How to Set Up a COVID-19 Call Center in 2 Hours

by Katie Sawyer, · 3 minutes

Increased delivery, special hours at grocery stores for seniors, social distancing. The world is quickly responding to coronavirus, and some businesses are adapting by increasing or even creating helplines.

Whether you’re already a Deputy customer or you’re a new friend, here are a few tips for setting up your call center.

1. Make sure your locations and area hierarchy are set up for success

Whether you’re converting your field staff to call center staff, or your business has always been providing call center assistance, you need to set up your Deputy Location & Areas correctly to ensure the right people are available to work your critical shifts.

  • Split your field staff and call center. If you’re looking to set up an independent schedule that doesn’t affect how you run your business currently, it’s usually a good idea to create a new Location for that new business unit. That will help confirm you only add the team members that should work in your new business unit.

  • Use the correct roles/areas setup. Your Deputy setup should mirror the different responsibilities in your business. For example, Deputy’s call center has three different responsibilities: Team lead, enterprise support, and Tier 1 level support. To ensure we can separate our responsibilities correctly we create 3 different areas: Team lead, enterprise agent, and agent.

2. Ensure your staff are trained for the job

When someone phones into your call center, they’re expecting to get their questions answered as quickly as possible. That means you need staff who are trained and ready to make decisions on the fly. Here are some best practices for training your team.

  • Align training to your business roles. In Deputy, you can create training modules that ensure staff have the right training for a specific role and shift.

  • Assign training tasks. Use tasks to help your team onboard easier and learn your business.

3. Setting Stress Profiles

If you’ve followed the first two steps, you should now have access to the correct (trained) staff in your specific locations. The next major hurdle is making sure you schedule your team within your local labor laws. Stress profiles keep you from scheduling staff too many hours. For example, you could set a 20-hour max per week and align that with your state’s labor law of a maximum of 40 hours a week with a max of 8 hours a day.

Once you have effectively set the stress profile for each of your team, Deputy will then start to provide real-time feedback in regards to your team’s stress and fatigue rules. Stress profiles are reviewed every time you want to fill a shift. If something is off, you’ll receive an error and a prompt to adjust your schedule.

4. Setup your team’s unavailability

You might have the staff scheduled in the right place, at the right time, with the right training, but what if they’re not available? Unavailability can be anything from recurring school dropoff periods to working at another job.

Deputy assumes your team is available for any shift unless unavailability is added. So, make sure you include important availabilities when you’re scheduling.

  • Empower staff to do it themselves. Your staff can add their own availability by going into their Deputy profile and selecting the time they’re unavailable.

  • Add or delete an employee’s unavailability. Sometimes you’d rather keep control over adding someone’s unavailability. <span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span>

  • Review your alerts. If you attempt to schedule someone that’s unavailable, Deputy will let you know. You can either overwrite the warning or find someone else to take the shift.

5. Fill your shifts quickly with the right people

Now that you’ve got the foundation for your preferred call center schedule, it’s time to get those shifts scheduled. And you need to do it quickly.

  • Create open shifts. In Deputy, you can create open shifts that automatically send an available shift notification to your team. Your team — who fits the criteria — will receive a notification of the open shift in case they want to pick up extra hours.

  • Automate your scheduling. Whether your call center has regular staff who always works the same days or times, or has swing shifters who only come in sporadically, you can use auto scheduling to pre-populate shifts with the correct criteria. You can then tweak as needed instead of starting from scratch.

  • Enable shift swapping. Even if you create the perfect schedule, your call center staff might need to change their shift. Use Deputy’s shift swap feature to enable your team to find someone else who is equally recommended for that shift.

Calling all call centers

Ready to get your call center up and running? Try Deputy for free or contact us to talk with a representative.

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