Scheduling within the call center can be a tricky task as each agent has a different skill set, call volumes can change according to campaigns or the economy, and proper forecasting relies on variables that cannot be controlled and therefore can prove to be unpredictable at times.
As the holiday season quickly approaches, companies throughout the retail industry are ramping up their call center staff in order to handle higher volumes of traffic. While many may be hoping that their Web site is intuitive enough that call volumes at least remain stable, the reality is that volume jumps must be anticipated during these holiday months.
Fortunately, there are applications available that can help call center managers to better account for volatile forecasts and manage the influx of calls with proper routing and call handling. Workforce management solutions can go a long way in helping the call center to schedule according to need in peak volumes.
Research from the Society of Workforce Planning Professionals (News
) (SWPP) has found that the more agents a call center is trying to manage, the more likely they are to turn to a workforce management solution. In fact, this organization found that 90 percent of larger call centers have a workforce management system in place.
In another study, SWPP worked with Customer Relationship Metrics to analyze workforce management within call centers throughout the world and found that only 10 percent of respondents do not perform intraday forecasts and schedule adjustments.
This finding indicates that the remaining call centers do focus heavily on forecasting and scheduling – yet with manual approaches – driving an increase in the demand for workforce management solutions that improve the effectiveness of these tasks.
This study found that licensed workforce management solutions are most often used for adherence monitoring, yet the second operation where such solutions are most commonly used is scheduling.
While manual approaches and spreadsheets are still very common approaches among call center managers, solutions that incorporate familiar processes could find significant opportunity. In all, only 13 percent of respondents use licensed software solutions for forecasting, indicating significant opportunity in the market.
The most glaring result of this study is that there are still many call centers operating today that have yet to realize the efficiency potential of workforce management solutions, especially in terms of scheduling.
Companies such as Monet Software can capitalize on such opportunity by educating its customers and designing a solution that best fits their needs. With the busier holiday times approaching, the time for educating those customers to improve efficiency during hectic months is now.