With stress levels in contact centres as a constant, Magnus Geverts at Calabrio discusses how to balance the needs of employees and the business with a fresh approach to agent self-scheduling.
I have been in the Workforce Management (WFM) business for over 20 years and during this time, contact centre leaders have again and again told me that one of their biggest challenges is balancing the needs of employees with great customer service. Recently however, the situation has reached crisis point with the pandemic ushering in a new era of ‘The Great Resignation’, where employees are reassessing the impact of their jobs on work/life balance, mental health and overall life goal fulfilment. This has hit the contact centre industry hardest, where higher-than-ever levels of stress are driving serious agent retention issues. According to Salesforce, 71% of service agents in the US have considered quitting in the past six months, while 86% report they need more from their company in order to stay, citing monetary compensation, career growth opportunities and better management at the top of their wish list
Other than ‘higher pay’, customers often tell me their agents crave ‘more flexibility’ in their job. While many attempts have been made to address this, such as introducing shift bidding, shift trading and shift preferences, nothing has really worked 100% in favour of frontline employees. Granted, these new ideas catered for the needs of the business but they were not flexible or easy enough for what agents really wanted – that is until now.
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7 ways to crack the code using agent self-scheduling
By blending radical new thinking with breakthroughs in technology, I believe that contact centre leaders finally have the opportunity to crack the code, offering businesses the dual ability to give agents more freedom to self-manage their own schedules and keep service levels under control. When agents are able to plan their work around their life rather than the other way round, stress levels naturally fall and customer satisfaction rises. Here are a few ideas to getting started:
Don’t just take my word for it
Self-scheduling is easy and smart for the agent and for the WFM-team – and contact centre staff just love it. As one of our satisfied customers enthused, "Self-scheduling is the best!" while another confesses to be "in love" with self-scheduling because it helps them get over the routine aspects of their job. Self-scheduling also delivers tangible business value, enabling organisations to gain a critical edge over the competition when it comes to recruiting and retaining the best contact centre talent, essential for business success.
About Magnus Geverts:
Magnus Geverts is VP, Product Marketing and Management at Calabrio, formerly Chief Business Development Officer at Teleopti ahead of the Calabrio acquisition. He has more than two decades of experience in the Workforce Management and customer service space, working in a mix of roles, in RnD, consultancy and business development.
The 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.
Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2022
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