A call center boasts a large number of employees given the nature of its operations, 24 hours, 7 days a week. Customers need actual assistance day and night, and an agent is always present to provide the service.
Other than hiring the vast number of agents, the managers need to schedule their working hours, have temps on standby for the busy seasons and maintain a productive team. The workforce is an enormous asset for the call center because they are at the forefront of ensuring that customers are satisfied. They need to be well managed to ensure optimum performance.
Here is a list of challenges that you expect to deal with when managing a call center workforce.
Call centers experience the highest turnover rates around the world. The high turnover poses an enormous challenge for the leaders to manage the agents. For instance, it is the peak season, and 10% of your employee quit. You have to recruit and train new staff to fill in the 10% gap left, motivate and encourage the remaining employees so that they do not leave as well and process the papers for the employees who left.
Remember that the call center operates all year round; therefore, you do not have the luxury to wait and see how the remaining employees will handle the calls. Research shows that a majority of people quit their bosses, not their jobs -they need income to live.
Tip :- Create a work environment that fosters cooperation between the agent and managers. A positive work environment will lower the high turnover, therefore, making your tasks a little easier.
A significant role of workforce management is forecasting agents’ workload and creating schedules for the staff. When you under-staff the center, customer satisfaction levels drop, and the agents are overwhelmed. When you overstaff the center, agents will be idle and thus get bored with the work and the call center will waste resources.
The challenge is finding the correct balance; to handle the workload at your service-level target using the least number of agents. Creating a schedule that matches the anticipated workload is tricky.
Tip:-Assess the previous workload reports and use that information to forecast the plans and activities that will influence the future workload.
The numerous tasks involved in workforce management increase the chances of making mistakes. From maintaining employee files to recording attendance to documenting the expenses and the list go on. The situation becomes worse if you are doing all these things manually.
To err is human, and that is bound to happen when you get tired of the tedious manual work. The entire call center will be affected by such mistakes.
Tip:- Utilize available workforce management software that makes forecasting, scheduling, measuring, tracking and all other management tasks easier. The automation will make your work fast and seamless, giving you more time to focus on the welfare of the agents.
It is essential to monitor and measure agents’ performance because you will know the areas that require commendation or improvement.
The challenge is setting realistic goals that can be achieved within the specified time frame. Without clear objectives, you will be tracking and measuring the wrong data. The result will be confusion and directionless efforts.
Tip:- Set goals that are realistic and in line with the organization’s vision and mission. Automate the tracking and measuring process to get accurate results that will lead to improved performance.
In summary, these four challenges high turnover rate, workload forecasting, a strong possibility of making errors and monitoring and measuring performance can paralyze your workforce management efforts. However, when you plan well and automate where possible, your efforts will be fruitful. You will have energized and motivated agents who go the extra mile to meet customers’ needs.