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Workforce Management Software Trumps Spreadsheet Scheduling

May 31, 2011

For small and medium sized call centers, utilizing workforce management software is often prohibitively expensive. Frequently, this means that call centers are forced to use cheaper alternatives like spreadsheets in their scheduling strategy. While the cost of using spreadsheets may appear at the surface level to be beneficial for call centers, it has become apparent that this outdated and inefficient method is in reality costing you more than you may realize.

Workforce management suites grant a number of advantages over this dated method, benefits which not only empower your workforce but save you money in the long run. Without a workforce management solution it’s impossible to factor in the behavior of your agents for example, making the monitoring of schedule adherence nearly impossible. Schedule adherence faults can cost call centers a lot of money each year, as every minute your agents are late translates directly to time in which customer are not being helped.

Skill based scheduling is also a lot more difficult to pull off with the spreadsheet method, adding another point of inefficiency. Workforce management programs can ensure that the write agents are on the scene at the right time and will account for overlaps that will keep someone with the right skills for the call on the phone at every point.

Perhaps most importantly, today’s WFM solutions shave multiple hours off the time a manager spends each week setting the schedule, tracking agent performance, creating reports and dealing with schedule conflicts. And with the hosted model they are very quick, easy and affordable to deploy.

Staffing is the most expensive resource in the entire call center budget at up to 80 percent. Therefore, even a 1 percent increase in productivity will significantly impact the bottom line. With workforce management software in place of a spreadsheet strategy call center managers can quickly identify issues with staffing and proactively stop them for all around better customer service .

Chris DiMarco is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page. Follow him on Twitter @cpdimarco.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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