On Nov, 19 2021
Working through time off requests can be an unwanted obstacle when you’re trying to operate an efficient contact center. Whether it’s having multiple conversations with agents about finding the right days off or manually entering time off requests into your systems, it’s likely time and effort that is better spent elsewhere.
However, modern workforce management (WFM) technology can greatly reduce the number of hours your team needs to work through tedious time off requests. Here are a few ways on how to manage time off requests to streamline the process and reduce contact center headaches.
Take a moment to create custom time off categories – Before diving in headfirst, it’s important to establish a solid foundation as you look to improve your time off efforts. Get started the right way by creating categories for each type of time off available to your agents. Defining these categories from the beginning will make it much easier to understand time off frequency and which type is the most problematic to your forecasting and scheduling.
Automatically set the time off eligibility of each agent – In the past, a WFM analyst may have had groups of agents they would need to manually account for different types of time off eligibility. For example, when an agent reached a year of employment, they would need to be configured by hand in the time off system to reflect this milestone. This entire process and more can be automated with WFM software. Custom eligibility criteria can be created for each agent based on their tenure, preferred channel (phone, email, or chat), and much more.
Simplify time off bidding from the start – Creating eligibility is just one step that can lead to a successful time off bidding program. With this technology, all agents can view the upcoming days on a color coded calendar and see how likely it is that their desired time off request will be approved. Your agents will no longer need to trade emails with a WFM analyst to see if their preferred time off days are available. Best of all, an agent can request the days off they desire directly through the system via a bidding process. It’s a modern way to streamline time off requests and reduce headaches in your contact center.
No more bouncing between systems for requests – When a time off request is approved through WFM software, there’s no longer a need to manually replicate the request into a HR system for tracking balances. Instead of spending time with this dated process, leverage a seamless integration between your WFM software and HR software. Linking the two systems together can make a huge impact when it comes to improving contact center time off management.
Change how you are working with negative time off balances – An agent shouldn’t need to submit a new request each time for a recurring monthly appointment because they’re all out of days off in the system. It’s inefficient for both the agent and the WFM analyst who approves the request. Instead, utilize WFM software that supports tracking time off with negative balances. This functionality enables agents to schedule time off before they accrue the days. It may be a niche feature for some contact centers, but for others it can make a substantial difference in reducing the total number of requests.
In short, streamlining time off requests can reduce contact center headaches by eliminating manual processes. Automating time off management by properly configuring eligibility, bidding, and the right integrations takes what may have been days of manual work each month and reduces it down to hours. Making the most of the time off solutions within modern WFM software can have a major impact on the operations of a contact center.