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Shrinkage: A Problem With Laundry, But With Contact Center Agents?

December 12, 2011

The solution to contact center agent shrinkage is rather easy: Wash them in cold water. (Rimshot)

But seriously folks, according to the pros at Monet Software, shrinkage is the time agents are not productive due to breaks, meetings, training, vacation, illness, absenteeism or whatever reason they have not to be working. Doesn’t really matter what the excuse is, the end result is all the same.

Yes, you can build stuff like training and vacations into the schedule, but Monet identifies one cause of shrinkage that can’t really be planned for: adherence. In other words, the measurement of the time agents are scheduled to work compared to the time they actually work. What percentage of their actual paid time you’re getting.

You know the drill. Agents leave early, start later or take longer breaks than specified in their schedule. Boom -- shrinkage. There go your staffing metrics out the window. It’s not the kind of thing you can quantify, like you can quantify Quentin’s taking two weeks off to go to India. It’s time, productive time, that just evaporates.

Here’s the bad news: It’s impossible to completely eliminate this sort of shrinkage. We suspect you knew that. Okay, then here’s the good news: In most cases shrinkage can be reduced to an acceptable level.

Now okay, in many cases, as Monet officials say, “call centers simply 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.” Here’s where your adherence problems come in. Monet has prepared a white paper on how to deal with that.

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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