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Article : All You Need to Know About Creating Flexible Contact Centre Teams

#contactcenterworld, @Calabrio

Agents today expect far higher levels of flexibility than ever before. Nick Brook at
Calabrio shares 7 winning strategies for driving all-round flexibility in contact centres.

If you’re not a fan of wearing a suit and tie every day and want plenty of time to spend with friends and family, then working in a contact centre is for you. That’s the verdict of Bristol-based RED Recruitment, which cites ‘flexible dress codes’ and a ‘great work/life balance’ as 2 of the top 8 reasons to work in a contact centre. For employers, failure to meet these expectations for flexibility can have a damaging impact on staff retention, a serious workplace challenge. UK analyst for the contact centre and CX industry ContactBabel in its 2023 Decision Makers Guide discovered a ‘very wide spread of attrition rates across the industry with 22% of respondents having to deal with attrition rates of over 30% compared to only 16% in 2020.’

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7 Ways to Create Flexible Teams

How can organisations meet employee expectations for greater flexibility? Here are 7 steps guaranteed to point you in the right direction:

  1. Drive Flexibility in Agent Schedules
    Start by building flexibility into agent schedules. An easy way to achieve this is to introduce fluid start times and re-think shift lengths. For example, instead of starting at 9am, allow agents to begin their day any time between 8am and 9am to enhance flexibility without disrupting agent schedules or customer demands too dramatically. The latest Workforce Management (WFM) solutions are perfect for accelerating the arduous process of offering flexible shifts that suit agents and customers.

  2. Support Lifestyle Needs
    It’s not just about when agents work but where they work that is important to remote and hybrid-working employees. Thanks to modern WFM technology, it is now possible to apply standard and extended shift preferences for home and office working. By using shifts with either "home" or "office" category labels, agents can pick both their preferred time and location to work.

  3. Create a Level Playing Field
    Use shift preferences and shift bidding for flexibility that is fair and transparent. Shift bidding allows agents to pick from a selection of predefined shifts. Agents will typically get one of their choices when the bidding process is finalised by the WFM team. Preferences allow agents to submit their preferred shift and when scheduling, planners will optimise their preferences to fit operational demand. While this means that agents might not get 100% of their preferences, it does give everyone the opportunity to influence the scheduling process.

  4. Flexibility is a Two-Way Street
    A flexible approach benefits agents psychologically while making contact centres more agile and better prepared for volatility in demand and other unexpected events.First, encourage resource planners to take the lead by making a concerted effort to push through last-minute schedule request from frontline staff. Then show flexibility in shift swaps so agents are more likely to work overtime when "all hands-on deck" are needed. Next, allow agents to highlight when they can work extra hours so that planners have total transparency when asking agents for overtime.
  1. Believe in Self-Regulating Contact Centres
    Trust agents to know themselves and give them permission to use their own judgement in developing schedules that play to their strengths. Modern app-based self-service tools encourage high levels of self-awareness so if an agent knows they aren’t a morning person, their preference may be more afternoon or evening shifts. This form of self-regulation ensures agents are in the right place at the right time—on duty when they know they will perform at their best.

  2. Self-Service is an Agent’s Best Friend
    Conversations with Calabrio’s own customers indicate agent-self-scheduling usage has rocketed—up 200% in the last 12 months—and for good reason. Today’s app-based self-service solutions are miracle-workers, empowering agents with flexibility and control. They can quickly add days of work, move breaks or lunches, and trade partial-day shifts anytime, anywhere using their mobile devices. Since the launch of self-scheduling in 2022, there have been more than 5 million self-scheduling activities. This would roughly equate to 12.5 million minutes saved, or 208,333 hours, or 8,680 days, or 23.7 years assuming 2.5 minutes per activity.

    Combine them with AI-driven self-service tools such as Chatbots providing virtual personal planners for agents. Ideal for remote and hybrid-working staff, Chatbots proactively notify frontline staff of late start options, early finishes, and overtime throughout the day. Bots can even handle agent requests for changes and automatically alert them if accepted.

  3. Build Flexibility Around New Learning
    Allow agents to take complete ownership for personal development. Analytics-powered dashboards give agents all the visibility they need to form their own self-assessments and personal development plans while harnessing WFM to automatically plan their training at a time to suit their WFH and hybrid lifestyles.

Investing in automated performance coaching solutions that connect to WFM will create a robust QM framework and adds further flexibility to often complex contact centre environments. Combining WFM and QM allows supervisors to boost contact centre flexibility, and performance by quickly identifying skill gaps to improve training, monitor agent performance and factor in mentoring and new learning around busy agent schedules.

#contactcenterworld, @Calabrio

About Nick Brook:
Nick Brook is a Senior WFM Consultant/Project Manager at Calabrio

About Calabrio:
Company LogoThe digital foundation of a customer-centric contact center, the Calabrio ONE suite helps enrich and understand human interactions, empowering your contact center as a brand guardian. We maximize agent performance, exceed customer expectations, and boost workforce efficiency using connected data, AI-fueled analytics, automated workforce management and personalized coaching. Only Calabrio ONE unites WFO, agent engagement and business intelligence solutions into a true-cloud, fully integrated suite that adapts to your business.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Go For It!

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, August 7, 2023

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2023 Buyers Guide Computer Telephony Integration

Premium Listing
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

AMC Technology

DaVinci provides Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) to a library of pre-built applications + UXiPaaS (User Experience Integration Platform as a Service) built specifically for contact centers. As contact center needs evolve, organizations need to have access to extend or create new functionality, without waiting to be a part of a software roadmap. Get the benefits of CTI within your CRM like screen pop, click-to-dial, screen transfer, speed dial and more, but future-proof your contact center so you can expand and integrate how and when you want.

ComSys S.A.

CLink for CRM and Call Center Integration
CLink by Comsys is a middleware that connects in real-time the CRM and the contact center applications. CLink enhances the CRM with interaction management capabilities from the contact center that allow agents to work more productively across all communication channels.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect Software®, and Microsoft® for the delivery of innovative interaction management and contact center optimization solutions.

Consilium Software

Consilium UniAgent™
Today’s call centers need their agents to work more naturally, and respond better and faster. Here, we talk about the innovations Consilium has made with the latest desktop and mobile agent releases of the UniAgent™ CRM connector. From small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies and governments across 110 countries, UniAgent™ comes into action right at the moment of reckoning, making every contact center experience engaging and personalized, powered by simplified customer identification and anticipating customer needs.
UniAgent™ provides CRM integrations between all the Cisco contact center solutions (UCCX, PCCE, UCCE and HCS-CC) and over 20 CRMs, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365...
(read more)

IntraNext Systems

IntraNext Systems develops agent efficiency tools and data security software solutions for medium-to-large contact centers. Our Event Intelligence® Platform solutions include SmartCTI™, iGuard®, and SmartSIP™. SmartSIP is based on our patented SIP layer technology and provides a DTMF masking solution for VoIP environments.


CRM integration
We know how important it is for a business to obtain data from its customers and to manage them effectively, so we help small to large companies by integrating their CRM with the Virtual Switchboard.

This type of integration will simplify the work of your team and improve the management performance of the contact list and its information.


NovelVox CTI Connector
NextGen Cisco Finesse, Genesys & Avaya Embedded CTI Connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Zendesk & more.


What is PhoneIQ?
PhoneIQ is the modern cloud phone system and contact center platform built exclusively for companies on Salesforce. Our all-in-one cloud communications platform brings together power dialing, local presence, voicemail drop, Salesforce call routing, call recording and a complete PBX replacement that lives within your CRM. With support for desktop, mobile, and desk phones, PhoneIQ works seamlessly at the office or remote, logging all interactions in Salesforce and generating reports in real-time.

Best For
Companies using Salesforce and looking for a phone system, dialer, or contact center software that provides deep integration capabilities with their CRM and expert Salesforce support.


Easy Contact Center Traffic Analytics (Ec2Traffic)
Prilink Ec2Traffic provides network traffic analytics (NTA) for Internet, SIP Trunk and WebRTC traffic for on-premises and cloud Contact Centers.

Ec2Traffic analyzes network layer 2 to 4, RTP and SRTP packet loss and SIP protocols in real-time from the demarcation point or network edge, generating NTA metadata and requires little telemetry bandwidth.

Ec2Traffic provides:

- Year-round NTA metadata

- Daily CSV files upload to Customer business applications

- Capture packet to Wireshark for Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

- detect traffic anomalies

- and more ....

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS - a robust contact/ call center software that helps organizations provide a seamless customer experience across all channels in the customer service journey. All interactions from various channels come to a single unified queue on the InterDialog platform. With unified view agents get to see all historical interactions , enabling him to give a resolution quickly. InterDialog UCCS is a comprehensive Contact/Call Center Software with robust CTI, Unified Q ( ACD), Reporting, Unified Agent Management, Administrator, Supervisor - Monitoring (Pmonitor)

The Primas Group

Primas CX
Primas CX is a CTI-based contact center enhancement suite that takes your contact center software to the next level.
It provides a set of tools that every contact center needs, over and above their vendor features.

*Advanced Call Back in Queue & SMS in Queue
*Agent Screen Pop
*Chatbot Automation
*Welcome Back Greeting
*Post Contact Survey
*Dropped Call Reconnect
*Digital Front Door & Many more

As a Vendor Agnostic ISV, we pride ourselves on delivering the best COTS & Custom solutions for any contact center in any industry.


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