The tools to run a cloud-based call center are becoming more and more sophisticated every day. But if the people who are working in the system and using the tools are not sticking to their schedules then the results will be disappointing. Finding ways of getting your call center staff to stick to their schedules, known in the business as line adherence, is vital in order to get the best out of a cloud-based call center.

The key is to open an honest dialogue with the staff that acknowledges their needs and sets realistic goals. If call center workers have too much free time, they may become demotivated. If the schedule is too demanding, they are likely to burn out. Line adherence in a call center is a balancing act that requires continual monitoring. 

Main Reasons for Non-Adherence to a Schedule

A company called ProtoCall conducted a study of line adherence, focusing on a large organization in the public sector. Their goal was to investigate and improve management of line adherence.

During the course of that investigation, they discovered five principal reasons for non-adherence; including 

  • missing breaks
  • comfort breaks 
  • lateness in logging-on
  • breaks running too long
  • technical issues with the agent’s systems.

Armed with that knowledge, supervisors looked at the call center schedules and tried to figure out what the goals for line adherence should be. In an average day of 8 working hours minus 30 minutes for lunch, a worker who delivers 6 solid working hours would be scored at an 80 percent schedule adherence level. 

In that particular study, they decided to aim for 89 percent adherence. Once the plan was set, supervisors were able to track performance against schedule. In so doing, the company was in a position to observe and measure both increased efficiency and job satisfaction. 

"Team leaders are the key to driving an adherence policy," explains Andy Turner, the head of Workforce Management at ProtoCall One. "They know the individual agents and the way they like to work, their strengths and weaknesses, the agents who take long breaks and those who do not take a break at all. As with any measure, most agents will be somewhere in the middle, happily hitting the benchmark. So it comes down to tackling the exceptions." 

Implementing a cloud-based call center is a tremendous aid to line adherence, but it also gives managers and supervisors a suite of tools that they can deploy in various ways to ensure that the call center is running at an optimal level. 

4 Tools To Aid Supervisors Running Call Center Teams

  1. Real-time Statistics on All Aspects of the Call Center: Managers are able to keep a close eye on the performance of the team, via any mobile device or display, as it is unfolding. They can unlock current queue info, interactions in progress, agent statistics and other key performance indicators (KPIs) when they need it, in order to monitor progress. 
  2. Improved Coaching Levels: Supervisors can take a very proactive role with a cloud-based call center. They can listen in to calls live, they can whisper instructions to an agent without the caller being aware of it, and they can even 'barge in' to a call and join the conversation.
  3. Smart Call Recording: The right VOIP system will record all calls, store them in the cloud for easy access, and also employ automatically optimized sampling of random calls to make sure that managers are getting an accurate picture of the entire call center.
  4. Intelligent scheduling features: As the data comes in, schedules can be adjusted quickly and easily as real-world changes happen—without tedious rework. Flexibility and adaptability are key factors in managing a productive workforce. 

The right analytics setup on a cloud-based call center makes it simple for supervisors to track agent performance against their agreed-upon schedules, and includes easy-to-use color coding to see who is conforming to plan, surpassing goals, or out of conformance.

Ultimately, the key to proper schedule adherence is communication and involvement with all the agents in a team, making sure the process is transparent and fair for everyone involved. 

Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center you get world class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-866-377-8303 or fill out the form below to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.


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