If you’ve ever been involved with the management of the call center then you understand that scheduling is a critical concern that directly relates to the effectiveness of your operation.
In a 2010 survey by DMG, call center managers rated the most mission critical task that they set out to perform daily. The results found that chief among these concerns were the need to schedule phone and non-phone activity, the need to optimize the mix of full-time/part-time/flex workers, strategy to reduce poor agent adherence and the need to schedule multiple channels at once. This list makes it clear; staffing is at the crux of nearly every issue within the call center.
So what can a call center manager do to help deal with each of these issues all at the same time? Employ a workforce management system.
While the software isn’t going to do these jobs for you, it will provide the information needed to make thoughtful and progressive decisions that will improve customer satisfaction. Workforce management suites can collect information on seasonal peaks, agent schedules and customer satisfaction levels that would be difficult to do without electronic assistance. Programs like those offered by Monet Software can also offer forecasting designed to take all of the requirements of both your agents and your peak times into account.
While issues like adherence and training will need to be handled with agents directly, having the number to back up your decisions allows call center managers reward or reprimand accordingly. Incentive programs or preferential treatment can then be employed to promote more satisfying actions amongst a staff.
Managing a call center is not an easy task and will require direct dialog with agents for true success. However a workforce management suite can give you access to information that will help in making the critical decisions that benefit both agents and customers.
Chris DiMarco is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page. Follow him on Twitter (News - Alert) @cpdimarco.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin