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Why Smart Call Centers Use Workforce Management

June 09, 2011

Have you noticed that call center configurations are increasingly complex, what with multiple locations and time zones, more demanding customer interactions, and new communication channels?

So has call center vendor Monet Software. In a recent blog post, company officials say the complexity “can make it more difficult to manage shrinkage. You cannot any longer manage the shrinkage in today’s complex centers just by standing up and looking out across your center or using a manual/spreadsheet based approach.”

Indeed. If you’ve been reduced to such dire straits, Monet feels your pain. In fact, they can probably put their finger on some other challenges your call center needs to overcome:

Distributed call centers and home agents make it more difficult to manage and track breaks, attendance, exceptions and the like. Multiple communication channels -- phone, email, chat, social media -- make it more difficult to manage shrinkage without appropriate tools to forecast, schedule and track adherence for each channel.

And some call centers have no effective way to forecast and schedule non-call activities such as breaks, meetings, unplanned discussions. Of course this results in shrinkage too.

Usually, call centers that don’t use workforce management tools don’t have the necessary visibility into what happens at any moment in time and what is supposed to happen based on the published schedule, Monet officials say.

So to that end, they’re offering a free Webinar on how to reduce shrinkage, "Strategies for improved call center schedule adherence." The presentation features industry expert Penny Reynolds from the The Call Center School, talking about proven practices on schedule adherence that have resulted in increased availability and reduced shrinkage.

By the way, it’s not so hard to ignore the baseball game on in the other room when the Yankees are losing 4-0 in the bottom of the second. Not difficult at all.

Last month TMC’s (News - Alert) Chris DiMarco wrote that call center scheduling is a challenge to even the most seasoned call center managers. The ability to balance personnel with call volume peaks requires not only a deep understanding of your employees and customers, but an adaptable strategy that can account for inefficiency.

Workforce management software designed to predict how many people you’ll need on a given day can help, but there can still be unexpected issues with your workforce.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

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