Adherence Woes: Agents Aren’t The Only Ones Accountable

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If I'm totally honest, measuring schedule adherence in the contact center is a bit of a white elephant; we know it's out there and necessary, but it can be more trouble than it's worth.

And when you take into consideration that agents are encouraged to obtain higher adherence scores while deviations of non-agent activities are often masked in the system, the old standard of apportioning blame on agents is not the answer.

Adherence is really down to supervisors and other members of the workforce management team (WFM), who play a big role in how adherence is carried out.

Yes there are challenges in measuring adherence, but here are THREE great ways to get over some of those challenges...

I say ditch the standard practice of measuring on a weekly or monthly basis. Why? Well, this longer time range just doesn't provide enough insight into how well schedules have been followed.

So yes, measure and report on a daily basis. This allows contact centers to take immediate action to resolve issues that are negatively impacting customer service results. It also gives a more current and realistic view into performance from the previous day, which can be used to create tailored training for agents.

Don’t pull agents offline without prior approval from the WFM team; pulling agents from what they are scheduled to do negatively impacts the contact center’s ability to meet objectives. 

Instead, get in sync with supervisors to plan activities affecting agent schedules through the WFM team. This lets supervisors become aware of the impact on customer service, and gives them time to postpone activities to an alternative day.

Operational staff members tend to enter exceptions after-the-fact to try and enhance adherence scores. This actually undermines the purpose of measuring adherence, and complicates staffing decisions that are based on projected coverage. As a result, the contact center loses its ability to efficiently respond to customer needs.

The best solution would be to train the operational staff on the benefits of entering schedule exceptions in advance. The management team should also hold supervisors accountable if exceptions aren’t reported on time.

Learn more about common adherence traps and how to avoid them by downloading our free whitepaper.

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