Better service starts with better agent management
BUSINESS| July 9, 2012, 3:31 p.m.
Business competitiveness leans on better customer service. And better customer service starts with better contact centre staff management, says Elingo CEO Ian Goss-Ross.
The importance of contact centre schedule adherence is vastly underrated in South Africa, says Goss-Ross. Often, the task of managing shifts and schedules, and planning for peaks and troughs, is handed to a supervisor or agent as an additional duty. Scheduling is often compiled on a simple spread sheet.
“Too often, this is the case,” he says. “Workforce management as an afterthought is short sighted. It makes it difficult to assess historic and current performance in real time, and doesn’t allow for proper planning.”
Without effective schedule adherence, a contact centre is left with a situation where customers may sit on hold for an unacceptably long period; where insufficient agents are deployed at peak times; and where productivity levels are below the required service levels.
In an industry where staff churn is an ongoing problem, poor agent management can also contribute to employee dissatisfaction – which results in yet more expensive staff turnover.
“Ideally, a call centre should use an agent scheduling system that is fully integrated into all its systems,” says Goss-Ross.
“This allows for automatic scheduling of agents to meet forecasted activity levels at any given time and allows for the adjustment of schedules based on any sudden changes of activity levels. When fully integrated into the rest of an enterprise system, a scheduling system will also allow a contact centre to allocate tasks according to staff skill sets – so that suitable agents handle particular interaction types – and to take into account factors like meetings, sick leave and annual leave.”
“To be effective, a contact centre needs to ensure it has the right people in the right place, at the right time for the right interaction type,” says Goss-Ross. “This not only improves customer satisfaction, cost control and efficiency – it also results in better working conditions for staff.”
And without productive, enthusiastic agents, your contact centre is not likely to respond satisfactorily to customers. “With resources being expensive, effective scheduling and automation in the contact centre maximises investment in these resources, and delivers tangible cost savings,” Goss-Ross says.
“To make better scheduling effective, the process needs to be managed by a manager who really understands their contact centre. In addition, agents need to be incentivised and rewarded for adherence,” says Goss-Ross.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
FNB, PayPal bring global eCommerce to BotswanaFirst National Bank (FNB) has announced it will be extending the partnership between FNB and PayPal to offer the PayPal Withdraw Service, previously available only in South Africa, in Botswana. Read More
Survey: businesses have less than two years to make digital inroadsProgress has announced the results of its recent global survey: "Are Businesses Really Digitally Transforming or Living in Digital Denial?" Read More
Gartner: profit opportunities exist for PC vendorsThe worldwide PC market registered one of its lowest quarterly growth rates in the first quarter 2016, but Gartner, Inc. said several profit opportunities exist for PC vendors. Read More
MTN Business makes headway to be an ICT Partner of ChoiceMTN Business, the enterprise business unit of MTN SA, plans to focus on three key areas in a bid to become the ICT partner of choice, namely, getting the basics right, accelerating growth and diversifying its revenue streams. Read More
MTN Ghana celebrates 20 years of operations in GhanaMTN Ghana has unveiled its 20th Anniversary logo at a grand ceremony held at the iconic MTN House in Accra to officially mark the 20 years of operations in the country. Read More
Copy Cat bets on innovation to grow market shareKenyan technology company Copy Cat Group is implementing a new transformational strategy to increase its market share in the ICT market. Read More
Infrastructure investments highlight bright spots for SSA economic diversificationThe commodity super cycle may have ended, but there are certainly bright spots for investors across sub-Saharan Africa, IHS has told the World Economic Forum on Africa. Read More
Africa’s CEOs look to innovation and technology to stimulate growthCEOs in Africa are ramping up their efforts to innovate and find new ways to do business on the continent, according to PwC’s Africa Business Agenda released at the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali. Read More
4th Africa Business Forum to be staged in EthiopiaRegistration is open for the 4th Africa Business Forum to be held on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 at the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, East Africa. Read More
Airtel divests telecoms tower assets in DRC to Helios Towers AfricaBharti Airtel International and Helios Towers Africa have announced an agreement for the divestment of approximately 950 telecoms towers in the DRC from Airtel to Helois Towers Africa. Read More
FEATURED STORYGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early
Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSResolving the data centre disconnect
The disconnect between virtualised applications and physical storage is costing businesses time and money.Separating the attack that matters from the noise
It has almost become the norm for a business to be compromised by a security attack. The emphasis today is thus more on how a business responds ...MTN Business partners SMEasy to give entrepreneurs access to easy accounting solutions
MTN Business, in partnership with online accounting tool SMEasy, today announced the launch of an agile, fit for purpose business management and easy accounting solution for small ...