GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Scheduling agents takes careful planning

Scheduling call centre agents is an essential part of managing telephone answering services.  Careful planning to ensure there are enough staff to cope with traffic peaks is vital so that targets are still met despite the rising number of calls.  There are a variety of methods to optimise call centre scheduling, helping companies to reach their peak performance levels.

One option that is working well right now is to use staggered start times.  The overlap in agents means there is always someone manning the phones, and the flexibility can be received positively by agents.  By communicating scheduling changes at least a month in advance, workers will no longer feel as if they have little control over their lives.  In addition, whilst some people will stubbornly be unwilling to change and want set shifts, individuals who are a little more flexible can be rewarded with team lunches and other benefits.

Another possibility to help call centres maximise efficiency is to utilise split shifts.  In this scenario, agents can be rotated through inbound and outbound calls during the course of a day.  This not only helps ensure that all agents keep up-to-date with their skills, but reduces boredom.

Finally, providing agents with a small degree of control can be a good boost for morale.  Staff can be allowed to swap shifts that fall within specific parameters, ensuring that a call centre is always manned and that its workers are happy and ready to do their best.

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