Showing posts with label shift bidding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shift bidding. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Call Center Agent Shift Swapping

Call center agent shift swapping solution - Monet Software
Shift swapping is an inevitable occurrence at every call center, and is one of the more significant agent staffing challenges that management must oversee.

In general, allowing agents to swap shifts solves more problems than it creates. With this arrangement, agents have more control over their working hours, and that flexibility can encourage employee loyalty.

However, if this privilege is abused, it can lead to staffing confusion, lower productivity, a shortage of agents for unpopular shifts, and inconsistent customer service.

Agent Staffing Solutions
While shift swapping should be offered as an option, some center without the right processes in place try to  discourage this. They achieve this by built-in incentives for agents to work the shifts to which they are assigned, and by limiting swaps to, say, three a month or five in each quarter.

Call centers should have a reliable process in place that tracks shifts and instances of shift swapping. This will not only make the process easier for agents and management, it provides managers with insight into which agents may be abusing this privilege, and how working different shifts impacts an agent’s job performance.

While some last-minute shift swaps are unavoidable, as emergencies do happen, a center should require that agents request swaps at least three or five days in advance. That way, managers can adjust schedules accordingly so productivity is not impacted. For example, if an agent who is particularly adept at handling customer complaints swaps shifts with an agent who is not as qualified in this situation, the call center may wish to bring in another agent from a different shift with that same specialty.

The ultimate objective is to satisfy the needs of the center and the needs of the employees, and to make any staffing changes as convenient as possible.

The Role of Workforce Management Software
Shift swaps are yet another function that should be handled through a workforce management solution - through a simple self-service tool that includes shift bidding. An effective system will allow agents to search for shifts to swap, and instantly know if there is a conflict with their arrangement. Supervisors will then have the ability to approve or reject the swap request, and find out if there are any issues with weekly minimum or maximum restrictions on work hours should the swap be approved. To learn more about agent shift swapping and supervisor collaboration, please follow this link to our main website.

With effective workforce management, the system that allows shift swaps should be efficient, transparent and controlled by management with the limitations necessary to maintain service standards. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

How to make a call center schedule work for your staff

An optimized call center schedule becomes even better when your team is satisfied or even really happy with their assigned shifts. Of course, that is not an easy task, but here are some tips that might be of help for call center managers and supervisors:
  • Shift bidding: This can be done in different ways. You can either open up for bidding every 6 months, or you can facilitate bidding on a more regular basis and make it part of the scheduling process. This frequent bidding becomes easier when you use a web-based tool that allows agents and supervisor to collaborate on shift bidding and trading.
  • Shift trading: This can be done even without lots of administrative work. Agents can trade their shifts on a day-by-day basis, assuming it only happens a few times per month for each agent. Otherwise, it might get difficult to keep track of who is scheduled.
  • Flexible start- and end-times: Allow agents to come in later (an hour or two) or to work longer hours on certain days (based on the needs of the call center and based on their personal needs). However, this needs to get administered properly to make sure hours don't "get lost". In addition, as posted to this blog, there are other ways to provide more flexibility.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How to streamline supervisor / agent communication

Lately, we are getting more inquiries from people looking for a solution that makes communication, schedule changes and exception planning between agents and supervisors easier, especially across multiple locations. Here are some key capabilities that our web-based solution Monet Anywhere provides to address this:

Manage schedule changes: Agents can request changes to their schedule. These requests immediately alert the agent's supervisor, who can review the impact of the change and approve or decline the request. If approved, the change immediately affects the schedule. Supervisors can also request schedule changes for agents, in an identical manner with supervisor and agent roles reversed.

Open shifts for bidding: The solution presents unfilled shifts to qualified agents on which to bid, allowing them to volunteer for shifts normally outside their desired working hours. Supervisors can review bids made for a shift and select the agent they wish to assign.

Multiple locations and home-base agents: Agents can securely access the solution through a web browser. Agent and supervisor communication will get easier and more efficient especially across multiple locations and remote/home-based agents.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more.