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5 key tips to sizing agents in a Contact Center
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Written by Natalie Barresi

Branded Content Creator

How to plan staff turnover in your call center?

Success in sizing a Contact Center depends to a large extent on the ability to plan the right number of personnel, in the right place, at the right time and with the right knowledge. This operational planning will make it possible to cope with the expected demand, directly influencing the economic viability of the business.

This planning is known as Workforce Management, and its correct execution will guarantee the quality of the service at the lowest possible cost. Such a result is fundamental when the topic is the implementation of a Contact Center.

If done properly, such planning will have a direct impact on factors such as labor costs, billing, productivity, waiting times, turnover and absenteeism. All of the elements help to avoid future problems right from the beginning.

But what else do you need to know about how to size a Contact Center?

Why size a Contact Center

Starting anything without prior planning results in greater efforts, delays, and poor results. In the case of a Contact Center, putting it into operation without sizing it first results in low quality service. This leads to numerous problems such as: customer complaints, stressed out employees and higher costs. With a proper plan, the process can be much simpler and major problems can be prevented.

The main advantage of sizing a Contact Center is the reduction of costs. Being an operation that depends mainly on the productivity of the staff, having it properly sized will not only avoid unnecessary costs with extra operators, but will also help workers feel comfortable with their workload and consequently be more productive.

Be clear about what sizing is

Sizing a Contact Center goes beyond just making pre-established calculations. When performing this act, the professional in charge must keep in mind the fact that their objective is to guarantee the availability of personnel at the right time, for the expected demand, with the necessary quality and at the lowest possible cost.

It is not enough to put data into mathematical formulas; the process must be looked at from a critical perspective, to make analyses, forecasts and evaluations. Companies must understand which objectives need to be achieved.

General steps to size a contact center

Regardless of what type of contact center you are sizing, there are basic steps that you should follow:

1. Obtain and analyze data

One of the main tasks of Workforce Management is to obtain historical data and analyze them to make projections of volumes and behavior of future scenarios.

Generally, this data represents number of calls, response time, waiting time and missed calls.

2. Sizing the workload

By analyzing historical data, it is possible to project the amount of work to be done. By using predictive models, we can obtain workloads expressed in daily call volume and by hourly intervals.

3. Calculate staffing requirements

There are different models that take into account the number of calls and service quality tolerance data. These models are used to determine the number of staff required. To perform this calculation, all variables that may impact productivity must be analyzed, taking into account staff absences and other types of reductions.

For the calculation of the required personnel, you can look at the following tips:

          • monitor performance variables and stay alert to take corrective action;
          • use historical data reports to decide on time parameters and service percentages;
          • know peak traffic hours and average call duration;
          • review the absenteeism rate and take it into account when hiring staff for the day;
          • review labor laws and take into consideration legal vacations and leaves;
          • consider special periods such as school vacations, year-end holidays and religious holidays;
          • calculate the standard deviation between planned and required personnel;
          • take into account all reductions to calculate the number of agents you need;
          • support the organization with specialized shift management software;
          • keep your team in constant training.

4. Design schedules for your staff

It is important to plan staff schedules and working days in order to meet the demand for attention required by the service. Ensuring an effective rotation according to call volumes greatly reduces costs.

5. Measurement and control of deviations

One of the best ways to optimize the planning process is to measure deviations between what actually will happen and what is expected to happen. These deviations must be considered in the next instance of operational planning. This generates a process of continuous improvement.

Sizes according to the type of operation

There are two types of contact center operations: inbound and outbound. Although most of the general concepts outlined above apply to both, there are particularities that differentiate them.

In the case of Inbound Operations, these are defined by inbound calls. In this case, it is important to identify the customer service goals being pursued, and then determine how many employees will be needed to achieve those objectives.

On the other hand, Outbound Operations are defined by the outbound calls. In these operations, the business and campaign objectives must be understood, and then specific strategies must be drawn up for each case.

Sizing a Contact Center is a key factor for its success. To achieve this, it is necessary to keep in mind a number of factors, ranging from understanding what sizing is and why to do it, to making the calculations and forecasts indicated for each type of operation.

However, it is also necessary to understand the objectives and to have a critical, analytical and committed vision with the continuous improvement of the processes. By following all these guidelines, you will surely have a positive impact on the productivity of your staff and the profitability of your business.

Now that you know what you should do to properly size a Contact Center, follow us on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram) to get more useful information on how to improve the management of your workforce.

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