisfaction and happier agents...which cuts down on high turnover.
About, those headsets, though...you may be on your own there.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli