Call centers face several workforce management challenges including managing service levels, forecasting calls, and scheduling staff. Workforce management is a process that involves using precise staffing figures each hour to enhance service while reducing costs. It is considered one of the most significant planning and administration functions in a call center. This process is handled by a call center supervisor or manager.
A call center has to track each employee’s daily performance and service. This makes it possible to determine the impact that each individual is making to the call center when it comes to attaining daily service goals. The call centers have to know the exact number of people who are needed to attain service goals. The workforce has to match the workload. If a call center is overstaffed, profitability is likely to reduce because of higher costs. On the other hand, if there are very few agents, customers will stop using the services and handling times are likely to go up.
Call centers have to deal with complex contacts, increased customer expectations, new channels, and a need for improved agent skills during workforce management. This makes it necessary for them to do things right. On the upside, it is possible to learn about scheduling and forecasting to boost a call center’s performance.
A call center has to clarify its values for its schedules to work appropriately. It is important to determine what will happen when workload forecasts are either high or low. The call centers management has to identify ways to ensure service levels are consistent. It may be necessary to seek backup from the rest of the departments or find external business partners to ensure customer needs are well met.
To come up with workable schedules, call centers have to model a variety of scenarios. They have to come up with tests schedules that test different variables. A call center has to experiment with various alternatives to make better decisions in terms of training required, shift swapping, and agent group structures. Experimentation allows call centers to make necessary changes to come up with good schedules. It may take time to get a workable schedule but the results will be worth it. During scheduling, a call center supervisor or manager has to determine the right shift span, days off and days on, and start and stop options.
Call centers will continue to face many challenges when it comes to meeting their customers’ demands, scheduling, and forecasting in order to handle their workload effectively. But they can take advantage of the latest forecasting and scheduling technology to simplify this process.