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How Much Can the Call Center Save Through Automated Scheduling?

 
March 04, 2009



It is not unusual for a call center manager to think about the multiple ways to save money when scheduling for agents within the call center. After all, he or she must be able to keep within specified payroll budgets while also ensuring the right amount of coverage to meet customer service standards.



On the other hand, how many call center managers have found an answer to the question: “How much can I save through automated call center scheduling?” If the call center manager were to take an in depth look at the options available and how they apply within the call center, he or she may be able to answer their own question.
 
An automated call center scheduling solution can realistically produce measurable improvements in three areas: more efficiency in scheduling and agent usage; automation of scheduling tasks; and a reduction in workforce shrinkage. To better understand the impacts in these areas, let’s take a closer look.
 
1. More efficient scheduling and agent usage – call centers that have implemented a workforce management system to drive scheduling initiatives have discovered savings associated with more efficient scheduling that includes reducing overall staff hours and the need for overtime. These systems have also identified areas of overstaffing so they can be scaled back according to actual need. Such solutions have generated a minimum reduction of 2 percent for staff hours with an average potential savings of 5 – 10 percent.

2. Automation of scheduling tasks – traditional methods for call center scheduling included manual or Excel-based spreadsheet creation. Manual forecasting and scheduling were eating up management time in such call centers, time that could be spent improving operations. When these tasks are automated, call center managers are finding that they can reduce time spent on scheduling by at least 25 percent.  

3. Reduction in workforce shrinkage
– non-productive interruptions waste a significant amount of an agent’s time within the call center. When scheduling and agents are managed through a workforce management solution, managers can be provided with historical and real-time information on agent schedule adherence and exceptions. Such an approach has been shown to reduce workforce shrinkage by 10 to 20 minutes per agent per day.

To get a better idea of how these advantages work out in terms of actual numbers, consider a call center scenario of 25 agents and one supervisor based on industry average wages and hourly cost. A reduction in shrinkage of 15 minutes per agent per day would amount to $23,250; a 25 percent reduction in manual scheduling time for the supervisor would save $1,800; and more accurate staffing saves 2 percent or $13,020 for a total annual savings of $38,070 per year.

Monet Software has been able to successfully prove to clients throughout the industry that its automated scheduling solution can in fact produce such savings and quickly return the investment on the solution. As call centers continue to struggle with budget cuts and cost pressures, such savings can protect current investments, enable the call center to keep more jobs and ensure customer service remains a priority.  

For a free cost saving calculation based on your call center specifics please e-mail Monet Software at info@monetsoftware.com.

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 Michelle Robart

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