By Court Cano Case Study
September 20, 2017
Call centers that optimize their human capital can significantly increase efficiency and productivity. This was the intent of our example company, a customer service center which had launched eight years previously with one healthcare client. Last year, when they adopted Workforce Management Suite, they provided inbound and outbound support for six health insurers, three nationwide financial clients, and two auto insurance firms.
In optimizing human capital, the business had four specific goals:
- Increase precision of scheduling to maximize employee efficiency
- Decrease overtime and better enforce employee breaks
- Keep labor costs in check while still providing a high level of service
- Accommodate associates’ scheduling preferences to increase employee morale and reduce turnover
Our case study had purchased a software-based, onsite WFM system five years before switching to Workforce Management Suite. It was fairly sophisticated when installed, but the manufacturer had not kept up with the latest technology and its value diminished as the organization evolved. Furthermore, the software updates were expensive and the system was down for days when something went wrong.
Solution – Workforce Management Suite
The forward-thinking owners were eager to upgrade to a call center Workforce Management system that made it effortless to implement the latest Workforce Management best practices to get a leg up in a crowded call center market. Though they had spent thousands on their onsite software, they knew their needs would be better met with an SaaS solution. Workforce Management Suite, which contains TimeWorksPlus, TimeSimplicity, and TimeWorksTouch, capably met each of their targets, as outlined below.
With TimeSimplicity, the scheduling solution in Workforce Management Suite, department managers can create standard schedule templates for busy and slow sales periods, which vary per department. With the standard schedule in place, managers can drag and drop to customize for each client, employee group, or other department-specific factors. The system has essentially eliminated coverage gaps, over-staffing, and departmental imbalances.
TimeSimplicity gives managers innovative tools to evaluate attendance history, identify trends, and forecast future needs. As the weeks go by, supervisors have an ever-increasing amount of key data to help elevate the accuracy of scheduling.
Overtime and Break Management
Companies that fail to control overtime, can really take a financial hit. Workforce Management Suite customizable overtime warnings have reduced labor expenses while proving to be a huge timesaver for managers.
Reduced Labor Costs
Timecard estimation was common at the business prior to Workforce Management Suite. The call center employees would estimate start and end times after the fact if they forgot to punch in. TimeWorksPlus has a schedule adherence function which doesn’t clock employee time outside of prescribed hours and enforces authorized break and meal duration. Tardies and absences are monitored and controlled and buddy-punching has become impossible. The firm is now only paying employees for time actually worked.
Accurate Time Cards and Hassle-free Payroll
TimeWorksTouch has PunchLogic, a feature that makes it ’employee-aware.’ For example, it doesn’t allow staff members to unwittingly clock into the wrong activity. It gives the employees only the options that apply to their current work status (shift beginning, break, meal, or shift ending). Time card accuracy has improved dramatically, saving managers countless admin hours previously spent fixing inaccurate time cards.
Accommodate Scheduling Preferences While Retaining Quality of Service
Call centers generally have a high attrition rate because customer service is an entry-level job for many young workers and a common short-term stint for students and men and women who are temporarily unemployed in their chosen field. Call centers that succeed are able to attract competent employees, quickly train them to be excellent service reps, pay a competitive wage, and maintain low employee turnover.
Increased Employee Accountability
The management at our example office had discovered that accommodating employee scheduling preferences let them to pay slightly less than the median rate in their metro area. The benefits were two-fold: a savings in labor costs and improved worker retention. These savings increase exponentially as they continue to expand their workforce.
Meeting Scheduling Preferences
TimeSimplicity allows supervisors to set minimum/maximum hour preferences per employee. Automated time-off requests simplify life for employees. Mobile Employee Self Service (ESS) enables employees to view their schedule, shift opportunities, and accruals from anywhere. The management team also experimented with allowing fully trained employees within the same skill set group (phone, email, or live chat certified) to handle their own shift trades. When presented with this display of confidence, the reps rose to the occasion and the policy has since become permanent. The practice has not been abused, and turnover has decreased.
Improved Employee Work/Life Balance
The management team believes that prior to the change in policy, most associates were afraid of requesting too many shift trades per week. Now that they are trusted to cover their own shifts when they make a trade, they have more schedule flexibility than ever before. The dedicated crew does not want to give up this valuable perk, even to make a slightly higher wage at a competitor’s business.
Higher morale has improved the quality of service provided by the reps. Employees who are respected and trusted by management can concentrate on doing quality work and meeting production goals.
Workforce Management Suite: Essential For Continued Growth
Now that the office has optimized human capital, the owners plan to expand their services to include order processing and lead response. They are certain that Workforce Management Suite will help them successfully accommodate this growth.