As you determine what makes your contact center successful around workforce optimization, do you measure Service Level, Staff Utilization, or a combination of both?
When a contact center asks us to help, often Service Levels can be all over the board with highs and lows throughout the day. Sometimes they are not meeting them at all or results are in the middle. We see high performing companies exceed 70% of their Service Level intervals.
Increasing consistency of Service Levels throughout the day can become increasingly difficult as companies start to add more channels and/or additional skills. This becomes complex as there is no previous data to base your Forecasting off for these added skills and channels. Additionally, when the skills become overly complex, routing technologies can begin to fight with themselves.
The question becomes how do you achieve consistent Service Levels? It all starts with breaking down and analyzing the 4 components of Workforce Management: Forecasting, Capacity Planning, Scheduling, and Intra-day. Through these 4 components, you can start to discover where opportunities lie.
The 1st phase, Forecasting must be refined for both Long-Term and Near-Term activities. Near-Term is important as you might have issues arise such as warranty claims and product releases that may cause your volume to spike. AHT is also a significant input variable to take into consideration. If this goes up or down, it can completely throw your service levels off.
Capacity Planning is the next component in managing your workforce. As you are reviewing the details of the plan, it’s important to ensure you have enough time to recruit and train call center agents before you need them.
From there, Scheduling is the 3rd component in the plan. While discovering improvement opportunities in this area, we frequently find that a flexible workforce is a must. Company culture and the frequency of schedule changes can also impact this step.
Lastly, Intra-Day or Real-time queue management is the final component. Routing and skill priority are some other common areas of opportunity. Attribute-Based Routing has become a recent hot topic in this component and can cause unwanted outcomes if not done correctly.
Together, these 4 components can make or break your Service Level. Are inconsistent Service Levels causing your customer service metrics to drop, increasing employee burn out when understaffed, or increasing costs when overstaffed?