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A Guide to Efficient Call Center Staffing

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A Guide To Efficient Call Center Staffing

Everyone wants a well-organized team in their contact center 😀, with every member contributing equally to the overall growth.📈

For that, recruitment and hiring need to be more effective, and the number of agents should be balanced⚖️. Everyone should be well-skilled and perform well in their specific roles, with a dedicated workstyle.

Now, what makes this possible is efficient call center staffing.

Call center staffing is especially a management strategy for organizing staff in a call center to ensure you have a responsive, well-balanced crew that can effectively and professionally manage clients’ inquiries. 

In this blog, you’ll learn every detail about call center staffing, including what it is, why good staffing matters, types, features, and the best practices for overcoming call center staffing challenges. 

🔑 KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Call center staffing refers to managing and organizing staff strategically within a call center, including hiring, recruiting, and managing agents.
  • Efficient call center staffing helps save cost and time, improve employee engagement, and increase call center productivity.
  • The four call center staffing models are in-house, remote, outsourced, and hybrid. 
  • Software features like call analytics, heatmaps, IVR analytics, and built-in AI are needed for call center staffing.
  • The company should enhance technology, provide regular training, and create a friendly and flexible environment to provide the best outcomes. 
  • KrispCall can significantly enhance your call center’s efficiency and customer service quality with its advanced tools and analytics to ensure you have the right number of agents available at all times.

What is call center staffing?

Call center staffing is the process of planning, hiring, scheduling, managing, and organizing staff strategically within a call center to ensure there are enough agents available to handle incoming calls and customer interactions efficiently. This includes recruiting and hiring new agents, managing agents to reach service expectations, providing training, and monitoring call center performance metrics.

What is call center staffing

Call center staffing aims to manage the correct number of agents with a skilled background to handle customer interactions. This staffing helps meet targets and enhance positive customer experiences, eventually increasing business success. 

Why good staffing matter for your call center?

Balancing staffing according to need is essential to ensure optimal resource utilization and maintain a positive customer experience. Whenever agents get more than their needs, they waste resources, while a staff shortage can lead to a bad customer experience. So, balancing staffing according to the need is essential. 

Here are some other benefits that good staffing provides to your call center:-

  • Cost savings: By using good call center staffing strategies, companies can effectively reduce costs associated with unnecessary or bad hiring. This includes cost savings in recruitment, training, or reduced turnover due to low skills within the organization. 
  • Expertise and Efficiency: Effective call center staffing helps hire specialized experts for specific roles. This ensures the candidates are suitable for their positions, automatically improving efficiency and performance. 
  • Saves time: Good call center staffing helps hire skill-based candidates, reducing extra training time. Eventually, this saves time and can be utilized for other productive work. Also, focusing on hiring well-skilled candidates minimizes the need for replacements in the future and the need to start the onboarding process again. 
  • Improved employee engagement: The skilled agents in the workforce create good employee engagement. Whenever employees are placed in a suitable role, they start being more satisfied with each other. This type of employee engagement helps increase productivity with better customer service. 

4 Call center staffing models

Call center staffing models determine how to add staff depending on call volumes and customer hold times. Here are four call center staffing models:

1. In-house staffing 

The in-house staffing model refers to employing agents directly within the company as the company agents. With this model, you can have more control over company culture, training, and providing excellent service. This enables quick communication and alignment with the company’s goals. 

However, this model can be more expensive because it requires vast office space, a dedicated HR team, and training. This type of model is primarily for companies that value brand quality consistently. In-house staffing creates an idea-sharing environment with a strong team, enhancing the company’s value. 

2. Remote staffing

Remote staffing is a model where agents can work from anywhere, in their homes, hotels, or anywhere else. This type of staffing provides their agents with flexibility, as they can work from anywhere like they would in a call center office. These types of models are beneficial in times of global pandemic.

Remote staffing

Research states that working remotely can lower the average person’s cost by $12000 annually. However, this requires solid technologies for smoothing communication and monitoring performance. Companies that want flexibility in operations by allowing a wide range of skilled employees prefer this model.

3. Outsourced staffing

Outsourced staffing refers to call center operations in which a company works with an external agency that hires, trains, and manages a team of customer service agents for them. This call center outsourcing staffing model helps reduce the hassle of managing staff and the cost of infrastructure. At the same time, it helps manage a large volume of phone calls during volume spikes. 

Outsourced staffing

Companies looking to handle huge call volumes efficiently prefer this staffing model. They want cost-effectiveness without stress from direct employee management. 

4. Hybrid staffing 

Hybrid staffing is a combination of in-house and outsourced staffing models. With this model, agents can either work in an office or remotely. Often, companies have in-house teams for essential interactions, and they prefer outsourcing on busy days. 

This model is efficient for businesses that want to balance quality and cost. It can be a good model for providing excellent customer service and handling different call volumes. 

Also read 👉: How To Manage A Call Center Team

How to calculate staffing for call centers: The Erlang C formula

It is essential to calculate call center staffing to provide efficient services to customers. It lets us know how many agents are required or if the number of agents exceeds.  

The Erlang C Formula is a popular formula for calculating the staffing needs of a call center to manage the call volume and meet targets.

In the Erlang Calculator, you must input data like the number of incoming calls, call duration, average handling time, required service level, target answer time, and shrinkage rate

Using the Erlang C formula, the center can quickly decide whether staffing levels meet customer demand and maintain service quality or not.

Note: Learn about the Erlang Calculator in detail.

Software features you need to help you manage call center staffing

You don’t need to necessarily go for some specific solution to focus on call center staffing. Instead, using available features is an excellent way of dealing with and managing call center staffing.

Here are some of the features that help in managing call center staffing:-

1. Call analytics

If your contact center has call analytics features, you should not invest in extra contact center staffing tools to monitor its performance. With call analytics, you can easily monitor total incoming calls, outgoing calls, average call handle time, call duration, etc, at any time. 

Call analytics

Proper call analytics can ease staffing management. By monitoring performance, you can analyze whether the agents are enough to operate or require more. These call analytics help identify peak call times and busy periods, ensuring additional support is needed. 

2. Heatmaps

Heatmaps are a powerful feature that helps you know when your call center gets quieter or busier. When many calls come in, they use colors to symbolize it, and the same goes for lower calls. Analyzing the busiest and quietest days can be a great way to plan and find the needed agents or determine whether the agents are enough. 

Heatmaps also show what customers are calling for the most. If many customers report the same issues, heat maps will show them. This helps in getting focused on the common problems or sorting them out by answering them through website FAQs. Additionally, you can predict when the call volume will peak in the future with past data. 

3. IVR analytics

Interactive Voice Response, or  IVR tools, help manage call center staffing. They automatically direct calls to the right agents, saving time and effort, which helps in reducing the need for more agents. Automating calls efficiently minimizes the need to answer basic questions when calls go to the wrong agents or places. 

IVR analytics

IVR analytics is a game changer for managing call center operations. Smoothing call routing and handling wrongly routed calls efficiently reduce the extra energy and time needed, which can be used more productively. This also ensures customers resolve their queries immediately, enhancing the overall customer experience. 

4. Built-in-AI

AI in contact centers is termed Contact Center AI (CCAI); this AI is generally used in cloud contact center platforms. Built-in AI manages call center staffing by offering forecasting capabilities. We can predict when large call volume spikes will hit by analyzing past data and planning to staff accordingly. 

AI also prioritizes agent skills and balances accordingly by distributing shifts. Automating repetitive tasks such as quality monitoring and post-call work allows agents to focus on more complex interactions, enhancing the contact center’s overall productivity. 

You may like🥰: How To Use Generative AI In Customer Service

Best practices to overcome call center staffing challenges

To face call center staffing challenges more effectively, following some tips and strategies is often considered. 

Here are some of the best practices for overcoming call center staffing challenges:-

  • Flexible schedules: Flexible schedules help staff adjust to changes in call volumes, which helps to manage the whole work effectively. This flexibility ensures you always have the needed agents to improve customer experience. 
  • Adopting advanced technology: To overcome staffing challenges, you must improve technologies. This is crucial because technical issues often create hassles and problematic working scenarios for recruiting or hiring new employees. 
  • Friendly environment for employees: Creating a friendly environment is vital to maximizing the call center’s productivity.  It cultivates a more flexible work atmosphere, contributing to a positive overall experience for employees and making them feel respected and valued. This, in turn, lowers turnover rates among agents, as they are more likely to stay in a supportive and welcoming workplace.
  • Regular training: Training must be needed to update agents on new products and sales, increasing productivity and customer service skills. A well-trained agent can overcome heavy call spikes and work according to the analytics report.
👏 Also Read: Call Center Management

Optimizing call center staffing with KrispCall

To optimize call center staffing, it is necessary to choose a reliable system. KrispCall is one of the leading call center software and provides advanced features like call analytics and IVR to help find the needs of agents in the company. With the call analytics feature of KrispCall, you can get a 360-degree view of real-time call data, including call duration, inbound & outbound calls, and total call volume—this helps in getting the insight data and recruiting staff accordingly. 

Likewise, Phone Tree (IVR) uses call routing to route calls to the correct department to solve queries or provide information. An automated system for call routing helps reduce the need for staffing and saves costs. These features offer 24/7 availability, save time, and contribute to customer satisfaction

Book a free demo of KrispCall today! Explore the advanced features of KrispCall and optimize your call center accordingly. 

Wrapping Up!

Effective call center staffing is a cornerstone of successful customer service operations. By carefully balancing staffing levels according to demand, leveraging technology, and considering outsourcing or remote staffing options, call centers can effectively manage costs while delivering exceptional service. 

To overcome staffing challenges, companies should enhance technologies to avoid technical issues in the onboarding process and provide regular training to handle high-volume spikes. Also, creating a friendly and flexible environment for employees can reduce the rate of employees leaving and enhance the customer staffing process.

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Dinesh Silwal Co-Founder KrispCall

Dinesh Silwal

Dinesh Silwal is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of KrispCall. For the past few years, he has been advancing and innovating in the cloud telephony industry, using AI to enhance and improve telephony solutions, and driving KrispCall to the forefront of the field.

Dinesh Silwal

Dinesh Silwal

Dinesh Silwal is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of KrispCall. For the past few years, he has been advancing and innovating in the cloud telephony industry, using AI to enhance and improve telephony solutions, and driving KrispCall to the forefront of the field.

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