With Contact Centres all over the globe facing the reality of home working for the foreseeable future, real-time adherence is going to be vital to protect service levels…
Managing today’s multi-channel contact centres from home could be easier than you think with a little forward planning and the right WFM technology. In these uncertain weeks ahead, we all need to be flexible and agile with ‘on the go’ planning. Real-time adherence will play an integral part of effective intraday management.
Many organisations have spent the last couple of weeks getting their agents ready for home working. Staff are set up to take calls, they have access to the necessary systems, however, the immediate challenge is to ensure they’re more productive and working efficiently.
Without clear real-time visibility of staff and scheduled activity, organisations are finding themselves in a position where scheduled employees are not available when they should be.
Depleted workforces and increased demands inevitably impact the customer experience with longer wait times, high abandoned calls and service levels targets not being met.
So, what’s the solution? A good WFM solution with strong real-time adherence functionality including:
- Ability to compare agent schedules with those of the current ACD state
- Lack of schedule adherence is flagged with alarms
- Ability for team leaders to drill from site and teams down to an individual agent with a click of a button
- All data is updated in real-time and available on desktop, tablet and or mobile devices
- Provides real-time adherence visibility to ensure staff are available for the next customer demand/interaction & handle times are kept to a satisfactory level
Add in intraday schedulers to the mix and organisations can gain high levels of visibility allowing them to make informed decisions around actions that need to be taken. E.g. Do we need to alter schedules for the workforce during the day or do we have enough resource to handle demand but they’re not doing what they should be?
With tumultuous times ahead, it’s useful to look at how some of our customers are using real-time adherence to help them protect their service levels.
In our first example, a customer believes that real-time adherence has had a calming effect on their day-to-day contact centre challenges.
Their solution has been configured in a way to help agents ensure they adhere to schedules. Their agents automatically receive pop-ups on their desktop to remind them when to take a break, go to lunch or when they are due to switch from one activity to another. The solution also confirms that shift trades and/or shift changes have been accepted. With agents forced to work from home, it’s vital that they still receive those breaks and are encouraged to do so, to help prevent mental health issues a few weeks down the line.
This customer also found that their Managers are now in complete control of their contact centre environment (whatever that may look like now), because they can simply login to the system and compare agent schedules to states and see state changes as they happen from their tablet or other mobile devices. They can make appropriate adjustments to schedules on the move, should they need to do so.
Our next customer found that real-time adherence has enhanced their service levels and customer satisfaction.
This feature benefits the whole company and has already proven to increase productivity by 5% in a short amount of time. By implementing the real-time adherence functionality and linking to their automated call distributor (ACD) system, they have been able to get an accurate, real-time view of the agents and overall contact centre activity to enable managers to track schedules against forecasts and then make quick and meaningful adjustments to meet agreed customer service level agreements (SLAs). Automated alarms flag-up when schedules are being breached and a real-time data feed which is updated in seconds allows them to make quick decisions.
Another real-life example, found having clear visibility of intraday activities and real-time adherence enabled them to factor in team meetings, 1-2-1 meetings and other offline activities during quiet periods. Now more than ever, these meetings will be vital for staff morale and must continue to happen where possible, albeit they are likely happening virtually for many of us.
We’ve been talking about business continuity planning for some time now, however not on the scale we are seeing today. We have used examples of organisations having to prepare for the unexpected such as storms that prevent people from getting into the office or major systems outages – who could have predicted we would be staying at home for this unprecedented situation?
Having this visibility in place will make all the difference when it comes to meeting services levels giving your organisation the best possible chance of coming out the other side!