Reducing Call center shrinkage
Call center shrinkage is the time tele agents are not productive due to breaks, meetings, training, vacation, illness, absenteeism, etc. Call center managers must be realistic when it comes to staffing. Often defined as a percentage, shrinkage is calculated by first defining what variables will be included and then defining how much time is needed for these things. Call center shrinkage can also be defined as a factor applied to the number of staff needed active on the phones, which will then reflect the number of staff that must be scheduled.
So how can you reduce Call center shrinkage?
First, learn to better match call volume with agent availability through a flexible shift model. This can be achieved by deploying a workforce management (WFM) solution. With most of today’s WFM systems, agents can easily add or cancel shifts, just by accessing the schedule through a Web-based interface. They can even swap shifts with other agents, sometimes without manager approval.
Second, increase forecast and schedule accuracy by including additional parameters. This can also be achieved by deploying a WFM system. Today’s systems, such as Monet’s WFM Live offering, sport advanced forecasting capabilities that enable call center managers to accurately predict how many agents they will need for a particular shift on a particular day. Through integration with the call center ACD, the WFM system can retrieve call data and use it to arrive at an accurate forecast of how many contacts will be coming in based on call history. In turn, the call center manager can accurately schedule the correct number of agents to handle the volume.
Third, monitor and improve schedule adherence. As mentioned earlier, schedule adherence is the main cause of shrinkage. In order to ensure agents are clocking in and out when they are supposed to, and that they are staying productive when they are on the clock, call center managers are relying on workforce management systems to identify “problem” agents and take corrective action. With the efficiencies and cost savings they bring, today’s WFM systems have become a critical tool for achieving effective call center management.
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