Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Call center metrics have to be actionable - what does that mean?

There is often the question about the type of call center metrics you should track. But equally important is how "actionable" these metrics are. So, what does "actionable" mean?
  • Do I have access to metrics at the time when I can still have an impact (e.g. adherence, performance)?
  • Can I actually make a change at that moment and have an impact (e.g. re-calculate forecast, adjust schedule, monitor calls)?
So, how can you make metrics actionable? The use of scorecards, key performance indicators (KPI), real-time dashboards and customizable alerts deliver a constant stream of intelligence helping call centers take the right action at the right time to better meet their business goals. This will transform call center management from a reactive to a proactive approach and helps make more informed decisions faster, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, more cost control and better utilization of resources. Some additional benefits are:
  • Provides management with a unified view to monitor and analyze key performance metrics, such as agent adherence, service levels, labor costs and staffing resulting in more informed decisions.
  • Motivates agents to self-manage their performance and take action with coaches and supervisors based on real data and KPI’s (key performance indicators) to meet business objectives.
  • Frees up time for supervisors and managers to focus on working with agents, coaching, training and planning, instead of collecting and analyzing data. 
For more information about this topic, please watch the call center performance metrics video on our website.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Call center staffing models and scheduling tips

Besides the key staffing and scheduling question about how many agent you need at any given time, you also need to think about what agent skills and expertise you need at specific times and types of calls. Here are a few things to consider when planning your call center staffing and schedule:

Ranking of agents
  • Creating a schedule by agent rank can be very effective in reducing costs and increasing sales.
  • Rank according to call completion time, calls per hour, call quality, customer satisfaction or other performance measures.
Match personality and team
  • Studies have shown that a good relationship with colleagues drives motivation and performance.
  • Your schedule should leverage this by teaming up the “right" people.
Multi-skilled agents and routing
  • The productivity gain from giving each agent two skills could easily be 10-15%. 
  • The importance of multi-skilled agents is that they form overlapping groups. For example, having one group that can handle calls type A and B while another group takes calls type C and D, can be substantially improved by adding a group that is able to handle calls type B and C (or one of the other three combinations). 
For more information about this topic, please download the "Seven Tips for more Effective Call Center Scheduling" whitepaper.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Workforce management software vendor guide

Selecting and deciding on the right workforce software for your call center is crucial. In case you missed the recent buying and vendor guide about workforce management and optimization software in Enterprise Apps Today magazine, please read on. The article lists four leading Workforce Optimization and Management vendors and Monet Software is proud to be one of them.

Here is an analyst quote from the article: “Workforce management applications are designed to automate the deployment of the workforce through workload planning, scheduling, time and attendance tracking, resource management, and rules and compliance management,” said Lisa Rowan, an analyst at IDC. “Increasingly, workforce management applications are being integrated into customer relationship management applications in a contact center environment.” Some of the key features of WFM, Rowan says, are skills and certification tracking, shift/vacation bidding, workload planning, forecasting, scheduling, scheduling optimization, customer wait-time forecasts, coverage management and absence management.

If you are interested in seeing these solutions in action, please visit our workforce optimization demo center.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How to improve schedule adherence and get it to the next level

How to improve schedule adherence in your contact center
Even with schedule adherence tracking in place, one remaining challenge is often the fact that agents can have so many different non-call tasks, exceptions and states that standard WFM solution are not able to plan for and monitor. That's where Advanced Schedule Adherence comes in. It enables supervisors and call center managers to create custom states and rules to match their unique center needs. Here are a few examples:
  1. Create custom states for call wrap-up, special after call work, outbound preparation and other activities
  2. Establish thresholds for each state that indicate how much time is considered “in adherence”.
  3. Define which states are included or not included in the agent adherence calculation
Exceptions and non-call activities can be considered “scheduled activities,” along with available, break, lunch, and logged out states. Call center managers can customize which statuses are allowed and not allowed for each scheduled activity. Since every call center has unique agent activity types, this flexible approach to agent adherence monitoring gives centers a new level of accuracy in managing call center performance, while also providing more transparency and clarity to both, agents and supervisors. To learn more about this, please also download the Strategies for Improved Agent Adherence whitepaper from our resources library.