Better service starts with better agent management

BUSINESS

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Better service starts with better agent management

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. 



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Riverbed to be acquired by Thoma Bravo in $3.6bn deal

Riverbed Technology has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by leading private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo, LLC and Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investor department of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.  Read More

Egyptian revival spurs MEA PC market growth

The PC market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region grew 2.1 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2014, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), spurred by the revival of the Egyptian market and two significant education deals in Pakistan.   Read More

ICT set to shape Africa's economic landscape in 2015

With public cloud in emerging African countries set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of up to 84% over the coming five years, the year 2015 heralds the beginning of a new era for ICT adoption across the continent, says IDC.   Read More

88mph and Microsoft Ventures partner to support startups in Nigeria

Microsoft, in partnership with 88mph, has announced the expansion of the Microsoft Ventures program into Nigeria. Read More

Riverbed names new senior VP of Sales in EMEA

Riverbed Technology has announced that Kristian Thyregod has been promoted to Senior Vice President Sales, in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Read More

M&A, infrastructure sharing, liberalisation to reshape telecoms in Africa

Mergers, acquisitions, infrastructure sharing and market liberalisation will reshape Africa’s telecommunications markets by 2018, according to market analysts Frost & Sullivan. Read More

Dell, Intel study uncovers truth behind technology and the workforce

Dell and Intel have unveiled findings from its second Global Evolving Workforce Study, which identifies, and explores current and future trends pertaining to the workplace and workforce, and the role that technology has played in their evolution.  Read More

PWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some

PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025. Read More

Why govt listed Glo, others as top firms

Nigeria’s national carrier, Globacom and 99 other top notch firms have been listed as top 100 Firms in Nigeria for the 2014 fiscal year. The top 100 companies list is based on international benchmark set by the International Integrated Reporting Council. Read More

Women can lead 21st century ICT industry, says Zinox chief

With the right mix of innovation, business focus, accountability and ambition, women entrepreneurs can spearhead the evolution of the ICT industry in the 21st century, says the Chairman, Zinox Group. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

PWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for somePWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some

PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa lags on digital migration

Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.