On Jun, 11 2021
A contact center can be a complex and dynamic work environment. That’s why tracking the workday of each agent through a WFM software solution, also known as schedule adherence, continues to increase in popularity. Here are a few reasons why agent adherence matters in the contact center and why a WFM analyst relies on adherence metrics to improve staffing and planning.
Adherence information can explain contact center trends – Place yourself in the role of a WFM analyst for a moment. You come back from lunch and the volume of pending customer chats has increased substantially. Why? Take a moment and look at the adherence information. You see that one chat agent is late returning from their break and another chat agent got pulled into a meeting. Because of this, it’s pretty clear that customer chat volume didn’t actually spike. Instead, the agents working chat were out of schedule adherence and customer conversations weren’t happening. Adherence data provides immediate intelligence on situations so a WFM analyst can make the right adjustments instantly.
Adherence enables a WFM analyst to see where agents thrive – One of the unique reasons why agent adherence matters to contact centers is that it provides information to back up the unique preferences of agents. Simply put, sometimes an agent will prefer working on a specific channel or product category because they feel more comfortable or can leverage previous experiences. They may also prefer to work a morning or evening shift to match what time of day they are the most productive. When monitoring agent productivity directly through adherence, key information on these preferences can surface over time as an agent experiences different types of shift work.
Adherence allows agents to self-police their own schedule – While adherence data helps a WFM analyst do their job, this information shouldn’t remain behind closed doors. Instead, share personal adherence metrics with each agent, and let them monitor their own adherence through an agent portal and mobile WFM app. Granting visibility into this data helps an experienced agent understand where and why they are going out of adherence so they can self-correct behaviors without needing to involve management.
Detailed reporting on adherence is essential for long-term forecasting – While the results may not be immediate, one of the most valuable ways to use adherence metrics is related to long-term forecasting. This involves leveraging months or even years of adherence data to better understand how a contact center responds to specific conditions. For example, if every January adherence and attendance decreases because of issues related to snowfall, it may make sense to increase staffing very slightly on specific channels. This change can help to create a buffer when agent adherence issues are more likely, with the contact center staffing back down to normal levels in the spring.
To summarize, agent adherence matters in the contact center because it creates a more efficient working environment. Whether it’s a single day, a month, or a year, the value of adherence information for both agents and WFM analysts helps to create an actionable foundation of truth that can significantly improve the productivity of a contact center.