Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used




Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used


This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties


Here are some suggested Connections for you! - Log in to start networking.

How to Handle Gaps in Call Center Staffing - The Connection - Blog

How to Handle Gaps in Call Center Staffing

All businesses require a certain number of customer service reps to staff their call center and that number can fluctuate throughout the year. If you experience turnover at an inopportune time, e.g. there is a termination or someone quits without notice, your call center could be left temporarily short-staffed. Of course that does not reduce the number of customer contacts or your responsibility to handle them, so how do successful call centers handle this shortage?

Here are some useful approaches to solving this problem:

Run Overtime When Needed

There will be many times where OT is needed to get the call center smoothly through volume peaks. You even plan for it in some cases. But running short-staffed on purpose and using overtime as a standard “solution” is expensive and will burn out employees. Burnout negatively affects CSR-customer interactions, and it can lead to increased episodes of untimely absenteeism, and eventually increased turnover.

Cross-train other Personnel for Quick Action

As with overtime, this works best as a stop-gap measure, not a go-to solution because working extra hard during busy times leads to burnout. That said, there are times when this is a workable solution. Knowing that gaps happen, cross-training a few additional personnel ahead of time provides a pool of “gap fillers” who are knowledgeable to step in when and where needed. This versatility can greatly increase call center responsiveness overall.

While those are great reactive ways to handle gaps when they occur, it's extremely important to be as proactive with managing staffing gaps as possible. So, here are a few proactive strategies:

Headcount vs. FTEs

It is fine to budget your call center costs based on FTEs, but if you schedule to that budget, you will often be short on personnel. Between PTO, unscheduled absences, family emergencies, etc., even the best operations experience a daily shrink of 10%, and it’s not unusual in some instances to see 15% or 20% shrink. So, you need to have enough headcount on staff to schedule based on the need PLUS the shrink. In this fashion, even when people are suddenly missing, you will get your calls handled as you expected to.

Provide Time Off When You Can

Do everything you can to honor employee requests for time off. Being flexible goes a long way here. Maybe you cannot always allow someone the entire day away, but how about the two hours needed for the actual appointment? The CSR will appreciate your accommodation, and it will be easier for you to fill that small gap.

Show Thanks to CSRs

Create a supportive, caring year-round culture. Customer service reps who know they are valued as people, as well as agents, are far more likely to respect their work schedules and be willing to pitch in to do more when the need arises. Kudos for a job well done and incentives for exceptional achievement or attitude are just two ways you can enliven the call center atmosphere and show appreciation for CSRs.

Hire Right

So easy to say, so hard to do! Yes, today’s labor market is tight, but try your best to find the right people. Committing to hiring candidates who fit the call center culture and have a strong personal work ethic will reduce the risk of surprise absences or quitting.

As peak season approaches, time new hires so their training and “break-in” period can happen before things get too hectic. That way, training won’t be short-circuited by the need to get people on calls, and new people will be more productive when they do start to handle calls.


The more you do to plan strategically, hire the right people, and create a positive working environment, the less stressful things will be for everyone when gaps occur in call center staffing, and you need to depend on the rest of the team to pick up the slack.


Publish Date: January 17, 2019 5:00 AM

2021 Buyers Guide Translation Services

OpsTel Services

Platform Data Transformation
OpsTel is proud to provide our clients with a software automation service that is used to aid in the transition from one platform to another utilizing both speed and accuracy. Whether it is going from premises to premises, premises to cloud, premises to private cloud or even a hybrid deployment; OpsTel has the ability to help cut your transition time so you can focus your efforts on remaining architecture priorities.

We’ve observed conversions as high as 85% - in as little time as 30-minutes - with remaining client specific complex integrations being done by employees or professional services of your choice leveraging our Platform Data Transformation™ solution.

Features include:

(read more)

Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

Back Office Solutions
Although the customer-facing type of tasks is essential to good customer experience, tasks being done in the background is as important.

Tru29 has been providing this type of outsourcing solutions to various businesses across the globe so you can be assured of a reliable and experienced workforce.

View more from The Connection

Recent Blog Posts:
Healthcare Call Center Best Practices: Work with a Qualified Call CenterMarch 12, 2020 5:00 AM
Interpreting a Call Center Metrics Dashboard with The Connection®February 13, 2020 5:00 AM
Benefits of Outsourcing Your Appointment Setting ServicesJanuary 30, 2020 5:00 AM
Customer Service Trends to Look Out for in 2020January 16, 2020 5:00 AM
Causes of Inaccurate Call Center Workforce Forecasting & How To Avoid ThemNovember 21, 2019 5:00 AM
Call Center Staffing: Best Practices for an Outstanding TeamOctober 31, 2019 5:00 AM
It's All in the Numbers: Your Ultimate Guide to Call Center MetricsOctober 17, 2019 5:00 AM
Customer Satisfaction Metrics: What You Should Know About CSAT and NPSMay 30, 2019 5:00 AM
How to Identify the Best Customer Service Assessment Test for Your Call CenterMarch 28, 2019 5:00 AM
Call Center Training Tips for Managing New HiresMarch 7, 2019 5:00 AM

About us - in 60 seconds!

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total =
session page-view-total =
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =