Organizations have pulled their purse strings so tight lately that it is sometimes hard to get funding even for important improvements to company operations. Contact center managers looking to upgrade their real-time call center reporting capabilities need to show executives that the investment will ultimately save money and improve profits.
Contact centers don’t have the luxury of steady and predictable workloads. Traffic levels change quickly and managers need to be able to shift strategies just as quickly. Organizations that aren’t agile enough to accommodate fluctuating call volume either waste money on idle agents or lose customers who grow angry over long hold times.
Real-time call center reporting gives supervisors the metrics they need to keep pace with call volume. Managers can see at a glance how the contact center is performing right at that moment and then choose a strategy to match the workforce with the workload. When management remains flexible and alert to changes, the contact center runs at a lower cost and that translates to higher profits for the business. Two common strategies used with real-time call center reporting are staffing adjustment and duty assignment.
Finding the right staffing levels is difficult for any contact center. If you staff for the traffic peaks, then your agents spend most of their time idle and your expenses soar. If you staff for the lowest traffic periods, then customers are frustrated by long hold times and agents are demoralized by the high workload. Contact centers need to implement flexible staffing solutions.
Years ago it was enough to recognize overall patterns. If call volume tended to spike on Mondays or on the first of the month, managers would arrange shifts for extra coverage on those days. Today those kinds of decisions are too slow. Staffing has to adjust to fluctuations over the course of a day. Real-time call center reporting allows managers to allow agents to take early breaks during lulls or implement overtime during unanticipated spikes.
Many contact centers are using cross training to give agents more capabilities so they can handle a wider range of tasks. Call centers with multiple lines such as an order line and a technical support line can cross-train agents on each team to help out. That way, when real-time call center reporting shows that one line is overworked, agents can quickly switch duties until call volume drops.