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Why Leveraging Data About Agent Adherence to Schedule Effectively Makes Sense

Why Leveraging Data About Agent Adherence to Schedule Effectively Makes Sense
CommunityWFM Team
Written By CommunityWFM Team
On Apr, 15 2024
4 minute read

Creating and maintaining a productive contact center isn’t easy. It seems like as soon as one problem has been solved another one can quickly appear out of nowhere.

A strategy to stop this process from reoccurring is to take a look at what has happened in the past… and especially how it relates to agent performance, adherence, and scheduling. Below are a few things to consider when it comes to leveraging data about adherence to schedule agents in the right way.

Find out whether adherence problems are actually tied to scheduling – If a contact center isn’t looking at their adherence data closely it can be easy to misattribute why operations are underperforming. Instead of rushing to say “I need to schedule more agents” as a quick fix, take a step back and attempt to further understand why you may be feeling this way. Did your forecast and schedule really miss the mark or are the agents you have underperforming? Or maybe it’s a combination of multiple factors? Until you dig into the adherence data you won’t know how this information impacts other areas of the contact center.

Explore how channels cause agents to be out of adherence – Each channel that a contact center supports comes with different characteristics for not only scheduling but also adherence. Specific channels such as email and chat can mean slower thinking but more typing. Attempting to place these channels on the same adherence strategy as voice options does not always work. An agent can talk all day, but too much typing without frequent breaks can cause repetitive stress and movement issues. In addition, phone adherence can even vary depending on customer service type or tier. Agents working in gold tier support may have longer wrap up times after calls because the customer issues they work on are more complex. They may only get a handful of opportunities to take a break during a shift. This is different than a silver tier agent who may be handling the same simple issues all day with many chances to take a short break in between calls.

Optimize schedules to better fit the preferences of everyone – Agents should have input when it comes to their work. A technique to accomplish this can be by collaborating with each agent in a monthly or quarterly data recap session to be open and honest about why they are scheduled in a specific way. This can include individual schedule breakdowns the days of week, time of day, channel, and more. Ask the agent how they feel about their schedules and determine if the data matches up with their insights. If not, figure out a plan together to improve on meeting their needs. For example, an agent may have poorer chat adherence compared to phone but would like to improve their chat skills. Given this, it doesn’t make sense to keep putting them exclusively on phone shifts even if their adherence is better on the channel. After all, it’s important to balance productivity and agent morale. Instead, try scheduling the agent for chat shifts from time to time with the condition that they need to work on improving their adherence. If over time adherence continues to get better with chat, then give them more shifts on this channel. It can be a win-win scenario for everyone.



Want to learn more about the impact of agent feedback in the contact center?  

Download our eBook on The Ultimate Guide to Improving Agent Efficiency and Morale with WFM Software to get more information on improving agent happiness!

Take historical adherence knowledge and apply it in real time – Everything discussed above is related to better preparing your contact center for the future through data analysis. But what about utilizing adherence information and demand data to make real-time scheduling decisions? Modern workforce management software has a built-in intraday planning report that lets a contact center know what decisions it should make to maintain service level based on contact volume. If a day is above the forecasted volume, a workforce management analyst or supervisor may keep a closer eye on adherence because they need to make sure all agents are fully available to respond to customer issues. This can also include cancelling any meetings or events in just a few clicks for all scheduled agents. On the other hand, if contact volume is much lower than expected, training or other initiatives can be quickly moved up for certain agents to ensure they remain busy and don’t fall into poor habits related to their adherence.

To summarize, adherence and scheduling data can work together hand in hand to create a more effective contact center. By deploying tactics to boost agent morale while still keeping a respectful eye on productivity, a contact center can improve the agent and customer experience in all the right ways through collaborative data analysis efforts.

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