5 Tips to Optimize Contact Center Scheduling

Ask contact center managers which challenge keeps them up at night, and many of them will single out scheduling.

Here are five tips that will help you optimize your scheduling solution – and one bonus tip to make all of them work more effectively. 

1. Consider Everything

Not just anticipated caller demand and agent availability, but weather, special events, regional variables, and anything else that may impact scheduling. 

2. Maximize the Skills of Your Stars

Whenever possible, schedule your best agents on the shifts where call volume is highest, or when your most important customers are likely to call. 

3. A Talented Bench

Sometimes life happens and good agents can’t show up for a shift. That’s when you’ll be happy to have a roster of on-call reserve agents who can step in on short notice.

4. Consider Telecommuting

If you allow some agents to work from home, you’ll have a wider talent pool to choose from when hiring, as well as agents who can accommodate more flexible schedules.

5. Incentives

Offer agents additional motivation to work peak periods.

Bonus Tip: Workforce Management Software

Spreadsheets simply cannot handle fluctuations in call volume, agent preferences and call center activities as efficiently as a workforce management solution.

With WFM, its easier to analyze call metrics, after call work, time spent in training and coaching sessions, break durations and other non-call related activities to optimize forecasting and scheduling. You can monitor agent activity in real-time, and make adjustments so unforeseen service hiccups don’t last the entire shift.

You’ll also be able to employ skill-based scheduling, while giving your agents more flexibility in changing their schedules and swapping shifts with co-workers.

Finally, WFM also boosts forecast accuracy – which in turn boosts scheduling precision.

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