How to improve workforce planning – use work-at-home customer service. It helps retain two of the company’s most valuable assets – knowledge & experience.

Even with effective workforce planning, change and evolution are challenging for any organisation. As a business evolves and grows, so too must its capabilities, processes and procedures.

However, periods of transition can have a negative impact on the organisation’s workforce, which, in turn can lead to the loss of the most knowledgeable and experienced staff.

Customer support provision is at the heart of any company and must constantly respond to change. So if, for example, customer demand increases, so too will the department’s workload. If peak hours or seasons change, this must be reflected in the department’s workforce planning.

And this can present problems. Agents who have always worked a set shift pattern, full time hours, or a classic 9-5 work pattern, may be reluctant to adopt longer, shorter, or less sociable hours, including weekend work and even split shifts.

For example, where a company experiences peak demand during mid-morning, followed by a quieter period between 2pm and 4pm, and then a second surge of calls after 4pm, more agents would be required in the morning and the evening. Workforce planning managers know that a split shift pattern lends itself perfectly to this demand profile.

However, if a shift needed to be split in order to provide the right levels of staffing as levels of demand rise and fall throughout the day, in-centre agents might be required to travel to and from work twice a day unless other duties can be found.

Even with the best workforce planning, this type of scenario might cause employees to reconsider their future at the company.

Improve workforce planning – use work-at-home customer service

Integrating work-at-home customer service can help to overcome this problem, resulting in higher retention rates and reducing the risk of losing valuable assets during periods of change.

Employing work-at-home customer service agents brings increased flexibility for those managing workforce planning requirements, both in terms of recruitment and opening hours.

Agents recruited specifically to cover weekend and evening hours mean that existing in-centre staff don’t leave because changed shifts require them to work weekends.

In addition to this, many part-time work-at-home customer service agents are available for extra hours and open to varying shifts, thus providing additional support during seasonal peaks such as Christmas, sale periods, and school holidays. This reduces the need for hiring temporary seasonal staff to cover these busy times and maintains the knowledge of an experienced core team. After the peak period, hours revert back to normal as demand subsides.

The case for outsourcing work-at-home customer service

When it comes to workforce planning, the adoption of a new model of working, such as a work-at-home customer service team, can bring great benefits to your company but can also be daunting. Finding a partner with the right expertise, experience and technology can de-risk this and create the right environment for success.

Addressing the needs of home-based staff as well as the business, will bring about a win for all and better serve customers during challenging times or peak demand.

Even with the best workforce planning, periods of change can be challenging for any organisation. However, a work-at-home customer service structure can help retain two of the company’s most valuable assets – knowledge and experience.

To find out how work-at-home can help you maintain knowledge and experience, please get in touch!

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