For managers, a lot of thought goes into mastering the art of scheduling. Determining and assigning shifts can be a difficult and time-consuming process, but it is an activity that needs to be done in every contact center. Instead of guessing what the agents want when creating the schedule, the following tips may be helpful in knowing what they actually want.
While it may be impossible for a manager to put schedules out months in advance, it can be extremely helpful to the agent to have a certain amount of consistency. They may not know 100% what the schedule is, but they know that they typically work Monday through Thursday during the mornings. By respecting this rhythm, agents have a degree of consistency that allows them to plan events with family, children and friends in advance.
If there is a major event happening next week that will likely increase the volume of calls in your contact center, you will need to have more staff on hand. These days happen occasionally, but it is important to notify the agents who will be added on for extra shifts more than one or two days in advance. This forward thinking may not be a possibility for every industry, but the agents will appreciate any possible planning.
The main purpose of flexibility is making sure that agents know whom they’re “interchangeable” with. In the case that they want to change their shift, they should know which other agents to approach and are suitable to swap with. Once the team has worked together for a considerable amount of time, agents will know exactly how to exchange shifts without having a major impact on the functionality of the contact center. By developing this type of system, agents know they are never locked into the shift they’re assigned, providing them with the flexibility that they desire.
The fact of the matter is that schedule changes occur fairly often and will continue to forever. No matter how much work you’ve put into designing the perfect schedule, keep in mind that changes will absolutely happen. Agents may be able to swap shifts amongst themselves, as mentioned above in the flexibility section, or, in some cases, may approach you as the manager with requests to change their shifts. While it may be annoying and time-consuming, handling the stress is something to accept as part of the role of manager and handle it with a smile and positive attitude. Maintaining an air of approachability with the agents is one of the keys to running a successful contact center.
Keeping these four tips in mind, managers have a sneak peak into the minds of their agents. Knowing exactly what they’re looking for from the managers in the scheduling process can help the managers to improve their own performance in this area.
If you are looking for more assistance with designing your schedules, consider investing in workforce management software. Contact KOVA today to learn more information about our Verint Media Recorder software program.