The Challenge

Serving a variety of small and medium-sized businesses, United Answering’s call volume can often be unpredictable and filled with peaks and valleys. Running a successful call center requires getting the right number of agents in place at precisely the right times. Staffing too many agents needlessly drives up costs and staffing too few at peak times causes service level to suffer. Trying to match agent availability and skills with staffing needs while keeping track of work hour limits and labor costs is a daunting task when done manually or with Excel spreadsheets.

Mindful of call center agent retention goals and the unpredictable nature of call volume, United Answering strives to provide the best possible shift schedules that not only meet their customers’ business demands but also their employees personal needs. Although United Answering employees typically work 10 hour shifts, four days on and four days off, employees also often have complex personal schedules to be considered. Some of United Answering employees include single mothers who desire time off to spend with their children. Call center schedulers have to bear in mind employees preferences while factoring in the number of staff necessary during a particular shift to ensure clients will have the level of performance that they expect. As most agents work in small teams, schedule deviations and absenteeism can significantly impact productivity and service levels. United Answering needs to able to quickly fill an open shift and to find a replacement in short notice.

“Prior to Snap Schedule, we tried a myriad of different ‘solutions’ from automated scheduling to creating rosters with pencil and paper,” said Gregg Snyder, President of United Answering. “None of these methods were able to meet the demands of our scheduling needs, and were more complicated and stressful than they were helpful. “

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The Solution

“As soon as I went to the Snap Schedule website, I could just tell from the screenshots alone that Snap Schedule would be easy to use- I was right. It looked (and is) familiar and extremely functional.” Snap Schedule sports a familiar Microsoft Office interface and is designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind. Just drag and drop to assign shifts or to change shift start-times, end-times and breaks. After just a few clicks, a completed schedule is ready to be implemented. “I find that Snap Schedule’s screen layout is intuitive and user friendly.”

Snap Schedule employee scheduling software virtually eliminates Gregg’s scheduling stress and saves time. “Now that we’ve switched to Snap Schedule, the amount of time I spend on scheduling has been dramatically reduced. I used to have to spend up to four hours per week trying to create a working schedule but now I spend no more than fifteen minutes every two weeks on scheduling.”

Snap Schedule really works. It ensures that the work schedules fulfill all the call center requirements. Snap Schedule’s comprehensive reports can be used to track planned vacation, training, and time off hours for any time period. The Shift Coverage Planner immediately alerts the scheduler to any over/under staff conditions while making shift assignments. This makes it easy to see when employees need to be assigned to work, ensuring that shifts will always be adequately covered. Should an agent suddenly become unavailable, Snap Schedule’s fill open shift feature makes finding substitutes and filling open shifts a breeze. Simply input search criteria and Snap Schedule will provide a list of suitable candidates to fill the open shift. The list is customizable through a variety of criteria such as job position, skills, labor cost, work hour limits, and seniority. Snap Schedule keeps scheduling and employee data in one place, making it easy to keep track of employee availability as well as contact information, authorized work locations, skills, and work hour constraints. Gone are the endless hours Gregg spent struggling over his employees’ schedules.

“I’m a big believer in Snap Schedule. It’s the answer to all of United Answering’s scheduling needs. It eliminates all the stress and headache of scheduling and is an absolute joy to use.”