If you’re like many -- actually, probably most -- small to medium size call centers, you still use spreadsheets to forecast and manage call center schedules and workforce planning. You think hey, this is an okay way to do it, since we have fewer agents. We don’t need all that fancy- schmancy software, it’s not like we’re trying to ride herd on 10,000 agents here.
You probably think that. And you’re probably wrong. Staffing is the most expensive resource in the entire call center budget (60 to 80 percent), therefore, even a 1 percent increase in productivity will significantly impact the bottom line.
According to officials of Monet Software, it’s actually more difficult to manage fewer agents in a small to medium size center. Truly.
Why, you ask? Good question.
For one thing, the behavior of individual agents have a bigger impact on overall center performance. If you’ve got one problem agent you can cover that with someone else in a bigger operation, but if that one agent is a significant portion of your entire work force, well, you have to find a way to live with it.
Read more here.
Monet Software, being the experts in this area, have listed for your benefit ways to get your call center scheduling up to snuff, dealing with such thorny issues as how to get your staff to show up for work on time and stick to their planned schedule and break times.
Quantify the implications of missing staff. Hey, start basic -- how much of a problem is it? Put a number to it. Measure adherence and quantify the implications on service level, costs and other metrics that are critical for your business. Look at things like understaffing and decreased service levels.
Set reasonable adherence goals. It’s not necessarily the case that anything short of perfection is failure, you can accomplish an awful lot of positive improvement without solving everything. Identify adherence goals and objectives based on the unique characteristics of your call center environment, include your staff into this process from the beginning, and start with just defining minimum expectations and things like the average handle time of calls, as well as any potential barriers that might prevent adherence.
Identify the reasons for attendance and adherence problems. Either the agent may either be unclear about what the expectations are or unaware of how their behavior is not meeting the expectation, or the agent may require more training, there could be some barrier that prevents adherence or the agent simply lacks the motivation or may be receiving improper consequences.
Read more here.
According to industry journal EnterpriseAppsToday.com, Salesforce's vision of the social enterprise may be catching on.
The journal cites Tom Roderick and Gur Talpaz of Stifel Nicolaus writing thatSalesforce.com is "winning the hearts, minds (and wallets) of enterprise software buyers," and not just in its core customer relationship management market.
Messrs. Roderick and Talpaz wrote that "Heavy enthusiasm surrounding the company's product portfolio is the generally accepted norm amongst both the financial community and actual software buyers. Beyond the marketing hype, however, we believe something far more significant is happening behind the scenes.”
They conclude that Salesforce.com is seeing “real interest from enterprise-wide buyers for large-scale deployments that encompass multiple solutions,” relying on such research as “our post-Dreamforce checks,” which convince them that large enterprise customers “believe they can do so much more with Salesforce.com."
And the proof might be on the ground. After all, as they note, Salesforce.com is, in fact, displacing Oracle Siebel CRM in "several large deals," among them Conoco Philips and "one of the world's largest technology vendors.”
Read more here.
Thanks to 3Forward for pointing us towards a case study on Marketing Sherpa discussing the value of a real company’s B2B content marketing program.
“Since this company took their program full speed in early 2010,” the case study finds, they’ve achieved 25 percent to 40 percent increase in revenue each quarter, nearly double their average annual revenue per account, 70 percent increase in inbound leads, 20 percent increase in website traffic, three to four more site traffic on the blog than their website and, as if all that wasn’t enough, improving SEO rankings for major keywords.
Luckily this company shared the outline of their program with Marketing Sherpa. And a word of caution here, friends: It’s billed as “a formula any company can follow, or at the very least use as a benchmark for their own efforts,” on the 3Forward website, but of course we know that’s not true.
There is no “formula” to follow for your company. All lists like this are good for is to consider for your own needs and situation. If you see these steps might help you, adopt them. If you don’t, well, let them pass you by. Somebody else’s path to success will never be yours, because hey, they’re not you.
Read more here.