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Agent Adherence, Even Easier !!

Tim Wharfe 01-Oct-2019 16:28:56
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Adherence History v1-1

Here at U-WFM we continuously strive to make every part of our application as easy-to-use as possible. So we've done it again! We've taken one of our most popular screens and made it even simpler to use. Multi select approval and powerful filtering, to name just two of the new features.

 

“Multi selecting out of adherence events is brilliant and a feature I hadn't thought of but makes life so much easier.”  Josh Kirkbride, Resource Planner at Simply Business

 

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Real-Time Adherence...To authorise or not to authorise?

Tim Wharfe 29-Aug-2019 10:30:25
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What is Real-Time Adherence (RTA)?

Put simply, RTA is the constant and automated comparison between what an agent is scheduled to do and what they actually do.  The result of this is a percentage score.

RTA - To authorise or not to authoriseRTA makes visible if the agent went for lunch, breaks, meetings or any other activity at the time they were supposed to. 

If they don’t then the time outside of the scheduled time is counted as OOA (Out of Adherence).

E.g. Agent A gets a score of 93%. So, 7% of Agent A’s scheduled time was not adhered to (OOA).

 

Tolerance in RTA

Most Workforce Management solutions will allow a ‘tolerance’ for specified activities that have been scheduled.  For example, setting a 2-minute tolerance will not count the agent as being non-adherent for 2 minutes on either side of a scheduled activity.

Whereas this can sound like a good thing to do from the agent’s perspective, for a Workforce Management professional, it’s covering up the fact that the agent did not adhere to their schedule during specific times.

 

Authorisation in RTA

Within most RTA solutions, it is also possible to authorise instances of OOA.  Any time that that has been authorised will be added to the calculation and therefore will boost the score of the agent.

In some cases this can be justified.  What if an agent was scheduled for a meeting to start at 11:00 but the agent’s manager doesn’t collect the agent until 11:10?  Authorising the 10 minutes before, and therefore the 10 minutes at the end seems like the right thing to do.

 

Problem & Solution

Tolerances and authorisation cause problems for Workforce Management professionals.  The reason is this – it’s a lie.

By introducing tolerances and authorisation it makes possible for the contact centre to appear to have performed better than it actually did.

The solution to this is to make available 3 different calculations for users to view depending on their role in the contact centre.

 

In U-WFM, we offer 3 adherence calculations:

 

Straight – Did the agent adhere or not?  No tolerance or authorisation time is included.  This would typically be viewed by Workforce Management Professionals and possibly upper management.

Tolerance – Includes any tolerance allowances, but no authorised time.  Viewed by various levels of management.

Score – Includes any tolerances and authorised time.  Viewed by agents and the direct manager of the agents.

 

In the below example, the agent has a straight score of 7.56%, including tolerances 9.24% and when any authorisations are added, 89.92%.  With this example it's easy to see that the agent had an activity for a large portion of their day which has been authorised. 

 

Adherence Calculations

 

This can be cross referenced with a historical adherence view.  Below we can see that a period of time (in green) between 07:00-08:37 has been authorised.

 

Adherence History

 

Utilising these 3 calculations means that it’s possible for users of U-WFM to view information that is relevant to them, regardless of what their role is within the business.

 

RTA remains an essential contact centre reporting tool, if not sometimes underrated.  In a sea of contact centre metrics RTA is one of the few that agents can have a direct impact on – and also provides Workforce Management professionals on-demand feedback on performance trends, potential problems and future operational goals.

In short, get it right and it can have a significant impact to your contact centre performance.

 

To speak to us about RTA or any other aspect of Workforce Management, please click here to contact us and/or schedule a demo...

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Free Long Term Holiday Planner

Tim Wharfe 14-May-2018 17:10:31
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Allocating holiday/vacation hours for a long period of time is very time consuming. Our FREE Long Term Holiday/Vacation Planner allows you to create a long term plan in minutes.

FREE HOLIDAY PLANNER

Holiday-Alocation

The Calculation
There are various bits of information required to complete this task:

  • Current FTE
  • How many Hours per Week = 1FTE
  • What is the general percentage allowance for vacation over a vacation year
  • Should vacation days be rounded to that of a full time day shift (8 hours for a 40 hours week)
  • A requirement of agents for each week over the year

U-WFM will then process this information to give an allowance for vacation hours by both week and day.

In the above graph, the percentage distribution of agent requirement is plotted (orange line). What U-WFM will do is flip this line, in effect, showing a mirror image of the requirement (purple line).

The same principle can then be done by day, which will then distribute the weekly hours over individual days. The daily allowance can then be auto imported in to U-WFM’s vacation planner.

The Result
When the overall vacation hours are distributed over the mirror image, what happens is lower vacation allowances are plotted at busy times and higher vacation allowances are planned at quiet times.  Thus helping to balance agents working hours over the year and crucially, to increase Service Level with no cost to the business.

FREE HOLIDAY PLANNER

Long Term Holiday Planning

Tim Wharfe 20-Apr-2018 14:51:24
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The Problem

Planning for vacation over long periods of time can be a difficult task to complete. To achieve a quick and easy calculation of how and where to allow agents to ‘spend’ their vacation time, U-WFM are introducing a calculator that will allow this operation to be completed in record time.

The Calculation

There are various bits of information required to complete this task:

  • Current FTE
  • How many Hours per Week = 1FTE
  • What is the general percentage allowance for vacation over a vacation year
  • Should vacation days be rounded to that of a full-time day shift (8 hours for a 40 hours week)
  • A requirement of agents for each week over the year

U-WFM will then process this information to give an allowance for vacation hours by both week and day.

In the below graph, the percentage distribution of agent requirement is plotted (orange line). What U-WFM will do is flip this line, in effect, showing a mirror image of the requirement (purple line).

Holiday-Alocation

The same principle can then be done by day, which will then distribute the weekly hours over individual days. The daily allowance can then be auto imported in to U-WFM’s vacation planner.

The Result

When the overall vacation hours are distributed over the mirror image, what happens is lower vacation allowances are plotted at busy times and higher vacation allowances are planned at quiet times.  Thus helping to balance agents working hours over the year and crucially, to increase Service Level with no cost to the business.

Sign up for our free Long Term Holiday Planning tool

FREE HOLIDAY PLANNER

 

WFM Recommended Process

Tim Wharfe 18-Apr-2018 18:37:29
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Introduction

When the dust settles after the implementation of a new Workforce Management system, one of the most common queries is not actually about the software at all. It is about the how and when of going from nothing to a finalised schedule.

This blog will be going through a recommended process that WFM Administrators and Resource Planners can follow in order to give everyone, business and agents the best from your hard work.

 

Process Cycle

There is a well defined basic process cycle that WFM Administrators generally follow.

WFM Basic Process

1. Forecast – Using the most recent historical information

2. Schedule – Create a new schedule from rules already in Workforce Management

3. Manage – Intraday management of the schedule

4. Analyse – Use most recent data to feed back to forecasting

 

Reasons for Process

Most businesses will want to give agents schedules a certain number of weeks in advance. This allows agents to plan their lives and maintain a healthy work/life balance. This is normally done in rolling weeks. Every week, a new week is released to agents maintaining the same length of future visibility at all times.

It is important to get the number of future weeks published right. If there is not enough, agents will not be happy. If there are too many, any changes to schedules, especially due to leavers or new starters will require the WFM administrator to re-schedule more than they would otherwise need to, increasing their workload.

Typically, although by no means a rule, agents receive around 4 weeks notice of their upcoming shifts. The length of shift notice does differ across businesses.

For these reasons it is important to robustly stick to a well defined process and follow it through consistently.

 

Recommended Process Table

For this example, we will be assuming that agents are receiving 4 weeks notice for their schedule and also using 4 weeks of historical data to build a forecast.

The below table shows a timeline spanning 11 weeks in total. 6 weeks in the past, the current week and 4 weeks in to the future.

 

WFM Process Table

The below process covers what should be worked by the WFM administrator every week.

This Week

  • Offline entry and minor schedule adjustments as required
  • Reforecast week utilising most recent historical data
  • Reschedule agents. As shifts were locked previously, only breaks and lunches may be changed
  • Republish
  • Enter offline activities as known. No forecasting or re-scheduling is required as both these weeks already have a forecast and schedules where shifts, but not breaks and lunches are locked
  • Create new forecast
  • Create new schedule
  • Lock shifts, but not breaks and lunches
  • Publish

Week 1 (next week)

  • Reforecast week utilising most recent historical data
  • Reschedule agents. As shifts were locked previously, only breaks and lunches may be changed
  • Republish

Week 2 & 3

  • Enter offline activities as known. No forecasting or re-scheduling is required as both these weeks already have a forecast and schedules where shifts, but not breaks and lunches are locked

Week 4

  • Create new forecast
  • Create new schedule
  • Lock shifts, but not breaks and lunches
  • Publish

If the above process is followed every week for each of the relative weeks in the future, agents will have a consistent view of their shifts and the business will have greater visibility of their expected results.

U-WFM offers free trials of our cloud based Workforce Management Solution

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