In a call center, every minute counts. Your agents spend time on the phone with current and potential customers each day, and every call has an impact on your customer satisfaction levels and your bottom line.
So, how do you keep track of everything that is going on in your call center? One key (but often overlooked) feature is call center agent status.
What is call center agent status?
Available with most virtual contact center software solutions, agent status is a useful way to keep track of which agents are available and ready to take calls.
Some common call center agent statuses include:
Available: This means that the agent is available in the queue (or queues) that he/she has joined, and is ready to take calls.
Busy: This means that the agent is still logged into the system, but is not available to take calls. Many call center software systems automatically pause agents who mark themselves as "Busy" or "On a Call," which means that they will not receive any more calls until they are marked as "Available" again.
Email: This means that an agent is busy with internal communications or after call work. While the agent's status is marked as "Email," he/she will not receive calls from the queue.
Most virtual call center software platforms will also allow you to create customized call center agent status options based on your business needs.
Why is call center agent status so important?
Call center agent status might not seem like a key feature, but it has a wide variety of uses beyond checking to see which agents are available or on pause.
Schedule adherence is a key metric that helps ensure that your agents are logged into the queue during their scheduled times. Call center agent status can help you monitor, measure, and optimize this KPI. You can see whether an agent is currently active or is on pause in real time or by viewing historical reports. This helps you make sure that you’re scheduling enough agents at the right times, and that they are actually available during their scheduled shifts.
Call center agent status is also helpful for billing purposes. This is especially important if you outsource your call center. Checking the status of your agents ensures that you’re not being charged for minutes that agents aren’t actually working. It can also help you make sure that your 3rd party call center is meeting the terms of your SLA. If your agents are in house, agent status ensures that you only pay agents for when they’re actually active.
Call center agent status also helps guide effective call routing strategies. When your customers’ calls are being transferred, you want to make sure they are routed to a queue or department with available agents. If there are multiple agents on pause, your customer will have to wait longer to reach a representative that can answer their questions. That’s a missed business opportunity and a possible customer satisfaction issue. Call center status should play a major role in your call routing rules so you don’t experience this issue.
Schedule adherence, billing, and call routing practices are just a few of the elements that are directly affected by call center agent status. Utilize the features on your virtual call center software to keep track of each agent. This will allow you to easily manage your employees and make sure your call center is running as productively as possible.
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