Businesses can drive more success if and only if they put some time into focusing on customer experience. This is where call center scheduling comes in handy. Maintaining an effective schedule can help you run your call center operations smoothly and enhance customer satisfaction to some extent.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about call center scheduling and tips to optimize call center scheduling. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
What Is Call Center Scheduling?
Call centers act as a bridge connecting businesses and customers with rapid communication and solving issues promptly.
They often go through tedious operations which are a large volume of callers with a low number of agents picking up those calls. As a result of this, agents find it a hard time to catch up with the frequency of calls, leading to poor customer service.
This can be solved by optimizing call center scheduling. Call center scheduling means when agents take care of incoming and outgoing calls based on factors like anticipated contact volume, availability, and expertise in the related field.
Call center scheduling is a process of creating a timetable chart for assigning shifts to agents, ensuring that they remain available to answer phone calls in cases of utmost urgency. Basically, you manage the schedules of call center agents.
In call center scheduling all you do is assign breaks, shifts, and days off for agents. The main goal behind that is to make sure there’s enough manpower to handle during peak call times.
This strategic planning of staff and resources ensures that the right number of agents with the needed skills are present in those peak busy hours.
Impact of Efficient Scheduling on Customer Service and Agent Satisfaction
Optimizing scheduling for the right number of callers at a given time increases the chances of quickly answering calls and resolving customer issues.
To optimize call center scheduling instead of relying on spreadsheets, the best is to invest in software. These tools analyze historical data like the work performance of agents and predict call volumes to create optimized schedules.
Optimized or efficient schedules don’t have a messy routine or high workload on agents. At the same time, it has a positive influence on customers, making them return repeatedly.
Efficient call scheduling is key in not making customers wait for longer and at the same time boosting the agent’s satisfaction. Once you start assigning agents to meet the level of demand, what you’ll see is an improvement in the call center’s service, enhancing customer retention and loyalty.
Key Factors in Call Center Scheduling
Call center scheduling involves practices of handling the workforce to make sure they’re readily available when needed. It typically includes the following key factors:
- Forecasting call volumes: Call centers track historical data such as the number of calls received at a specific time. This data is then further used to predict future call volumes.
- Staff calculation: Forecasting call volumes is essential based on this data, the number of staff required is calculated.
- Allocation of shifts: Depending on the forecasted call volume and other factors like busy hours. shift schedules are created.
- Agent appointment: Agents are appointed to dedicated shifts or schedules, based on their expertise, availability, and their performance.
📖 You might also be interested in: Call Center Quality Assurance: Tips & Best Practices
Best Tips To Optimize Call Center Scheduling
Creating an effective call center schedule is an overwhelming and challenging task. You need to be watchful of daily work to-do lists, set the weekly agent schedule, check agent availability, and shift in call volumes. To ease the process for you, we’ve shortlisted 8 tips to optimize call center scheduling.
1. Assign experienced agents in busy call hours
Most of the call centers face hard times at their busy hours especially when the call volumes are pretty high. One of the ways to sort this burdensome job is by scheduling your most experienced and efficient agents during peak call times.
They are well aware of how to take care of customers’ concerns or queries in a short time. Demanding times like such require your best agents to fill in the void rather than relying on newbies who lack experience.
Once newer agents get more experience, you can rotate them as well. This way, your top agents won’t feel the workload pressure and will get the time to feel refreshed. Thus, from there on they can handle the calls much more effectively.
2. Install call center scheduling software
Manually entering your call center’s schedules in a spreadsheet isn’t a good approach. This outdated process isn’t reliable and doesn’t promote customer experience.
There are many call center scheduling software available and you can use that to streamline your call center operations. With the help of call center scheduling software, you can optimize staffing and scheduling decisions easily.
Also, it comes up with features like automated scheduling, intelligent forecasting, generating customizable reports, and much more.
Getting the best scheduling software for your call center allows you to handle your staffing requirements for busy times so you can provide the best customer experience possible.
3. Get an idea of your call volumes
Call centers forecast call volumes by using historical data. This data can be obtained with the help of call center scheduling software.
It tracks the number of calls that have been received in a duration of time which becomes helpful in predicting future call volumes. Along with that, it also tracks other data like call patterns, latest call records, staffing levels, etc.
With the help of this data, call centers assign enough agents during tight hours to ensure customers don’t have to wait for long. And thus enhances customer service as well.
4. Understand agent skills
Before assigning a task or a role to an agent make sure you are fully aware of their knowledge and their field of expertise. Not only that, make sure you reward their work which will contribute to boosting their morale and encourage them to work wholeheartedly.
It also allows call center managers to redirect customers to an agent who is known to deal with particular issues. As a result, customer’s concerns will be handled quickly, leading to higher satisfaction.
5. Flexible scheduling and remote work
We all know working in a call center is pretty hectic. Thus, agents are more likely to quit their jobs or lose interest in the long run. Keeping that in mind, call centers should provide flexible work hours and remote work options.
Agents may be willing to work at a specific hour that they feel productive, allowing such schedule flexibility gives them a sense of freedom. The ability to swap shifts or work from home also is a great idea to keep agents happy.
The call center software that you use today is cloud-based allowing agents to take calls from anywhere.
6. Offer Regular Breaks
Call center agents have to work lengthy hours, thus taking regular breaks in between is key. To be fully effective in work our body and mind require rest in equal amounts.
By taking frequent breaks, agents have the chance to recharge and get out of work mode. Taking breaks makes sure that agents stay fresh and productive, contributing to quality work and promoting overall well-being.
Remember that, physical and mental health is key for agents to stay productive, and breaks like this contribute to both.
7. Make use of real-time analytics
Every call center scheduling software provides you with real-time analytics nowadays so that you can act accordingly. Real-time analytics offer call data metrics, that too in real-time.
Real-time analytics provides you with accurate and recent metrics like wait times and call volumes so that you can perform actions based on that.
If call volume is peaking, you need to add more agents or take other actions per the current call center conditions.
You can also monitor and analyze metrics like abandonment rates, average hold times, time in queue, etc.
8. Provide frequent training
For the agents to reach their full potential, offering them training is a must. Frequent training is an excellent way to enhance their skills and stay up-to-date on recent customer service practices and methods.
Furthermore, maximizing their skills through regular training becomes fruitful for the call center to drive more success.
Agents can take care of more complex customer inquiries and resolve them more promptly. It also helps to enhance agents’ morale and gain the ability to tackle complex situations easily.
Answering calls within seconds and resolving issues in quick succession results in a satisfied customer. And all that is possible by optimizing call center scheduling.
Optimizing call center scheduling is crucial in enhancing employee satisfaction, minimizing agents’ workload, and turning customers loyal. It provides agents with healthy workloads, which has a positive impact on their productivity and morale.
By choosing the ideal call center scheduling software, you can simplify scheduling tasks, time tracking, and communication to optimize administrative tasks.
Thus, it adds fuel to your call center so that it operates smoothly and provides top-class customer experiences along the way.
How can I improve my schedule adherence in a call center?
There are several tips and tricks that you can follow to improve schedule adherence in your call centers. Such as:
- Identifying the reasons behind agents going out of adherence.
- Regular adherence monitoring.
- Make use of automated workforce management.
How do you optimize a call center?
Optimizing a call center is essential to meet the needs of customers. Here is how you can do that:
- Make use of the right call center metrics.
- Put effort into making your call center team happy.
- Make your center up-to-date with the latest call center technology.
How is scheduling done in the call center?
Scheduling is carried out by managing agent work schedules based on various factors, including expected call volume, agent availability, and expertise level. It is usually done with the help of a call center scheduling software.