Call Center Schedules: Their Importance
By Ivana Lewis
Call centers work on schedules that are generally dictated by factors like call volumes. When the inbound call center predicts that there will be high call volumes, they schedule more agents on the job. During the leaner hours, the reverse happens. The Holiday season is the perfect time to work under schedules that suit the truncated workforce at the BPO units. Now is the time when a majority of your staff will be away from their desks.
The customer service team may find short of the requisite number of employees. However, if the managers running the show plan things well in advance, you might be able to run all the call center operations without any compromises. But you have to make those plans before your agents get out for vacations. Let's find out what you can do.
First, call center managers need a rough estimate of the call volumes during the Holiday seasons. Generally speaking, the number of calls at the customer service desk is low. Consumers are away on vacations and they also know that the staff at your end will be away, too.
So unless it's an emergency, they generally wait for the Holiday season to get over. The call volume being low, you can deploy a single agent and yet keep the call center services running. It's never a good idea to shut down all the phone numbers available to the consumers. What you can do is cut down the multiple phone numbers.
Keep one available. However, you have to ensure that the handling of calls at this solitary phone number is working full time. Customers who get through to your number must get their issues resolved. That way, you will work on lesser resources but you will not be compromising on the services you provide.
Second, call center managers have to plan out the work timings of the agents. The managers are in a position to judge the efficiency of the employees working at the call center.
They know what should comprise the team that works on the peak hours and those that need to be slotted on the leaner times. You can sit down with your customer service team and chalk out a schedule. Keep them in the loop and ask for their suggestions. You will be able to strike a balance that works for you as well as your virtual receptionist services.
Third, use software to generate the predictions for you. Incoming call volumes at the call center can be predicted by studying the trends of the past. It's not just the Holidays or weekdays that make a difference on the inbound inquiry handling team. It could be that your telemarketing project sells products/services that have certain crests and troughs.
Your schedules should take these factors into consideration as well. In fact, call centers should use predictive scheduling at all times of the year. You can save on resources in a big way when you know how much work you have on hand and have a plan to get it done in the stipulated resources.
Call center experts working for us know how to handle scheduling of market intelligence services in a big way. Our BPO team makes optimum use of resources.