Tip of the Week

  • Close down the exception factory.

    June 12 –

    The one facet of Workforce Management that can counted on to stir controversy whenever it comes up is handling adherence in a way that is fair.  It’s tough to balance being equitable to agents who don’t want to feel like their supervisor is standing outside the restroom with a stop watch with a method that causes the WFM team to turn into exception entry clerks.  I’d like to offer my idea of a best practice that utilizes some common sense with ease of measurement.

    1. Identify what’s a fair goal. Identify a group of your best workers.  Ones that provide great customer service, take pride in their work, and meet their other KPIs. You know who they are.  But don’t tell them they are your new dream team.  You want to measure what’s possible without undue coaching or chaperoning.
    2. Track your dream team in the wild. Measure this group’s adherence without any exceptions (except maybe really large ones that don’t recur) for a period of time that will allow for good days and bad.  Several months I would say but all centers are different.
    3. Crunch the numbers. Use that team as a baseline to determine a fair goal for the center.  Remembering that you watched your dream team.  Not the average.  Also look at how the entire call floor did compared to that group.   You’ll probably want to ease back a few points to be fair to all.
    4. Big Picture. The way to help eliminate the need for exceptions is to set the goal for a length of time that smooth’s out good days and bad days.  That way you don’t have to enter an exception for a late lunch because it’s baked into the goal.
    5. SUPER IMPORTANT: Coach the overachievers!  There will undoubtedly be folks who want to strive for 100% adherence.  Help them understand that going more over the goal is not what you’re looking for.  It’s Pass/Fail.
    6. Ease into it. Roll the goal out slowly.  Perhaps with a no penalty phase.  Keep an eye on it to make sure the goal remains fair and also the plan is being followed.   Rinse and repeat these steps as needed.

    Schedule adherence like every contact center KPI is a balancing act.  By setting a fair goal you will make sure you are getting value from your staff without making them feel over managed.

    Note: This week’s tip provided Kevin Zimmerman of NICE Systems.  He may be reached at kevin.zimmerman@nice.com

Receive the Tip of the Week via Email

Everyone can receive these helpful tips via e-mail each week! Please complete this form to receive the SWPP Tip of the Week in your inbox each Monday morning!