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Need more flexibility in your call center?

The ability to adjust to ever-changing call volumes, call arrival patterns, and seasonality is key to meeting service level/ASA objectives. It is difficult to meet targets without some degree of flexibility in your schedule generation process.

One way to introduce flexibility to your call center is to recruit new hires that understand that some level of flexibility in schedules is required. The degree and frequency of the flexibility should be driven by your call volume trends, culture, and business need.  The key is that these new hires come in understanding that they will have to be flexible to keep their job.

Another way to add flexibility to your call center is to effectively utilize part-time employees. Part-time employees are often willing to increase/decrease hours per week to adjust to call volume.  Even a small percentage of part-time agents will help you to meet the peaks and valleys of your call volume.

Finally, offer an incentive for a few agents who are willing to adjust their schedules with a 24-hour notice. This approach is very beneficial when you are trying to cover unanticipated call volume or in need of covering a shift vacated by an agent who resigned or is ill.  And again, you don’t need a large group to do this for it to make a big difference – even 5-10% of your staff being flexible is very helpful.

Try one or even all three of these tactics to get more flexibility in your staffing!


About the author

Vicki Herrell serves as Executive Director of the Society of Workforce Planning Professionals (SWPP) and oversees the strategic direction and the day-to-day operations of the association. With over fifteen years of experience in the call center and workforce management industry, she served for many years in the area of client relations and events management for the former TCS Management Group. Vicki is a popular industry speaker, serving as an industry expert on best practices in workforce management. She is the editor of SWPP’s On Target newsletter and the Workforce Management Expert Solutions book.

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