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Tips for Maximizing Workforce Management Value

 
January 05, 2012



In the call center space, traditional techniques demanded a clear dependency on the spreadsheet to capture information, schedule call activities, develop a forecast and schedule agents according to need and availability. A quick glance at the items just listed suggests a challenging balancing act as spreadsheets still demand a manual approach to processes that leaves too much room for error. Such a situation demands the implementation of a robust workforce management solution.


According to this Monet Software blog, there is more to workforce management than just implementing the platform and expecting it to solve all scheduling and workforce problems in the call center. Call center management must also be able to manage adherence to keep all agents working according to the schedule. It sounds simple enough, yet it is perhaps the most challenging tasks related to running an effective call center.

Within the call center environment, adherence measures the amount of time agents spend talking on the phone with customers, according to the call center schedule. It also measures the amount of time each agent spends doing other things to produce a rate of out-of-adherence. This rate could be as much as 30 minutes of out-of-adherence per day, or as low as 5 minutes. The aim is the lower number as it helps to reduce shrinkage. Workforce management can be an important tool in the process, but it won’t enforce adherence on its own.

Call center managers must first understand schedule adherence and what it costs the center overall. This time that agents spend not in their seats answering phones puts undue pressure on those agents who are, while it can also increase wait times in the queue, risking higher call abandonment rates. Monet Software offers a quick overview of the cost drivers, as well as the potential impact on your call center operation.

It’s also important for call center management and all team members to understand why schedule adherence is important as a call center metric and how it applies to workforce management. Without this understanding, the metric won’t be tracked and costs can easily run out of control. Monet Software offers an article to help call center management to identify potential out-of-adherence causes and ways they can drive improvement.

Monet Software also offers three simple tips on schedule adherence, including inform, measure and manage to ensure call center management are monitoring schedule adherence within the call center. The workforce management software provider also offers advice on how managers can learn the insides of real-time adherence and how it can help them to finally overcome adherence challenges within their environments.

Finally, Monet Software also offers an in-depth whitepaper to help call center managers to explore the right Strategies for Improving Schedule Adherence. Workforce management solutions will only be effective when all metrics are properly aligned, including the right number of agents with the right skills in the right seats at the right time.


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

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