When it comes to the degree of effort it takes to schedule your hourly staff correctly, creating schedules for call center staff is probably near the top of the list. Having a quality support staff is incredibly important to the success of a business and making sure that you always have enough staff scheduled to field customer call is one of the main facets of scheduling in this industry.
What makes creating schedules for call centers especially hard is that most companies need to have call center personnel available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not having people scheduled correctly can lead to a lot of problems for your company. When you aren’t able to provide proper support for your customers, you lose business. It’s as simple as that. When customers are not able to get their questions answered in a timely manner, they become frustrated and discouraged.
On top of this, creating poor schedules for your call center can also lead to a significant level of employee frustration as well, with your staff never being sure when they are working or being overworked because you haven’t scheduled enough call center employees to work shifts during the busiest times of the day.
Such a process is too complex and too important to your business to underestimate. And if you are still trying to schedule your call center staff using pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets, you are not giving this process the respect it deserves. For such a complex schedule process, you should be switching to a more intuitive and practical solution. An online employee scheduling and management software solution like ShiftPlanning would fit the bill.
Why switch to ShiftPlanning? Here are some very obvious reasons:
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If you want to optimize the way you schedule your call center staff to save money and improve coverage, while at the same time relieving staff stress and improving communication between call center managers and employees, ShiftPlanning can help you.
Call centers that have switched to ShiftPlanning have reported a huge decrease in the time it takes for managers to create weekly schedules. Some have even reported that it now takes them 80 percent less time to schedule their call center staff than it did while they were using spreadsheets or pen and paper. How are they doing it?
Not every call center functions in the same way. That’s why ShiftPlanning is such a popular solution for people who manager call centers – because there are so many different options for customizing the application to fit your scheduling needs. No matter what type of scheduling preferences who and your team may have, ShiftPlanning should be able to accommodate ever need.
You can create custom fields and custom roles for your employees and set rules for a variety of options related to the scheduling process. For example, you might be looking to schedule your call center staff better and, in the process, reduce the amount of overtime that you are scheduling your your employees. ShiftPlanning allows you to follow the hours that you assign to employees very closely. You can even set up rules to determine the maximum number of hours that each employee can work every week. ShiftPlanning will clearly let you know when you’ve overscheduled and employee an entered into overtime hours.
The application will also clearly give you options for finding the best possible solution for taking those hours and giving them to a qualified employee who is available for that shift and can still use some hours in their weekly schedule.
Are you running more than one call center location? No problem. ShiftPlanning gives you the ability to schedule as many different locations as you want while using a single account. No matter how big or small your team and what your scheduling needs look like, there’s a very good chance that ShiftPlanning will be able to accommodate you. It’s incredibly easy to mold the application to fit your most specific workforce management needs.
Beyond the basic scheduling features of ShiftPlanning, there are a huge amount of options for integrating all of your key business data into your account in order to optimize your scheduling process even further and literally take all of the guesswork out of the process.
ShiftPlanning comes with a huge number of reporting options that provide you with real time data related to just about every aspect of your employee scheduling process. Of course, you’ll have hard time available to you regarding how you’ve been scheduling your workers. But you’ll also have data on their time and attendance behavior to further integrate with your scheduling.
This allows you to see and identify trends in the way that you schedule your employees that can help you to improve the process even more. ShiftPlanning’s scheduler gives you real time data on top of your schedule that shows you the volume of shifts you are scheduling, which allows you to distribute them better without having to dig for data.
Also, ShiftPlanning supports a huge number of integrations with other popular business software. The application integrates and syncs seamlessly with top payroll providers, customer service systems, point-of-sale solutions, HR systems and much more.
This enables you to have a more detailed understanding of how your scheduling affects other aspects of your business and vice versa. For example, if your call center uses a popular customer service tool like ZenDesk, you can integrate that software with ShiftPlanning in order to use that ticketing information to optimize your schedule. That means that you’ll never have to guess about call volume, because you’ll have all that information waiting for you in black and white, which allows you to schedule your call center team accordingly by analyzing the ticketing data.
If you’re in the call center industry, then you already know that it’s an industry that suffers from a very high percentage of employee turnover. Working in this industry is very stressful, which is why it’s very common for call centers to lose and have to replace workers at a rapid pace. ShiftPlanning can help you to improve call center staff retention as well. Here’s how:
With such a complex process, it’s important to make sure that everyone, management and employees alike, have a high level of transparency throughout the process. ShiftPlanning understands that the best way to keep everyone on the same page is to make sure that everyone has access to all of relevant scheduling information at all times, from anywhere and using any device.
Whether you are a manager or a call center employee, you will see the most up-to-date schedule in real time whenever you enter the application. ShiftPlanning also makes it incredibly easy for managers to make sure that all of their call centers employees know when and with whom they are working.
Every single time a manager publishes a new schedule or makes a change to an existing schedule, every call center employee that is schedule to work will be notified via email and SMS. Managers can also setup reminders that remind employees 24 hours, one hour or even 15 minutes before each shift, to make sure that no one forgets to come into work. This effectively decreases tardiness and unexplained absences for managers. It also improves employee morale by decrease the stress of never being sure when and with whom they are working at any moment.
When you call center staff has a greater level of independence, they are more motivated and happier at work. ShiftPlanning makes that possible, by giving staff members a say in just about every scheduling process, every step of the way.
Firstly, call center agents are able to enter their availability into the ShiftPlanning system. This allows them to let their managers know of their work preferences. By allowing this to happen, employees are able to balance their work lives and personal lives better and giving them a say in the process makes them feel more appreciated.
Using ShiftPlanning, your call center employees are also able to trade shifts among themselves independently. The can request shift trades and managers can simply approve or reject the requests when they receive them. This not only gives employees more independence, it takes some of the work off the plate of call center managers. When managers have to spend less time worrying about scheduling, they can focus on more important tasks, like growing and improving the business as a whole, not just the scheduling process.