According to a recent post on the Monet Software blog, Workforce management in a call center is “the art and science of having the right number of employees, with the right skills at the right times to meet accurately forecasted volumes of work and to do all that at a predetermined service level and minimized costs.”
As definitions go, that’s as good a one as we’ve seen. Certainly the essentials are organizing your people to meet the volume of work and knowing what that work volume’s going to be. Obviously it’s not perfectly knowable, but that’s where the art comes in. That’s the special sauce.
To help with the science part, Monet offers a range of tools and advice. It’s important to make the effort with workforce management for call centers, since poor planning and execution can, as Monet officials correctly note, “have a negative impact on the business (revenues, cost), customers (satisfaction) and also employees (motivation/burn-out).”
Monet officials offer a thumbnail sketch of the major components of workforce management:
Calculation of an accurate forecast. This includes collecting call history data, identifying call patterns of the day, week, season, identifying special day patterns such as holidays, and identifying other events or business drivers that might impact call volume.
Calculation of staffing requirements. This includes defining service level, ASA and average handle time, calculating workloads and defining staffing requirements.
Creation of schedule. This Includes all activities, call and non-call, with some built-in flexibility on things like start and end times, breaks, multi-skill and the like. Monet recommends creating a schedule for 15 or 30 minute increments.
Monitoring and managing adherence. This includes informing and educating your workforce about adherence importance and impact, measuring and managing adherence throughout the day and providing incentives.
Earlier this year TMC’s (News - Alert) Susan J. Campbell wrote that Monet Software recommends that call center managers accommodate scheduling needs while also providing scheduling visibility to all call center team members. It is important to remember that accurate call center scheduling does not just impact the center, but also its agents. And, top agents are much more likely to remain loyal and productive if they believe their employer is aware of and respects their needs.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Rich Steeves