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
Barclays Africa launches RiseA new global start-up community has been launched to pioneer financial services and unlock Africa’s potential. Read More
JUA Energy enters Nigeria after success in KenyaAfter successfully entering the Kenyan market in April 2014, solar-powered systems and technological electronic accessories manufacturer brand JUA energy has launched in Nigeria to sell through e-tailer Jumia. Read More
Fundamo founder joins Nomanini’s advisory boardFundamo founder Hannes Van Rensburg, generally considered the father of mobile payments, has joined the advisory board of Nomanini, a South African-based, enterprise technology transactions platform provider. Read More
Airtel sponsors Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2015Airtel is sponsoring the Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2015 being held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) now underway in Nairobi. Read More
MTN acquires Smart Village to enhance its foothold in the fibre network spaceMTN has concluded a deal with MultiChoice to acquire Smart Village, which will accelerate the mobile operator’s fibre to the home (FTTH) strategy to be the provider of choice for high speed fibre network across South Africa. Read More
Agilitude opens East African office on the back of mobility and cloud growthSalesforce reseller and Consulting Partner Agilitude has announced that is has opened an office in Kenya, making East Africa its next target for growth. Read More
MTN gets ethics management committeeMTN Nigeria has set up an ethics management committee with the sole responsibility of managing ethics risks. Read More
200 entrepreneurs to launch innovative businessesOver 200 entrepreneurs from across Africa are set to receive resources, networking opportunities and mentorship from Microsoft 4Afrika and AMPION. Read More
Airtel Ghana MD named Marketing Woman of the YearThe Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, Lucy Quist, has been crowned Marketing Woman of the year at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) Marketing Performance Awards. Read More
FEATURED STORYInnovative designer takes e-waste to another level
Gladys Muyenzelwa is a Gaborone based artist and designer who has an eye for ethnic and contemporary design. But unlike other designers, Muyenzelwa has found a way of using e-waste to make her creations.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHHigh tech homes: Just press play
High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.
COMPANY NEWSLuba Freeport streamlines its sea of paper with Sage X3
Luba Freeport has implemented the Finance and Distribution modules of the Sage X3 business management solution to automate its business processes across finance and operations.