Why is call center time management so important?
Well, first of all, let’s say that all successful managers use some time management tricks. It is impossible to reach expected goals and key performance indicators without knowing how to use time wisely and how to manage it. Our world, both business and personal, has become too dynamic to have time for idling or doing nothing, and this is the first and the most obvious reason - successful people do use time management, while unsuccessful ones think that they don’t need it. We all have similar amounts of time to spend on work - but the key question is how effectively this time is used and what the results are.
But success is a collective concept - it consists of exact factors and aspects that determine whether are you either successful or not. So let’s discover the precise benefits of call center time management.
Fewer mistakes and stable quality
When there is no hurry, you can focus on what you are doing. Running ahead we must say that call center time management is based on detailed planning, and the fact is that the planning works as it should. You know what you have to do, and you have time frames for each task, so there is no chaos or disorder and the work becomes really qualitative and more thoughtful than it is when you don’t know where to start or just try to catch up with the burning deadlines. Moreover, the overall service level will increase when your efficiency as a business leader grows.
If you can do more tasks in the same period of time as another person does, you will be more efficient, faster developing, and more skillful after some practice. Isn’t it perfect to close more strategic tasks in a week and have more time and energy for brainstorming and creative work? It is because it has a positive influence on both your mental health and physical health, as well as on motivation and encouragement. If you can do better, then you are better - the simple formula to get a spark for effective work a year ahead.
Better health conditions
We all face situations when we sit in the office and say to ourselves: ‘It’s enough, I need some rest”. Isn’t this familiar to you? Don’t lie it is not. As we have already mentioned, our world has become too dynamic to move in its step for while, because our health isn’t infinite. When everything is planned, you will face fewer stressful occurrences, so your health would be safe from the main trouble of our decade - stress. Stress causes diseases, both physical and mental, and even if you are lucky and such negative consequences won’t meet you, your productivity will fall down a few times, because every specialist, even the first-class ones, has their limits.
Call center time management is a kind of workforce optimization process, so it doesn’t only influence the agents’ or managers’ effectiveness and productivity, but it also optimizes all the operations and processes inside the customer service organizations. And what happens when the company is qualitatively optimized? New opportunities for scaling up and development arrive. You can get more time to build a strong and friendly customer service staff, improve your authority as a manager, find new customers because of improvements in service rates, and so on. No one knows what door will open for you, but the fact remains that you will get some chances to grow up - as a person and as a leader.
Better staff performance
Call center totally relies on staff - agents and team leaders as they are those who provide efficient customer service and communicate with customers. So such things as customer experience, customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, customer retention, or customer churn are created by their hands, not yours - you just give them KPIs to reach and show the directions where to move, and they do everything else. When you will optimize your time, you will be able to take care of call center timings and time management for call center agents, as they are your richest resource. By the way, by teaching agents how to optimize and manage their time, you invest in getting new experienced, and talented managers in the near future - and that’s also the way to stop spending on employee turnover.
Call center time management tips
The best aspect of time management tips for call center agents and managers is their flexibility and easiness - you can implement such tricks in one day without any effort. Time management isn’t as difficult as some say, so these call center tips for time management can greatly help you in improving your productivity and efficiency, as well as you can use these tips for customer service improvement.
Use a to-do list
Do you remember what we said about the planning? It is the most important part of your time management skills as without a plan you can’t operate your time and processes wisely.
Choose and write down your main weekly or daily tasks and objectives for a day and think of which of them should be done first, and which can be delayed until the end of the day. When you get the detailed list of tasks, you can start completing them easily, as you know how much time would each goal take. Also, in some occurrences, you can shuffle the tasks if there is a need to get a sense of accomplishment, just make sure that you have reliable access to this list.
Improve your discipline
The most vital thing in call center real-time management is self-discipline. What is it? Well, if you have said to yourself that you would do that task, you have to do it. The ability to follow and complete tasks that are set on your own is a very strong skill in the list of time management skills, and moreover, it’s one of the awesome customer service skills - you have to follow the rules which are created on your own. This is the key to successful call center time management, because if you can’t control yourself, how would you control the subordinates?
Follow your to-do list
Some people create their to-do list and forget about it or put it away in a distant drawer. It is not right - your success depends only on your effort spent on following the task list. This tip is also about self-discipline, as many people just can’t keep up with the responsibility to follow the rules and give up after a couple of days. Anyhow, if you can follow the task list, you can manage the time.
Close the most difficult tasks first of all
That is the old-but-gold rule - complicated tasks should be completed before others, less difficult ones. As it’s proven by many medical studies that most people have their energy at the highest level during morning hours, you have to organize a training session for yourself to spend this time with the maximum benefit possible. When most difficult tasks are done, you’ll have enough time and energy to deal with customer service routine tasks and for creativity or staff monitoring. Vice versa, if you start the day with something inefficient, but still effortful, and the biggest challenges face you after lunch, you will have no resources to deal with them.
What is the main characteristic of a successful manager? His management skills themselves, and as we know the management definition is your ability to organize, lead, rule, and control processes. Why do some managers keep doing routine work, such as filling out reports, remaking the work of their subordinates, and so on? Such a management style consumes your time and energy which could be spent on more critical tasks. Some say that the success and qualification of a manager can be evaluated by checking the quality of work of his subordinates and their independence in the working process, from time to time. Let your workers grow up professionally, give more challenging and crucial tasks to them, and you will see how both their and your effectiveness will rise.
Don’t take too much work if you know it will consume too much time and resources. Why should you try to jump over your head in situations where it is unneeded? Call center tips for time management include this recommendation just because you can’t do everything - as any other person. Let’s imagine: you have taken too many tasks, tried to complete them, lost the quality of work, lost some nerves, and finally become frustrated and tired to take on other tasks. For what would you do it?
Allocate a certain amount of time
What can be easier than opening your iPhone and making a notification in a calendar? We mean that if you have a task or a couple of tasks, just allocate the needed amount of time - schedule it and try to complete them. Mentally it will help you to focus on their accomplishment, as well as you will know that these time limits are allocated just for these tasks - anything else has to be done after it.
Take on regular breaks
What is the most vital thing in time management strategies? The ability to find time for rest. When we are talking about customer service industry specifics of time management, phone calls in a call center for customer service can take more time than you have expected. Nonetheless, your goal is to give you short breaks between working periods to help your mind and body take a rest. When we try to get the most out of the organism, we meet the following things: demotivation, frustration, chronic fatigue, and so on. Is it what you want? We guess it isn’t.
Use the time management matrix trick
Haven’t you heard of it? This matrix looks like a Descartes coordinate system as it is divided into four sections, and each of them contains one group of your tasks. Actually, here is how they are classified: crucial and pressing tasks, crucial, but not pressing, not crucial, but pressing, and finally, neither crucial nor pressing.
As you could guess, the first group of tasks should be completed first of all. These tasks are surely your main goals, and a great example of such tasks is when you get a task to rework the marketing plan for a month, and the deadline comes out in two days.
The second group of tasks includes strategic tasks, such as plans, strategies, long-term projects, and so on. These tasks require your attention and participation, but anyhow they should never harm your effectiveness in completing more hurried tasks.
The third group of tasks is about tasks or situations that are about helping your colleagues. For instance, your colleague asks you to help him to give your comment to his presentation, and this is a great dilemma - either to help him and lose your time or to refuse and harm your relationship with the colleague.
The fourth group of tasks consists of tasks or activities which eat your time, so-called time wasters, and you have to avoid them in any case.
Use workforce optimization tool
Software exists to help you ease your work and life, as well as automate some processes which are too effortful to be completed manually. Workforce management is a thing that can consume too much of your time, especially if during managing the workforce you detect some problems like some workers who don’t know what is schedule adherence.
Thus, you need a tool that would eliminate the effort you spent on workforce planning and management - and VoipTime Cloud-Based Contact Center is a hitch. Online scheduling, internal chat for a positive call center environment, and live dashboards with deep stats and insights into workforce management rates and aspects. Agents haven't started their working shift with schedule adherence? You’ll identify it in a sec. Agents change the status to avoid some incoming calls? You see it in the track of time reports, which also include such valuable metrics, as Average Handling Time, Average Hold Time, Average Time in a Queue, and so on. Do agents use some other tricks like not hanging up a call? Track Average Handle Time to detect any strange activities.
Contact our specialists to get a quote and a deeper look at the software capabilities which go far beyond the workforce and customer service representative time management themselves.
Contact us to discuss your needs and see Voiptime Contact Center in action!