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Call Center Schedule Adherence: №1
Business Tips

Call Center Schedule Adherence

July 25, 2022
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Sticking to the schedule is crucial in any business, but it's especially important for call center agents. While no workplace is perfect, companies should aim to maintain a schedule adherence rate of at least 80%.

Ready to learn more about how call centers can earn higher customer satisfaction? Here we’ll explore all about call center schedule adherence and its positive effects on the company’s success in earning higher customer satisfaction.

We'll also cover how a call center can measure its adherence rate, strategies to improve adherence to schedules, and the benefits of monitoring this adherence.

Let's get started!

What Is Schedule Adherence in a Call Center?

Schedule adherence in a call center measures how closely agents stick to their planned work hours. It compares the tasks assigned to agents with how actively they work during those hours.

If the adherence rate is high, it means agents are using their time well and providing good service to customers. On the other hand, a low adherence rate shows that agents are not meeting their responsibilities or following their set schedules.

Call Center Schedule Adherence: №1

Why Is Schedule Adherence Important in Call Centers?

When the schedule isn't followed, it leads to poor service and damages the company's reputation, leaving customers unhappy with the service they receive.

At Simply Contact, we've learned that it's not just about when agents start and finish their shifts. It's also about how they manage their time during the shift, including breaks, training, and rest periods.

Time is valuable, especially in customer service. Whether your company is big or small, following the schedule ensures everything runs smoothly.

Even small delays can add up and have big impacts. For example, if an agent is late by seven minutes, takes longer to log in, and extends their breaks, they might waste 25 minutes in a day. This can lead to unhappy customers and harm the company's reputation.

Therefore, call centers need to make sure every agent uses their time wisely to:

  • Meet customer expectations for service quality and response time.
  • Prevent customer frustration and protect the company's reputation.

Call Center Adherence Calculation Guide

At Simply Contact, we understand that achieving a 100% adherence rate in call centers is often not possible. Therefore, we recommend aiming for an 80% adherence rate. This is because unexpected events can sometimes disrupt schedules.

To calculate the adherence percentage in call centers, use this simple formula:

  1. Determine the Total Active Work Time: This is the time the call center agent spends adhering to the schedule. We call this 'Minutes in Adherence'.
  2. Calculate the Total Scheduled Time: This is the overall time the agent is supposed to be available, known as 'Total Scheduled Minutes'.
Schedule Adherence = (Minutes in Adherence/Total Scheduled Minutes)*100

It's also important to understand these terms:

  • Adherence: When an agent is scheduled to work and does the assigned tasks during that time.
  • Non-Adherence: When an agent is scheduled to work but engages in different tasks during that time.

How to Improve Schedule Adherence in the Call Center?

To enhance schedule adherence in call centers, it's important to first understand the reasons why employees might not stick to their schedules. Using employee management tools, holding awareness sessions, and offering rewards can motivate agents to follow their assigned shifts.

Allowing employees to have some flexibility in adjusting their shifts and promoting fairness within the workplace can also lead to positive outcomes. Here are some effective and straightforward methods to improve schedule adherence in call centers:

1. Understand reasons for non-adherence

To enhance adherence in call centers, it's important to first identify why agents are not following the schedule. This involves recognizing various factors (like agents being late, taking longer lunch breaks, or chatting too much during work) that lead to non-adherence. Additionally, it's helpful to pinpoint specific times or days when adherence tends to be lower.

2. Implement employee management tools

In today's fast-paced world, call centers can boost schedule adherence by using employee management tools. These tools help monitor break times and track when employees are actively working, making it easier to manage schedules effectively.

3. Empower employees to adjust shifts

Simply Contact experts suggest that call center companies should always look forward to eliminating a rigid schedule from the workplace. Remember that agents are human and may need to make adjustments to their shifts. Allowing them this flexibility can actually lead to better adherence to the schedule.

4. Emphasize the importance of scheduling

Awareness comes before action, so the focus should be on highlighting the benefits of scheduling. Let your agents know how profitable schedule adherence is and set the parameters from the very start.

5. Make a system of rewards to encourage productive agents

In our projects, we often reintroduce a tried-and-true method: motivating adherence to schedules through rewards. Research has shown that reward systems can significantly improve employee performance. Therefore, call centers should establish a system of rewards to encourage their agents to follow schedules diligently.

6. Make fairness and productivity a part of your organization's culture

Creating a positive and productive work environment can lead to efficient, active, and responsible employees. In a call center, it's important that everyone, from management to entry-level staff, engages in constructive efforts.

Call center companies should ensure that all agents stick to their schedules. This is achievable in a workplace where fairness and equity are prioritized. When everyone, including call center agents, works together productively, it benefits the whole team.

Productivity becomes part of your company's culture when employees are punctual, avoid unnecessary gossip, and take breaks responsibly. This leads to increased customer satisfaction!

Call Center Schedule Adherence: №1

The Advantages of Tracking Schedule Adherence

When everyone in a team works together and follows the schedule, it helps the company succeed. This leads to great service for customers.

Call centers see many advantages when they stick to their schedules. Here are a few:

1. Boost productivity

Following a schedule and completing tasks on time can greatly improve productivity. This happens because employees spend less time on unproductive activities like long lunch breaks or arriving late. A positive and productive work environment in call centers leads to happier customers and a stronger reputation.

2. Increase efficiency

Following a schedule enhances efficiency, ensuring work aligns with customer expectations. This blend of efficiency and productivity fosters a balance between satisfying customers and maintaining a positive company image.

Simply Contact services seamlessly integrate into this approach, enhancing overall performance and client satisfaction.

3. Increase workplace fairness

In our experience, adhering to a schedule in call centers also promotes fairness among employees. When everyone contributes equally during their scheduled hours, it reduces the chances of unfair treatment or discrimination.

4. Improve planning

Schedule adherence allows companies to plan better; for now, everything is systematic and in order. You can shift your focus from decreased efficiency and productivity to executive, managerial, supervisory, and ways to improve brand communication strategies.


Call center schedule adherence is crucial for ensuring agents focus on their work without unnecessary distractions. Sticking to a schedule not only enhances customer satisfaction but also boosts the company's reputation and efficiency.

While a 100% adherence rate is unattainable due to unforeseen factors like illness or weather changes, maintaining at least an 80% adherence rate is achievable and beneficial for maximizing efficiency.

Effective schedule adherence in call centers leads to higher productivity and better planning, aiding in achieving customer satisfaction goals. A positive work environment also plays a key role in enhancing efficiency.

Prioritizing customer satisfaction is essential for any call center. For guidance on improving your call center's efficiency and customer service, feel free to contact us!

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