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How to Improve Adherence in a Call Center

Adherence in a Call Center

Improving adherence in a call center is like trying to keep a bunch of balloons in the air at the same time. It’s about making sure that everyone shows up when they’re supposed to, sticks to their schedules, and takes breaks at the right times. 

This can be one of the trickiest parts of running a call center because you need the right number of people, with the right skills, available at the right times to handle customer calls efficiently. 

So, how do you do it? Here are some straightforward strategies to help keep those balloons up in the air.

Understand the Importance of Adherence

First off, it’s crucial to grasp why adherence matters so much. When people don’t stick to their schedules, it’s like pulling a card from the bottom of a house of cards – everything can come tumbling down. 

Calls might go unanswered, customers can get frustrated, and the team can become stressed. Plus, it can cost your business money, either because you’re paying for staff you don’t need at certain times or because you’re losing customers who don’t like waiting.

Set Clear and Achievable Goals

Start by setting clear, realistic goals for adherence. This means figuring out what good adherence looks like for your call center and setting targets that are challenging but achievable.

It’s a bit like setting a high jump bar – too low and it’s too easy, too high and it’s discouraging. Find that sweet spot where your team has to stretch a bit to reach it but can actually do so with effort.

Involve Your Team from the Start

Get your team involved in setting these goals. When people have a say in the targets they’re working towards, they’re more likely to buy into them. 

It’s the difference between being told to eat your vegetables because they’re good for you and choosing to eat them because you understand why they’re beneficial and you’ve picked out the ones you like.

Understand Why Adherence Might Be a Problem

There are usually three reasons why people might not stick to their schedules: they don’t know what’s expected (don’t know), they’re unable to meet the expectations (can’t), or they’re unwilling to meet the expectations (won’t). 

Identifying which of these is at play can help you figure out how to address the issue. It’s like diagnosing why a plant isn’t thriving – is it not getting enough light, is it being overwatered, or is there something else at play?

Provide Feedback and Training

For those who don’t know what’s expected or how to meet those expectations, timely feedback and training can make a big difference. 

It’s about giving people the tools they need to succeed, whether that’s clearer guidelines or more skills training. Think of it as giving someone a map and compass before sending them off on a hike.

Use Carrots and Sticks Wisely

Motivation is key to improving adherence. This means rewarding those who stick to their schedules and meet their targets, and having consequences for those who don’t. Rewards could be things like public recognition, bonuses, or extra privileges. 

Consequences might involve additional training, changes to schedules, or other measures. The trick is to use both carrots (rewards) and sticks (consequences) in a way that feels fair and motivates people to do better.

Communicate the Impact of Every Individual

Help your team understand the “power of one” – the idea that every person’s adherence (or lack thereof) has a big impact on the team and the customers. 

You can use visual aids, like charts or tables, to make this point clear. It’s about showing how one person taking an unscheduled break can lead to increased wait times for customers and added stress for their colleagues.

Use the Right Tools

Having the right tools to manage and track adherence is crucial. This could include workforce management software that helps you keep an eye on schedules in real time, send out alerts when someone is about to miss a break, and generate reports on how well the team is sticking to their schedules. 

It’s a bit like having a fitness tracker that reminds you to move every hour – it makes it easier to stick to your goals when you have reminders and data at your fingertips.

Keep Measuring and Adjusting

Finally, improving adherence is an ongoing process. You need to keep measuring how well your team is doing, talking about adherence regularly, and adjusting your strategies as needed. 

It’s like steering a ship – you can’t just set a course and walk away; you need to keep an eye on where you’re going and make adjustments to stay on track.

Final Words

Enhancing schedule adherence in a call center is essential for operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. By setting clear, realistic goals, involving your team in the process, addressing the root causes of adherence issues, and effectively using rewards and technology, you can significantly improve adherence rates. 

Remember, maintaining high levels of adherence is an ongoing effort that requires continuous monitoring, feedback, and adjustments. Ready to take your call center’s schedule adherence to the next level? Discover how our cutting-edge workforce management solutions can transform your operations, enhance efficiency, and boost customer satisfaction. Book a demo today and take the first step towards optimizing your call center’s performance.