How much time do your agents spend idle during a typical day?

If you manage a busy contact centre, your first response may be ‘none’, but most agents will experience some downtime between calls – even if it is 15-45 seconds of waiting for the next call to arrive. And while that might not seem like much time, those seconds quickly add up to minutes, and before you know it, your agents are losing hours each week.

Are these precious seconds between calls a good thing for agents?

On the one hand, you might think that agents would appreciate a moment to breathe and decompress between calls. On the other hand, this time is often too short to genuinely unwind or achieve anything at all – apart from a few seconds of idle waiting. And this lost time typically means there is more pressure in the contact centre, because time is lost between calls. This then reduces the time available for real breaks and things like training, coaching, special projects and career development.

In an industry that often struggles to retain the most qualified and capable agents, reducing time available for enriching tasks and programmes that recognise and develop talent is a sure-fire way to boost attrition rates.

When you consider that the lost time between calls could be used to develop employees, improve morale, tackle long-term projects and ultimately improve the efficacy of our agents, then it’s clear that investing in solutions that optimise agent time may bring a variety of improvements to your contact centre.

Using an intra-day task management solution can transform otherwise ‘lost’ agent time into productive output. Idle time can quickly and automatically be reassigned to training, development or administrative tasks. At the same time, the solution can protect and prioritise call handling so that service level agreements always come first.

If your contact centre is struggling to meet demand, or struggling to find time for essential training and development, additional headcount may not be the solution; instead, you could optimise the time of your existing resources. And as we’ve discussed, making better use of your time isn’t about working your agents into the ground; it’s about reorganising their time, so they have opportunities to learn new technologies, develop their skills and explore career progression within your organisation. By making space for development, agents will see that their future is an integral part of your present.

We can support your organisation with both Workforce Management and Optimisation and Intraday Task Management. Contact us today for a no-obligation chat about how your agents could achieve more with the time you’ve already paid for.

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Articles | Contact Centres | EX