Consider how agent adherence supports improved customer service
Contact centre demand management needs to be finely balanced and scheduling rotas needs to match demand with the number of agents required, ideally in fifteen-minute intervals. The absence of one agent can impact queue lengths and call abandonment. This effect is compounded when team leaders remove a team for a meeting or training, without using the scheduling tools, and it can have a potentially devastating effect on service levels.
A proactive contact centre will help every agent to understand the highly effective and motivational approach of the 'Power-of-One'. This philosophy highlights the impact that their individual adherence decisions have on increasing colleague work load and reducing customer satisfaction. Agents who understand that even the removal of just one colleague will have a profound impact on customer satisfaction are more likely to see the benefits of compliance with the agent adherence process, which will improve teamwork and load balancing for everyone.
In comparison, the use of agent adherence as a disciplinary measure (sometimes called the 'big stick' method) disheartens agents and does little to nurture organisational success.
Adherence losses and savings
If all agents are adhering 100% then there is no loss of service, which translates into no loss of funds. However, if a contact centre is not adhering 100% there will be a loss of service, plus payments for staff who are 'not working'.
As an illustration, if an agent returns late by even one minute from each break during any day it means three lost minutes per day. As illustrated in the Agent Adherence Table above, it is relatively easy for each agent, without any intentional misdemeanour, to lose several minutes.
In our example, a minute before or after breaks soon adds up to six minutes per day, which combined with even one minute late start, would total seven minutes lost per day.
In a 50-agent contact centre, this non-compliance would equate to the equivalent of 350 lost minutes or 5.83 hours per working day (more than the equivalent of a ½ FTE per day).
Implementation and changing the ways of working
The real-time displays of agent whereabouts make a significant impact on effectively managing staffing and queues, saving previously 'wasted' time and realising cost savings on staff budgets. Consider these steps:
- Develop your 'Power-of One' philosophy
- Hold agent workshops to instil confidence that work load will be fairer, with a benefit across the entire team
- Work with human resources to amend any appropriate procedures
- Work with team managers and supervisors to ensure they are also compliant in their planning of team meetings and training time
Remember your agents are your key resource
Combining the roll-out of any adherence program with the promotion of a 'Power-of-One' philosophy helps agents to understand the impact that their actions will have on colleagues, even when they make only small deviations from their schedule. This approach increases agent motivation to work within their schedule and promotes team work and morale.
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