The principle of agent adherence has been around for many years now, however it is still a process that many organisations don't realise the full benefits from. Lots of centres understand the concept and its rewards, but how many are really using it to drive performance improvements?
Through working with lots of different organisations, Sabio sees many different ways of measuring adherence – it is often technology that dictates the extent to which adherence can be tracked and measured; from simply measuring the time an agent should be logged on to the ACD , to measuring ‘productive time’, to measuring whether the agent is following their schedule and engaging in the correct activities at the right time.
All of these methods give an indication of how much time the agent is making themselves available to work, but only the latter tracks whether they are doing this work at the right time and thus in ‘full’ adherence.
To actively follow a schedule ensures that all the hard work that goes into preparing it is justified.
Following the plan however is not the sole responsibility of the agents – it is the responsibility of the supervisors / managers too. The plan is created and optimised based on an accurately predicted workload, offline tasks are included at the most appropriate times and the resulting schedule is designed to work in harmony to ensure that Service Level and other operational performance targets are met each interval throughout the day and week.
This performance is reflected internally through occupancy rates and helps to balance the advisor workload, but it also is reflected externally through the experience of the customer too – ensuring that whenever they call, wait times are all within a realistic and acceptable threshold.
Agent understanding and buy-in is of course essential to the process, but supervisor & manager buy-in is also key since they can directly influence the culture of the centre, which has the potential to undermine the plan & determine its success or failure. The delivery of the adherence process should therefore flow fluidly from planning to supervisors to agents and back – working in unison – each owning their part of the process.
Accurate and Reliable Adherence Scores
The outcome should be an accurate and reliable adherence score – a score that doesn’t require activities to be backdated and corrected.
The true adherence score of any centre is the one that is achieved based on how well the plan was executed. The plan itself can and should be optimised and dynamically adjusted throughout the day to ensure performance is maximised and the associated score per individual / team / department should reflect how well that plan was followed – requiring no ‘correction’ afterwards.
As a result, these scores then give a reflection of accuracy both on planning and delivery which will then help to set benchmarks, target improvements and drive through the expected benefits of a robust adherence process.
A successful and accurate adherence process is shown to bring about an improvement of up to 12 minutes per advisor per day – a potential of increasing the FTEs available at the right time by up 2.5%, and in effect reducing the overall staffing requirement by the same amount.
Whether this actual saving and improvement is possible is determined by the adherence process and how it is measured.
The question is ‘how do you measure yours?’