What does the reality of homeworking mean for Contact Centres? Alex Stenton-Hibbert, Sales Team Manager at Business Systems, looks at what can help the busy contact centre manager overcome the initial problems of home-working whilst still managing the contact centre and remote agents.
Contact Centres are now facing the reality of homeworking for the foreseeable future. But managing today’s multi-channel contact centres from the comfort of your own home could be easier than you think, with a little forward planning and the right workforce management technology.
In these uncertain times ahead, being flexible with agile ‘on the go’ planning is essential.
We’ve seen (and helped) many organisations the past couple of weeks get their agents ready for homeworking. The stage is set with staff geared up to take calls and with access to the necessary systems they need.
However, one question which we keep getting asked is: How will you ensure they’re still productive and working efficiently whilst working remotely?
The Challenges Ahead
Without real-time visibility of staff and planned activity, scheduled employees might not be available when they should be. For a contact centre this can result in longer wait times, high abandoned call rates and service level targets not being met.
Not an ideal situation. Particularly at a time when for some contact centres, customers are relying on them even more due to COVID-19.
The Solution To Remedy
A clear solution to this is having a reliable workforce management system in place. And one with powerful real-time adherence functionality. Here’s what real-time adherence does:
· Compares agent scheduled activities with current agent states
· Flags any deviation from schedule adherence with alarms
· Allows team leaders to drill down into detail from site, teams and an individual agent level; all with a click of a button
· Ability to update all data in real-time which is then available on desktop, tablet or mobile
· Provides real-time visibility to ensure staff are available for the next customer demand/interaction and ensures handle times are kept to a good level
· Identifies training opportunities for agents who have challenges managing AHT or wrap time on a particular skill, for example
Meet our First Customer – Real-Life Story
They’ve found Real-Time Adherence to have a calming effect on their day to day contact centre challenges
Our first customer is using real-time adherence to ensure agents are adhering to their schedules. Their system has been configured so that agents receive pop-ups on their desktop to remind them when to take a break, go to lunch or when they need to switch from one activity to another. Their solution also confirms when shift trades or changes have been accepted.
This customer also found that Managers are now in complete control of their contact centre environment as they can login to the system and simply compare agent schedules to states and can see any changes as they happen from their tablet or mobile. This means they can make any adjustments to schedules on the move if they need to.
Meet our second customer – Real-Life Story
They’ve found Real-Time Adherence has helped boost their service levels and customer satisfaction
By linking the real-time adherence functionality to their automatic call distributor (ACD), this customer has been able to get an accurate, real-time view of agents and overall contact centre activity. This allows managers to track schedules against forecasts and make meaningful adjustments to meet agreed service level agreements. The functionality also means automated alarms flag up when schedules are being breached and a real time data feed (updated in seconds) allows them to make quick decisions on the go.
Meet our third customer – Real-Life Story
They’ve found Real-Time Adherence has encouraged them to factor in team meetings and offline activities during quiet periods
Having clear visibility of intraday activities and real-time adherence has enabled this customer to factor in more team and 1-2-1 meetings and other offline activities during quiet periods. They’ve found team meetings are vital now more than ever!
Business Continuity During Uncertain Times
Business continuity has been spoken about for quite some time, but never on this scale. Many of our customers have had to prepare their contact centres for unexpected storms or major system outages. We would have never predicted that planning your contact centre for COVID-19 would have been on the cards for 2020.