Maintaining a consistent schedule for call center workers can present a huge challenge. Between juggling different shifts, managing employee turnover, and anticipating employee availability, it’s no wonder that call center scheduling quickly becomes a headache.
Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks to get your scheduling back on track. Here’s everything you need to know about how to schedule your call center employees and keep your business running smoothly.
#1 Be Up-Front about Availability
Start your professional relationship off on the right foot by communicating clearly with employees about their availability. When you hire a new recruit, you should ensure that they are on-board to cover the shifts that need to be filled. Not all employees will have late evening or weekend availability, so give yourself a leg-up by ensuring new hires are comfortable with a non-traditional schedule. This way, you avoid any surprises and chronically understaffed shifts as you move forward.
#2 Schedule Top Callers During the Busiest Hours
You don’t sub-in your rookie player during the most pivotal part of the game. Similarly, it’s not wise to leave new recruits manning the phones during the busiest time of day. Identify when your call center receives the highest frequency of calls and tailor your schedule to prioritize top agents during those times. Experienced agents will be better equipped to handle customer inquiries and a high call volume. Use quieter times as an opportunity to train new recruits. This way, newer employees have the benefit of hands-on experience without the high-pressure of peak calling hours.
#3 Use an “On-Call” Agent System
For every shift you schedule, ensure some agents are “on-call” just in case a scheduled employee doesn’t show up for work. This way, you have a team of backups waiting if you need the extra support. This is a more efficient way to fill gaps in your staffing needs, and is also more respectful towards employees trying to schedule activities outside of work. Employees who are “on call” have the chance to plan ahead just in case they are called into work.
#4 Prepare for Employee Turnover
According to Quality Assurance and Training Connection, call center employee turnover averages have increased in recent years: “averages for the call center industry as a whole range between 30–45 percent.” Tracking your business’s turnover rate will offer insights into why employees leave and how they leave.
Internal Promotion – Some employees may leave a call center to pursue another job within the same company. This type of turnover is usually more positive, but does still require call centers to replace agents.
Alternate Employment – Track how many call center agents are leaving for jobs elsewhere. Pay attention to their reasons for leaving to see if you can address any prominent issues within the workplace.
Termination – Occasionally employees are asked to leave because they aren’t the right fit for the position. In these cases, pay attention to the reason behind their termination. Is there a pattern that emerges? Pay attention to this data as a guide when making future hires.
#5 Provide Continuous Training
Offering employees continuous training ensures that everyone is on the same page. Veteran employees often need a refresher on finer details and new recruits who are still learning the ropes may need the extra attention. Offer employees resources like articles, webinars, and demos to promote their ongoing education. Utilize meetings as a chance to check-in with employees and address current questions or concerns. The more team-oriented you are, the easier it will be to maintain a strong workforce.
#6 Implement Scheduling Software
One of the most efficient ways to ensure that all employees remain on the same page is to use an accessible scheduling platform. Konverse is a scheduling and communication app that connects employees and provides real-time updates. Konverse’s all-in-one platform provides employees and management with user-friendly features that make scheduling, communicating, and collaborating efficient and easy.
Use Konverse On-the-Go – Konverse’s platform is compatible on a variety of devices including smart phones and personal laptops. This means that employees have access to updated schedules in-real-time.
Integrate Email – Konverse integrates other communication platforms to make your life simpler. Check emails and post in discussion rooms all from the same app.
Gauge Employee Satisfaction – Offer employees a chance to contribute their opinions by utilizing Konverse’s polls and surveys feature.
Ready to streamline your scheduling needs? Contact us today to request a demo.