Part 5 of 6 (Basic Zendesk Setup): Become Accountable and know how time is used



Back in the day, call centers had all kinds of standards that allowed monitoring an employee's time down to the second it seems. When I was an agent, I hated it. When I moved into Workforce Management, I loved it. Had someone explained that the bases of tracking my time wasn’t to get me into trouble, but instead to make sure we had the right people, in the right place at the right time, I may have voided the Not Ready status so much.


One of the biggest challenges we hear about in Zendesk Implementations and Optimizations is tracking how an agent’s time is used and managing people in an omnichannel (multi channel: chat, email, phones, etc) world. Not only were their challenges in tracking the time, but there were also challenges in how this practice is received by employees.


To manage time, we recommend a couple of strategies:

  1. Create a schedule by which agents adhere that tells them where to be and when. If you want them to focus on chats, schedule them for chats. Verify that they were actually handling the task as expected. Communicate accordingly.

  2. Auto assign work to the agents and allow them to track their away time with a proper category: meeting, training, personal, break, live channel, etc. Measure the amount of time they’re away by category. Communicate accordingly.


Use your findings to support one on one conversations and use these discussions to help facilitate an environment of trust. Use inquiry vs advocacy and set up expectations according to what is acceptable and what is not. More than anything. Be realistic and assume the best, or don’t assume at all.