centers are contact centers now, which means customers are interacting
with agents through a range of channels including emails and live online
chat. According to some studies, more than 25% of all customer
interactions are now conducted via methods other than the telephone.
of the goals of any 21st century contact center is to offer the right
mix of channels and find an accurate method for multi-channel
forecasting and scheduling of agents. The customer experience should be
equally positive regardless of how communication is made.
challenge is how to offer consistent standards of customer engagement
through multiple touch points.The solution is an optimized integrated
platform that encompasses data on workforce management, agent skill
sets, metrics, scheduling and reporting.
Tips for Multi-Channel Skills Scheduling
Multi-channel scheduling begins with a specification of service goals
based on the types of channels the call center must handle, followed by
agent skill assessment within each of these channels.
standards are set, scheduling will require accurate calculation of the
Average Handle Time (AHT) for each contact channel. This is easier to do
with calls than with emails or chats where agent can handle multiple
chats at the same time for example. A workforce management system takes
these differences into consideration. With this information, the call
center manager has two options to choose from:
Dedicated Agent Pools
an agent’s skill sets are determined, he or she can be assigned to a
dedicated group that focuses solely or primarily on their best channel,
whether that is inbound calls, emails or web chat.
The Universal Queue
this method, all contacts are routed to agents based on order and
availability. While this is a less specialized method for handing
multiple channels, it does force agents to become adept at handling the
various methods of customer communication in a shorter time span.
management provides the necessary metrics on channels and personnel
skills to allow managers to make the best decisions for their contact
center. You can watch a short video about multi-channel scheduling and staffing
to learn more about this. Agents will be placed in situations where
their skills can be maximized, thus improving productivity, morale and
customer satisfaction – which is also great for the bottom line.