GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Optimise agent scheduling by understanding call behaviour

Call centre scheduling can be a complicated business. Having too few agents can put consumer care quality at risk, whilst having too many can create unnecessary expenses. By looking at call behaviour, such as when people typically make contact, telephone answering services can put themselves in a better position to optimise efficiency.

Expert David Appleby has one piece of advice: “It is human nature to look at the clock and ring after it strikes the house.” This is also the time that television shows and meetings often end, creating a moment of availability for consumers to call. In Appleby’s research, there was often a spike in call traffic at the hour mark.

When the figures are further analysed, 40 per cent of calls fall within the first 15 minutes of an hour, whilst 30 per cent are within the final 15 minutes. The remaining 30 per cent is split evenly between the other two 15-minute segments. For call centres, the data suggests it is a good idea to reduce resource planning periods to 15 minutes instead of a traditional half-hour period.

When making this switch, is it important to consider overhang. For example, moving to a 15-minute reporting period should only be conducted if Average Handling Time (AHT) is below 7.5 minutes. This ensures that calls running over from a previous period are kept to a minimum.

Ensuring there are enough agents working is crucial for call centres that want to provide the best service. Understanding caller behaviour can provide a better notion of when and why calls are coming in.

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