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marla.freeman
marla.freeman
Posts: 1


2/9/2017
marla.freeman
marla.freeman
Posts: 1
I manage a call center of approximately 50 agents and our budget is quite tight. We do not have much down time with call volume and in recent months the down time has not been consistent. One of the main struggles that we have is being able to meet with our agents in a group setting to provide regular company updates, team coaching, etc. I would like to get feedback from other smaller call centers to see how team meetings are managed without creating overtime. Thanks in advance for your feedback!
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SeaHawkins
SeaHawkins
Moderator
Posts: 7


2/10/2017
SeaHawkins
SeaHawkins
Moderator
Posts: 7
Marla, you can try providing real time updates via email or messaging software. At times, I use team huddles at the start of shift to provide quick updates. These are usually 10-15 min at the most. While these are all helpful in getting information to the teams, nothing is better than meeting as a team. If this means downtime or a service disruption, you may have to live with it. If you schedule meetings in advance, you can then offer notifications to your customers regarding a some downtime. I usually give a 24-48 hour notice.

As it relates to OT, I would personally bite the bullet. However, adjust agent start times for others days to avoid OT. Hopefully this won't send a bad message to the team. Also, break the meetings up into smaller groups and have multiple meetings over the course of a few days.
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jrobbins
jrobbins
Moderator
Posts: 14


2/14/2017
jrobbins
jrobbins
Moderator
Posts: 14
Hi Marla,

Based on your description of things, it sounds like you're understaffed and, if that's the case and you can't increase your headcount, there are still a few options available to you.

On the obvious front, you can "bite the bullet" as Sean puts it and take the hit with overtime. It enables you to hit your Service Level objectives (which keeps the customers happy) but hits your budget (which makes your CFO unhappy).

Another alternative is to plan to take the hit on your service level objective (which makes your customers unhappy) and conduct the coaching/team meetings during periods where you can minimize (but not eliminate) the impact on SL and doesn't add OT (and keeps CFO happy).

A third option is to look at your queue groups and consolidate if & where possible. If you have agents broken into multiple queue groups, they are less efficient than if you had one universal queue (or at least fewer than you have today). If this is an option, it should give you some breathing room to get agents off the phones (or get creative with schedules) to make the coaching and team meetings happen.

The last option is to look at your forecast, your shrinkage numbers (time for QA, coaching, meetings, breaks, etc), your SLA's and figure out what changes need to happen to get you into a better place. This could mean adding staff, it could mean relaxing your SLAs, looking to automate some contacts through self-service, etc.

My point here is that you have options, just need to consider the impact and consequences of each. If you'd like to chat more about this, please don't hesitate to call or email. I worked in a number of small contact centers prior to joining ICMI and know exactly what you're going through. I'd love to help in any way that I'm able.

Justin Robbins
717-537-5504 | jrobbins@icmi.com
edited by jrobbins on 2/14/2017
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