Workforce scheduling for a contact center is both an art and a science. The objective is to have the right number of employees, with the right skills at the right times to meet anticipated call volumes for all communication channels offered. Preferably, this should be achieved within a targeted service level and at a minimal cost.
Next to hiring the right personnel, workforce scheduling for a call center plays the most significant role in maximizing resources to ensure calls are handled in a courteous and efficient manner. Some contact centers handle both forecasting and scheduling with spreadsheets, but with workforce management software, the scheduling process is automated and is therefore faster, easier, and more accurate as it takes into account your business needs, your agent’s availability and your scheduling rules.
Workforce Scheduling Might Seem Easy, But It Is Not
Scheduling is one of the most complex tasks a workforce manager must complete. Think about it, to optimize workforce scheduling, supervisors must collect and analyze data for different channels while taking their agent’s availability preferences and skill sets into account.
Furthermore, as your contact center grows you will have an increasing number of agents to schedule and more channels to handle, resulting in rising workload fluctuations and customer’s expectations for a seamless and impeccable customer experience.
Optimizing your workforce schedules will become crucial and a cloud-based workforce management solution can make scheduling easy, fast and smooth.
Below are the main benefits of an automated contact center scheduling software:
- Boost efficiency and lower costs
- Improve service levels and customer satisfaction
- Reduce administrative time to do more proactive work
- Improve agent morale with more predictable and flexible schedules
- Better manage schedule adherence and exception planning
- Enhance communication between agents and supervisors
How to Improve Workforce Scheduling?
In order to improve workforce scheduling in your contact center, here are a few tips you can use:
- Implement skill-based routing
- Monitor call metrics for enhanced scheduling
- Cross train agents to have more options in peak or crisis periods
- Reward your agents for working in peak periods
- Monitor schedule adherence in real time and take corrective action when necessary
- Allow your agents to work from home for more flexibility and freedom
- Take agent preferences into account and allow them to change, swap and adjust their own schedules
- Anticipate major events such as weather conditions, political events or product launch when creating your schedules
- Build up a reserve of agents who are ready to work when needed
- Move away from spreadsheets as they are time-consuming and error-prone
Want to learn more about what workforce scheduling is? Here are 7 best practices for contact center scheduling to keep your contact center running efficiently and to help you maintain service levels.