In Contact centers, many times we would come across a situation where the volume is very minimal for some businesses and LOBs. But, these businesses would have wider operational hours.
These kinds of businesses may be some extremely specialized processes or some elite customer group.
But, the question is how do we support these businesses with minimal volume and wide operational hours from a scheduling perspective?
Let’s take a look at some scenarios of schedules which will help us understand how different operational hours results in the number of FTEs required to be scheduled.
For the discussion purpose, we would consider the below parameters for illustration and calculation purposes.
Apart from the above calculation, we would also refer to the below assumptions
- This document essentially talks only about immediate response Queues with stringent Service level such as Inbound, Chat, and Social Media etc.
- At any given interval, a minimum of 2 FTE should be there just in case 2 calls come in the Queue together hypothetically. This would also help in covering the breaks
- The shift length is considered to be 9 Hours
For all the scenarios we are going to see, the above calculations and assumptions would be referred.
Scenario 1 – Single Shift (Mon to Fri)
Now, this is a straight one with only a single shift from Monday to Friday. If we look at the calculation above, we would need 1.49 FTE and we could probably schedule a minimum of 2 FTEs.
However, what if one agent is absent? Hence to cover that, we would require one additional Agent. This is how the schedules would look like.
Scenario 2 – Single Shift (Mon to Sat)
This is also straight one with only a single shift from Monday to Saturday. If we look at the calculation above, we would need 1.79 FTE and we could probably schedule a minimum of 2 FTEs.
But in this scenario, we would need an additional FTE for OFF Coverage and another FTE to absence Coverage.
To validate this, we should do this simple calculation.
Minimum 2 FTE & OFF Coverage = 2x(7/6) = 2.33 = Round Up = 3 FTEs. The reason why we use (7/6) is since Sunday is already an OFF and only one more OFF needs to be covered. This is how the schedules would look like
This schedule shows at least a minimum of 3 FTEs scheduled for any given day just as required in the single shift Mon to Fri Scenario.
Scenario 3 – Single Shift (Mon to Sun)
For this scenario, if we look at the calculation, the requirement is 2.09 which definitely mean we should schedule at least 3 FTEs.
To figure out the schedule requirement, look at the calculation below
Minimum 2 FTE & OFF Coverage = 2x(7/5) = 2.8 = Round Up = 3 FTEs and additional FTE for Absence = Total 4 FTEs. Below are the schedules
Here, it is been assumed that Saturday and Sunday, there will no absence and if it occurs, the Queue could be handled by Support Staff.
Apart from Single shift, we could have much wider operational hours which can be classified and explained as below.
- Dual Shifts
Any operational length which is more than 9 Hours or single shift length is classified as Dual Shift. This could be 10 Hours length till maximum of 18 Hours. To know the schedule requirements, we just have to multiply the single shift requirements by 2.
- For Monday to Friday – 3×2 = 6 FTEs (3 for each single shift)
- For Monday to Saturday/Sunday – 4×2 = 8 FTEs
- Three Shifts
Any operational length which is more than 18 hours is classified as Three Shift. To know the schedule requirements, we just have to multiply the single shift requirements by 3.
- For Monday to Friday – 3×3 = 9 FTEs (3 for each single shift)
- For Monday to Saturday/Sunday – 4×3 = 12 FTEs
So, this is how the minimum FTE Requirement can be found basis the Hours and Days of Operations. We assumed that at any given interval, a minimum of 2 FTEs are to be scheduled. This is considering that there may be chances of 2 calls coming in the Queue and Service Level may go down.
However in case of the Deferred Media such as Outbound, Back Office etc., the Service Level is very much relaxed lke 4 Hours, 8 Hours etc. and we don’t essentially need 2 FTEs to be scheduled at any given interval.
With that though, I would leave with two questions to solve
- What should be the minimum requirement for Deferred Media?
- What should be the minimum requirement if agent works for 6 days a week?
Author: Vinay Vasudevan, WFM Catalyst