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What is Adherence?• Adherence is a measure of how closely agents stick or “adhere” to their shift patterns• It measures both how long agents spend in on-phone / off-phone activities and when they spend that time• It does this by comparing the information from the agents shift schedules with the information from the ACD• When we accurately predict the volume of calls coming in and prepare shift patterns to meet that volume then adherence can have a huge effect on our service levels• In resource planning we forecast the number of calls that we expect each section to receive in every 15 minute period of the day• We add in the average transaction time and forecast the number of Agents required to answer the calls and hit the service levels• How does this translate to what actually happens on the day……….?• I have used a simulation programme to accurately show what happens when adherence goes wrong
Scenario We are going to look at one hour of a contact centre operation 10am - 11am CSAs Required 40 CSAs Provided 35 30 For each 15-min period we 25 20 predicted that we needed 37 15 Agents in order to hit the service 10 level of 90% in 20 secs 5 0 10:00 - 10:15 10:15 - 10:30 10:30 - 10:45 10:45 - 11:00 The shifts have been issued out to all, they include breaks, lunches, Team meetings etc to leave 37 Agents on the phones across the hour We will look at each 15-min interval in turn to look at the effect of adherence on Service levels
This is an example of what should happen. Resulting With 37 agents in a 90.3% The customer is happy as their call is being answered in a Service During the period there is, on average, no more than level reasonable time one call in the queue at any time and customers, on average, wait less than 7 seconds to be answered The Agents are happy as they are not under severe pressure The business is happy as this scenario puts us in the best place to achieve our service levels and greater Customer Satisfaction Overall we answered 30 during of calls in 20 seconds We received On average, the period 90.3% Agents We are On average 7 will be 90 calls at (blue) will be dealing trying to hit in available (yellow) Let’s see what happened in the next 15-min interval 300 secs per 90% in 20 with a call call All Agents will spend 18.9% of the 15min period in availableThe above example will show the first fifteen minute period.Each period is identical in that we will receive 90 calls. The average transaction timeis 300 seconds (5 mins) and we are trying to answer 90% of all calls in 20 secondsSo how did we do………?
The ServiceSo even thewith only 36 agents just one Agent can have a huge effect Now removal of level has on our service levels The average queue size is now over 1 and the average dropped 4.5% to 85.8% wait time has increased by 3 seconds to 10 seconds per customer Customers have to wait longer to be answered The remaining staff are under more pressure as they work harder to make up for the absence of their colleague 85.8% of calls were answered in 20 seconds in this period. On average during Overall so far in the hour the service level is now 87.8% the period 30 Agents (blue) will be dealing On average 6 will be with a call in available (yellow) Now on to the third period Availability has dropped 2% to 16.7%One of the Agents takes an extra 15mins on their break so that they can chat with afriend. They don’t imagine that it will matter much as things don’t look that busySo what is the impact if any………?
The effect on the office is devastating Now with only 31 agents The Service level has The average queue size is now 24 calls (which will dropped 62.5%Customers are now waiting almost 4 minutes to be answered increase the Abandonment rate) and the average wait to 25.3%! time has increased by 232 secs (nearly 4 mins)! This will actually increase the number of incoming calls as customers try to get through, abandon and then try again later Agents are taking one call after another almost On average, during constantly, increasing the pressure they’re under the period 30 Agents (blue) will be dealing On average only 1 will with a call be in available This is not an environment to achieve greater Customer (yellow) Satisfaction Availability has dropped 15%25.3% of calls were answered in 20 secs. Overall so far in the to 3.2%! hour the service level is now 67%At this point one of the Team leaders decides to bring forward their team’s planned And now the final 15-min period30-min meeting to 10:30 (it was originally planned for 10:45 to coincide with thearrival of 6 further Agents starting their shifts)What does this scenario show us………?
Being 6 Agents agents Now with 43 overstaffed adds only 9.3% to the service The Service level has risen level where takingeach The average queue size is now zero, meaning that 6 away loses 65%! 76% to 99.3%! customer is answered almost immediately as the Customers are being answered quicker but this is virtually average wait time is less than a second undetectable by the customer 30% availability looks attractive but this often produces the “drag” factor as Agents don’t feel busy enough, call times increaseaverage,we can actually be providing an inferior service On and during the period 30 Agents (blue) will be dealing On average 13 Agents This is wasted resource as we could hit our service levels with a call will be in available (yellow) with 37 Agents Although the Service level in this period isAvailability has risen to over 99.3% the overall 30%! service level for the hour is 75%.The T/L realises that the office is under pressure and quickly concludes the Teammeeting. They assume that as they are now back on the phones and have theaddition of 6 Agents just starting their shift that the situation will be recovered soonWere they right………?
Summary Overall in this hour we achieved 75% Service Level when we predicted that 90% was attainable In overall adherence terms we had only 15-mins extra off-phone activity than was planned (the Agent who went over on their break) Though the last 15-minute period helped improve the service level we would need to repeat this performance for the next 2 hours to get back to 90% in 20 overall! This shows the importance, not only of overall adherence (taking the correct amount of time) but accuracy as well (sticking to the time of the day)
Things to consider! We try to match the number of Agents required to the number of Agents shifted in for every 15-min interval Even the removal of 1 Agent has an effect on service levels The removal of more than 1 Agent can have a potentially devastating effect It is not possible to “fix” it by putting the Agents back or by overstaffing, the damage may have been already done Lack of adherence damages the service to our customers and the work of our colleagues