Turning Knowledge into Practice. Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

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1 Turning Knowledge into Practice Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

2 Call Center Scheduling (Workforce Management) Tool Capabilities And Applications by Karl Feld

3 Agenda Defining Your Organization s Needs Off The Shelf Software Capabilities Case Studies Pricing Useful Tips

4 Define Current & Future Operations Small (<100 seats) versus Large (>100 seats) Call Center Operations Single Site versus Multi-Site Operations Stand-Alone versus ACD-Based Inbound or Outbound versus Blended Call Operations Telephone Only versus Blended Telephone/Internet/ Operations Single Skill Level versus Multiple Skill Levels and Groups

5 Understanding The ACD Short for Automatic Call Distributor, a telephone facility that handles incoming calls and manages them based on a database of handling instructions. ACD is a service that enables incoming calls directed to the same dialed number, the pilot number, to be routed to one of multiple agents in the ACD group.

6 Understanding The ACD

7 Features Available In Off-The-Shelf Scheduling Software Scheduling Measurement Integration Forecasting

8 Scheduling Multi-Site or Virtual Call Center Absence, Vacation, Holiday, Breaks, non-phone time Skills and Priority-Based Scheduling Web-based self-administration of individual schedules Non-call workforce management

9 Measurement Interviewer/Agent, project and operational center productivity measurement Interviewer/Agent Performance Evaluation Systems (including monitoring info.) Real-Time Interviewer Adherence Interviewer/Agent level Floor Management and Morale Motivation Tools Instant Messaging (IM) Capability Between Staff & Management

10 Integration Synchronization with Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/Sample Management, Accounting and Human Resources systems and Databases Billing and labor measurement for payroll purposes Data import/export functions

11 Forecasting Interviewer/Agent Hiring Forecasting Predictive Scheduling for other Operations Tied to Call Forecasting (eg. Tracing, Fulfillment) Budget and Costing Forecasting Capacity Usage Forecasting Multi-year historical call metrics built into forecasting tools

12 Boeing Employees Credit Union 100 seat call center operation using skills-based scheduling for telephone work Manual scheduling process pulling ACD-based metrics required 9 hours daily. Use of stand-alone scheduler made little reduction in time ACD-based solution reduced scheduling burden to 1 hour daily including all dynamic mid-shift adjustments Freed up scheduling to allow individual employees freedom in setting their own schedules without impacting work

13 Borders Books Multi-skilled contact center with large seasonal fluctuations in volume 15 staff skills, seniority-based scheduling & employee work preferences Deployment Results; 53% Productivity Improvement 33% Reduction In Expenses 5% Reduction in Non-Seasonal Agent Turnover (25% reduction in training and recruiting expenses) Increase agent availability 22% Improved service level 5%

14 Three Software Categories Low-end Tools: Assist in one facet of workforce management, usually calculating staff needed for predefined workload Mid-Range: Perform forecasting, scheduling and daily-performance management with focus on ease of use High-end: Contain many options to adjust to any kind of contact center environment

15 Pricing Pricing based on number of stations Discounts for large station counts Floor of $5K Prices Range from $196 per station for self-standing to $1000 per station for high end product Consulting and Installation Fees Annual licensing/maintenance fees

16 Things To Remember As with any software purchase, the vendor s customer support and annual maintenance contract are as important as the functionality itself The degree of existing market penetration and age of company may reflect longevity of the product and support Not all applications match all ACDs Remember that scheduling software usually requires a scheduling planner to go with it! Some applications require PhDs in Statistics to figure out. Some don t.

17 Useful Information Society of Workforce Planning Professionals Workforce Optimization Vendor Questions for soliciting Call Center Scheduling Vendors Available from BluePumpkin Variety of products in different price ranges available at Definitions PSTN-Public Switched Telephone Network PBX-Private Branch Exchange CTI-Computer Telephony Interface VoIP-Voice-over Internet Protocol

18 Contact Information Slides can be found at Author can be reached at: and/or

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