schedule adherence

What is Call Center Schedule Adherence?

In this post:

Call center schedule adherence is a percentage measure of how well agents stick to their schedules.

High adherence rates demonstrate that people are working when they are supposed to be. Simple.  

However, the measure is often confused with conformance, occupancy, and utilization. So, proceed with caution!

Why does schedule adherence matter?

Lack of adherence results in understaffing. Understaffing will negatively impact the contact center’s three central stakeholders:

1. Customers – Queues grow longer, increasing speed of answer rates and frustrating customers.

2. Employees – Workload is shared amongst a depleted workforce, increasing occupancy rates and putting agents under pressure.

3. The business – Call times increase, thanks to longer queues, increasing telephony costs. 

By better measuring and managing adherence, a contact center maximizes its chances of success in each of these three critical areas.

How is schedule adherence calculated?

Calculate schedule adherence with this simple equation:

schedule adherence

As an example of how this formula works, consider a scenario when an agent starts 15 minutes late for a four-hour (240 minutes) shift. The agent stays behind for 15 minutes to make up for it.

schedule adherence

 While the agent may have worked for exactly four hours, they were still only adherent for 225 of those minutes. The final 15 minutes has no bearing on the adherence rate.

Referring back to the formula, the contact center may calculate the agent’s adherence as follows:

(225 minutes / 240 minutes) x 100 = 93.75%.

An ACD system will provide all necessary data for measurement. Better still, WFM software automates the process, enabling the contact center to calculate adherence in real-time.

Four ways to manage and improve schedule adherence

Here is a selection of tried-and-tested techniques to enhance schedule adherence rates.

  1. Set adherence grades – Agents may willingly arrive a few minutes late and still hit their adherence goals. To avoid this, create a grading system that encourages the team to get as close to 100% adherence as possible. 
  2. Diagnose reasons for adherence failures – Classic root causes of poor adherence rates include; Improper consequences, unclear expectations and, long handling times. Discover which is at play and address the issue.
  1. Engage agents in managing adherence – Explain the importance of schedule adherence to advisors. Discuss how it impacts the team as a whole. Then, if a WFM integration is possible, set up proactive adherence notifications on agent desktops.  
  2. Discuss adherence reports – Reflect on historical adherence reports in agent appraisals. Doing so makes the consequences of adherence a certainty. With real-time adherence reporting, the contact center may also make these consequences immediate.

Would you like to view your adherence scores alongside all of your other contact center metrics in one convenient location? Our cloud reporting tools provide the perfect solution. 

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