If you want to run a successfully operating call center, efficiency is vital. Just ask any call center manager what’s their most important mission when it comes to managing the call center, and chances are they’ll tell you: it’s increasing efficiency.
There are many methods for measuring and improving call center efficiency. Increasing efficiency is the backbone of any call center, and an effective workforce management plan can definitely make things easier.
Call center workforce management is a set of processes call centers use in order to optimize the efficiency and productivity of agent teams. In fact, a properly implemented workforce management practice allows call centers to lower operational costs, reduce churn, and most importantly, increase the overall customer experience. And as we all know, in our customer-centric world, exceptional customer experience is king.
In this article, we’ll highlight some of the most important call center workforce management best practices. Make sure to check them out, and start increasing your call center’s efficiency by better organizing the work of your agent team.
As we already mentioned in a previous article, customer service works best if it’s driven by data. And at a call center, data is everywhere: agent average talk time, average handling time and proportion of closed deals are all examples of essential data that should be used by any call center striving for excellence.
Therefore, the first principle of any effective call center workforce management plan is to forecast future workload based on the historical data your call center gathers.
You’ll see, by analyzing the available data your call center accumulates over the course of a day or week, you’ll be able to predict future customer interaction volume and better understand workload patterns.
Collecting customer data is an absolute must for any call center that aims to deliver an exceptional customer experience. However, one thing is to collect data, and another thing is to actually make good use of it.
Therefore, always make sure to utilize historical data to create better call center agent schedules as part of your call center workforce management solution. Amongst other things, an efficient schedule will definitely help you determine your resource requirements during peak and off-peak times.
When it comes to implementing an effective workforce management solution into your call center, assigning agents to tasks that match their abilities is equally important. With this in mind, before you start assigning your agents to projects, always make sure to thoroughly assess their experiences, performance, as well as preferences.
Furthermore, by empowering agents to manage their own schedules and giving them the opportunity to trade their shifts will help you reduce agent attrition and increase the call center’s overall performance.
In short, when creating schedules and assigning agents to them, your most important task will be to find the golden mean between the desires and needs of your agent team and those of the call center.
Practice makes perfect
So you successfully implemented a call center workforce management solution in your organization, ensuring a high level of operational efficiency at the call center. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that your work is done here.
Never take your call center workforce management solution for granted! In fact, call center workforce management works best if your processes are systematically monitored.
Therefore, the last and perhaps most important principle of any workforce management plan is the ongoing monitoring of agents’ adherence to their schedules. By doing this, you’ll be able to ensure that enough resources are allocated to projects during peak times, as well as identify if the demand becomes higher than the resources allocated.
As you can see, implementing a call center workforce management solution is not an easy task, but your efforts will soon pay off. Amongst other things, an effective WFM will allow you to improve your call center efficiency, while helping you empowering your agent team.