In a contact center, your agent’s time is gold. You want to value their time and reap the most ROI from it. But there is an alternative idea. Should your agents be offered flexible timings? Or should they be restricted to a strict 8 hour shift?. Well, the right answer is yes, it is possible to offer flexible timings to your contact center agents.
The idea might seem chaotic, with too much shuffling involved. But with the right workforce management tools, you can eat and have the cake too.
Why offer flexible timings to Contact Center Agents?
Benefits of offering flex-time:
How to offer flexible timings with workforce management tools?
Agents often get fatigued with a tedious work schedule. With less dynamicity in their work, they end up losing on work-life balance. When contact center agents were surveyed, they admitted that the flexible timings will be a deal-changer. They will work eight hours but at a time of their choosing.
Agent satisfaction is directly responsible for customer satisfaction. As the chain of action goes, keeping your agents excited about the job, will increase their productivity and improve your CSAT scores. However, many contact center operators still shy away from offering flex-time. It is because it is almost impossible to shuffle everyone’s schedule every week or month without a proper forecasting tool. The scheduling process needs thorough analytical work and attention.
The flex-time approach also comes in handy during the festive season or even peak hours. As the call volume spikes, it will be smarter to assign agents who are not personally invested in the festivities and give the day off for the ones who do. This promotes a far more inclusive and diverse work-culture as well.
All-in-all, having a smart control over your contact center schedule gives you the room to innovate and strategize around your workforce. Your customers won’t wait at all. Hence, it is important to make sure that someone is always answering majority of the requests.
It is imperative to stay employee-centric, especially in this economy. Poor employee health in the workspace leads to high agent churn. Offering flexible timings to your agents can be a game-changer and it doesn’t come with any cost. Here are some popular benefits:
The whole purpose of workforce management tools is to easily assign and update your agents on everyone’s schedule, by keeping the big picture in mind. With adequate data, you can forecast your mean call volume everyday and the number of agents required for it.
For instance, one of your agents, wants to reschedule her afternoon shift for a personal reason. Instead of denying their request and impacting their work, you can easily login to WFM tool, and see which shift is understaffed. In the same way, you can reach out and move up another agent in her place, to ensure no setbacks in your operation.
Workforce Management Software (WFM) can help automate the entire forecasting process, which often provides a superior accuracy over using the traditional spreadsheet approaches. This software can also help in scheduling agents and can even allow them to design their own schedules within a set boundary that the management defines for them. There are even some WFM solutions which offer skill-based mapping that can enhance the call center operations by improving the overall planning.
The call center software from C-Zentrix lets the agent to set their availability on ‘Break’. Tracking this duration can be easily automated with WFM software for better planning and forecasting.
Call centers can not only lower the shrinkage but also bring down several inefficiencies by monitoring the agents’ performance. The agents who have been over-utilized for some time period would experience much higher stress levels that would lead to lowered performance, leading to reduced customer satisfaction levels. With WFM tool, the overworked agents can be swapped and other agents can be notified to login over the mobile app.
Offering flexible timing to contact center agents is the right direction to go. Encouraging such practices with the aid of right tools, always ensures employee well-being. Especially, with the entire shift to remote working, morale has been low amongst employees. With such non-consequential perks, it is easier to keep the morale aloft and your operations running.
Author Bio: Sweta is a passionate technical writer with experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.