Your call centre’s reports should be a valuable tool for identifying problems (and opportunities), and ensuring action is taken on them. Perhaps even more importantly, they’re a crucial line of communication between your call centre, and its key stakeholders – the staff, managers and, in the case of outsourcers, clients.
If you feel as though your reports aren’t worth the time they take to generate, it’s time to assess the types of report you’re generating. Today, we’re looking at 3 of the most important reports your planning team should be creating.
1) A Forecasting Report
A forecasting report should be generated on a monthly basis, in order to highlight predicted events that are likely to affect a call centre’s demand for staff.
Instead of presenting graphs and tables of forecasted call volumes, it’s far more helpful to identify the events that will generate changes in staffing requirements, and create actionable plans for dealing with them.
It’s important to identify any predicted changes in workload, and create processes to deal with them. Given economic or company growth, it may be that call volumes are forecasted to increase by a couple of percentage points, month-on-month. Whilst such a small trend may seem unimportant, a 2% increase in call volume into a 300-seat call centre creates a need for 6 new agents, each and every month.
Call volumes into a call centre will change significantly in the lead-up to a public holiday, and the days after. These types of events are predictable, so it’s important to let operations know of the need to counter them, and inform clients of the proposed action.
Annual Leave and Training Sessions
Even relatively mundane events like training and annual leave can impact forecasting. The forecasting report needs to explicitly identify these events, and their predicted impact, and suggest ways to mitigate any negative consequences.
2) A Scheduling Report
It’s often difficult for managers and clients to assess the validity of a proposed schedule. A scheduling report needs to simplify the problem, and answer a simple question: will the proposed schedule meet our service level targets?
A scheduling report needs to recognise factors that will affect the supply of staff, and identify the days (and even specific intervals) when this risks missing the service level. It should be generated weekly, and treated as a tool for informing crucial stakeholders (clients in particular) of potential shortcomings in their desired service level – and reassuring them of your call centre’s ability to rectify the problem.
For example, it may be that England are scheduled to play Germany halfway through the next month. As a result, there’s a strong likelihood that the call centre will have to contend with sore heads and poor attendance the next day. By reporting on this likelihood, the operations team can be proactive – talking to agents, and encouraging them to swap shifts or book half-days off where appropriate.
By taking ownership of the situation, a potential problem has been identified and mitigated. The client has been reassured, and you stand a great chance of hitting your service level targets on a potentially challenging day.
3) A Match Report
A match report should be a summary of daily performance, and a chance for managers to look back at the past day and ask the crucial question ‘What happened?’
This type of performance report typically fixates on statistics and metrics: service level targets, abandon rates, average handling times and so on. However, what managers really require is an explanation of why things happened, and in what sequence. What caused the abandoned calls, and what impact did it have? What contributed to missed service level targets, and crucially, what can be done about it tomorrow?
With this in mind, we can usually break the match report down into three key areas for discussion:
- What went well?
- What problems were experienced?
- What opportunities were identified?
Improving Your Call Centre Reports
Reporting needs vary from call centre to call centre, but there are two key questions you should always keep in mind:
- Who is the report for? Managers, operations teams and clients have different needs and expectations. Couch your language, choice of information and presentation style appropriately.
- Is it actionable? Reports are only useful if they can be used to improve future performance. Generate every report with a view to offering advice to improve tomorrow’s performance.
To learn more about improving communication in your call centre, download our executive summary below.