- The hybrid workforce is becoming a mainstay in modern contact centres.
- Success with a hybrid workforce requires effectively and reliably scheduling agents to ensure optimal agent and customer experiences.
- RingCentral offers intelligent workforce management scheduling tools to help streamline the creation of hybrid schedules.
Since the recent health crisis, contact centre agent turnover rates have increased. In turn, this has had a negative impact on customer experience. One of the ways that organisations have been handling this situation is by building hybrid contact centre teams that provide much more flexibility and customisation for agents.
With robust workforce management tools, contact centres can simplify hybrid agent scheduling, thereby reducing agent turnover, improving customer experience and boosting their bottom line.
Here’s why effective scheduling is needed in a hybrid workforce environment and why the appropriate software is required to accomplish this task.
Benefits of offering flexible schedules to agents
There are plenty of perks that come with giving agents the freedom to choose whether to work on-premises or remotely, both for agents and contact centres:
- Happier and more satisfied agents
- Lower agent churn rates
- More flexibility to adapt to fluctuations in call volumes
- Ease of filling gaps in scheduling
- Lower odds of both understaffing and overstaffing
How to support a hybrid workforce
With a hybrid workforce model, some agents remain on-premises, while others may choose a remote workplace setting to accommodate their lifestyle and personal schedules.
Offering personalised scheduling can enhance great experiences, both for agents and customers. The right workforce management tools can reduce agent effort and even foster cross-team collaboration to boost agent motivation. Contact centres can minimise agent churn and rejuvenate their workforce by attracting the best talent available by offering flexible scheduling.
When contact centre agents first went remote, many contact centres struggled to onboard, coach, and schedule remote agents appropriately. Now, those tasks can be handled more easily. Purpose-built workforce management tools enable contact centre managers or supervisors to customise onboarding, coaching, and scheduling to accommodate agents no matter where they work.
Give agents the ability to manage their own schedules
With modern workforce management tools, contact centres can simplify scheduling with the help of intelligent automatic agent schedulers. These tools can make it easier to manage timelines and empower agents with the flexibility to trade shifts amongst themselves.
Management can take advantage of purpose-built tools to effectively schedule and manage a flexible workforce with clear, reliable and optimised forecasts.
Enhance quality assurance
Using the right tools allows contact centres to automate and scale quality assurance with conversational intelligence that can automatically score each interaction between agents (including virtual assistants and other AI interfaces) and customers.
Management can then use that data to make more accurate assessments based on all calls rather than on a small sample. The larger the sample size, the more accurate the findings will be.
Omnichannel analytics measures performance of each communication channel
Modern contact centres should adopt an omnichannel platform that offers customers a myriad of ways to communicate and have their questions answered or issues resolved. But staffing each channel appropriately can be a challenge without the right technology.
Omnichannel analytics measure the performance of all channels in a contact centre. The metrics involved provide contact centre management with insight into how many customers are using a specific channel and how quickly and effectively agents respond.
For instance, the live chat function or chatbot feature may be more commonly used than others. With this information on hand, supervisors will know where to beef up staffing, and where to cut back. This ensures that agents are properly deployed in the contact centre.
RingCentral offers solutions for effective hybrid workforce scheduling
Ultimately, the more productive and engaged agents are, the more likely they are to be happy. The happier agents are, the more likely they are to provide the kind of customer experience that makes customers happy too. Labour costs make up the largest percentage of contact centre expenses, so investing in tools that help you attract and retain great agents is a smart move.
Using the right agent scheduling tools can help contact centres maintain their competitive edge in a rapidly evolving industry by building a more efficient hybrid contact centre workplace while keeping costs relatively low.
RingCentral’s workforce management and optimisation solution
Unlike rigid, traditional on-premises hardware and software, RingCentral’s cloud contact centre software offers workforce optimisation as a single administrative environment. This makes it easy for management to set schedules that help ensure that contact centres are always appropriately staffed to handle the current workload.
RingCentral’s workforce management tools give contact centres the ability to optimise agent schedules by incorporating flex-time. This boosts agent satisfaction and motivation and ensures that agents use their work time effectively and productively. Plus, customers will be less likely to face long wait times to connect with an agent during busy periods.
With an increase in pressure on contact centres to provide remote work options to attract and retain good agents, it’s important to use the right tools to manage a distributed workforce. RingCentral’s cloud-based tools provide management with the ability to effectively monitor remote agents and deliver a better workplace experience.
Originally published Aug 31, 2022