Contact Centre Scheduling: Time To Try Something New?

Contact Centre scheduling efficiency: time to try something new? Managing your contact centre capacity while adjusting to increased home working and customer demand is a balancing act. Scheduling techniques such as the Puzzel optimal net staffing approach and using cloud workforce management solutions, can tip the scales in your favour.

Maximise the time and talents of your agents to increase customer satisfaction.

Are you constantly striving to assign your agents to the most appropriate task to maximise their talents and achieve the highest levels of customer service? Knowing that when you get it right, you’ll boost agent morale and productivity, and customer satisfaction. Success comes down to being able to forecast and schedule accurately. Thanks to advancements in Workforce Management (WFM), the ability for you to create fast, flexible and always accurate schedules is now possible.

The chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic has made it even more important for you to get it right. You and your agents are just adjusting to home working but soon you’ll need to adjust again and implement more flexible working practices as economies come out of lockdown. You will need to do this while simultaneously managing fluctuations in customer demand, and across different inbound and outbound channels. With this in mind, now is the perfect time to pause, re-evaluate, and put in place a new process for scheduling efficiency.

Introducing optimal net staffing

At Puzzel we use the concept of optimal net staffing to power our WFM solution. This is designed to take into account the fact that there will always be times when your contact centre is under or over staffed. Leaving you with either a deficit or surplus of hours. Rather than traditional approaches that calculate schedule efficiency based on a simple calculation of the available intervals throughout the day that meet the acceptable criteria threshold. This can significantly distort the actual situation. We believe that success lies in aiming for optimal net staffing, where you focus on optimising the hours and agents available to maintain quality of service. This change in mindset frees your managers and resource planners from the constraints of static shifts, start/finish times and routine activity placements.

Simply Business experiences dramatic results

The Puzzel optimal net staffing approach has transformed scheduling efficiency at Simply Business, one of the UK’s biggest business insurance providers. The company relies on automated WFM to forecast and schedule over 200 skilled consultants serving nearly 600,000 customers. Most recently, Simply Business used Puzzel WFM to support an increased volume of business and customer contact during a period of record growth.

Like many contact centres, Simply Business experienced periods of under and over staffing at consistent levels throughout the week. However, according to Simply Business’ Resource Planner Joshua Kirkbride,

“because these periods generally balanced themselves out over the week, there wasn’t a focus on how we could improve efficiency. This has changed with the introduction of optimal net staffing which highlights where the issues lie and gives us metrics to help make informed decisions on how to move staff or shifts to different points in the day or week for better schedule efficiency.”

3 ways to boost your schedule efficiency using Puzzel WFM

It’s quick and easy to bring WFM and optimal net staffing into your contact centre. Here’s how Simply Business have harnessed the benefits:

1. Accurate forecasting is a long and challenging task when working solely with manual methods like Excel spreadsheets and traditional WFM solutions, especially in today’s multi-skill, omnichannel world. The intuitive, fast customisable design of today’s Cloud WFM solutions make this process straightforward for first-time analysts and established resource professionals. Simply Business use Puzzel WFM to produce meaningful forecasts based on auto captured historical trends, direct from their contact centre solution.

2. Optimised scheduling – Simply Business use WFM as a strategic workforce optimisation (WFO) tool. Building instant, optimal schedules and making changes in real-time using a simple ‘drag and drop’ facility to boost agent capacity and service levels. Keeping agents engaged and happy by scheduling time for homeworkers to deal with children and manage busy households.

3. Real-Time Adherence (RTA) – knowing what people are actually doing against scheduled activity enables supervisors to gain immediate insight into agent performance to support real-time decision making. Graphical displays within RTA show what agents are doing versus what they should be doing and highlight any differences or recurring ‘out of adherence’ (OOA) events that can interfere with scheduling efficiency.



Puzzel is a leading cloud-based contact centre software provider and was a pioneer in offering integrated customer engagement as an easily-deployed service. Today, the company combines omni-channel technology with artificial intelligence capabilities to provide comprehensive, end-to-end customer interaction solutions in an age of digitization. Puzzel was recognized as a Challenger in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant report for Contact Center as a Service in Western Europe for the fifth consecutive year, reflecting its rapid growth, functional breadth, standards compliance, and commitment to customer service and support.

For additional information on Puzzel view their Company Profile

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