Easier said than done? Not necessarily – the right workforce management system streamlines the process and provides more consistent, accurate data.
If scheduling is still an issue, check out these quick tips:
- Don’t use spreadsheets – they are incapable of producing an optimized call center schedule.
- Accurate scheduling starts with accurate forecasting.
- Track both call activities and non-call activities for better scheduling.
- Make sure all scheduling procedures are clearly delineated among agents, supervisors and management.
- Test schedule accuracy with simulations and dry-run scenarios.
- Build some flexibility into schedules so changes can be made on the fly.
- Take agent preferences into account – if agents can work the shifts they prefer, they will likely do a better job.
- Make sure you are using sufficient ACD data (at least one year) for schedule creation.
- Build in a shift-swapping procedure that is easier for agents to utilize, and easier for management to monitor.
- Incorporate agent skill levels and specialties into schedule creation.
- Try this formula for calculating schedule adherence: [phone time + other work related activity time] / ([shift time] - [lunch/dinner] - [break] + [exception time] + [overtime]) = schedule adherence
- Personally address agent issues such as tardiness and extended lunch breaks so they do not become habitual, and have a detrimental impact on scheduling.
- Take weather conditions into account when creating schedules, as they can impact both call volume and agent availability.
- List the 3 greatest challenges to schedule adherence at your contact center, then meet with agents and supervisors to address how these challenges can be resolved.
- Choose a Workforce Management solution that gathers and provides the necessary scheduling information through dashboards that are clear and concise.