Keeping seats filled and wait times low is a challenge for any call center manager. It’s tough to balance optimal customer service and tight staffing budgets. Managing varying needs, skills and availability can make your job frustrating. Scheduling is not impossible if you follow these steps to make scheduling both simpler and more accurate.
Increase accuracy by collecting call data from your ACD and analyzing it, taking into consideration taking extenuating circumstances. Weather, special events and other factors can all impact demand levels. Ignoring them can make scheduling more difficult than it needs to be. Adjust staffing levels to anticipate this variable need.
Build in buffers.
Be realistic about metrics. Agents are not on active calls non-stop for the entirety of their shifts. Don’t underestimate the time after-call work, training, breaks and other off-call work can take. Answering calls is the most vital and time-sensitive aspect of an agent’s job, but it’s not the only one. Scheduling too tightly will only cause stress for the agents and headaches for you.
Take note of specific skills.
If your agents need to be adept in a particular vertical, hire enough people in that specialty that enough agents can be scheduled for peak times. Cross train other agents to cover non-peak hours.
Consider coverage alternatives.
Think outside the box when it comes to choosing people to staff your lines. The wider you open your options, the better your chance of getting people with the skills and dedication you need. At flexibility to your scheduling with:
- On-call agents
- Home-based workers
- Part time agents
Step out of rigid patterns and hire people who might be available for odd shifts. College students are very flexible if you are willing to work around their classes. Artists and actors who need to subsidize their dreams can be very loyal employees if you can accommodate their need for time off for auditions, exhibitions, etc. Parents who need to get kids on and off the bus are great for mid-day schedules.
If you need skilled staff for your call center, the expert recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions are ready to help. With ready access to top call center talent on-demand, scheduling is a breeze – even when unanticipated peaks and valleys occur. Contact CSS today to get started.