Your Overtime Just Got a Lot Smarter

Schedule Smart, for a Better Managed Crew and Happier Customers

Being truly successful in today’s broad service industries comes down to outstanding year-round Customer Service. Unfortunately, for many

businesses, Customer Service demand can vary widely from month to month or season to season. Providing the service your customers demand can depend on having the right people in place at the right time. But keeping all of them in place, all the time, will quickly break your budget.

Overtime pay, if not planned for and budgeted for correctly gets exceedingly expensive. Though it probably only happens at certain times of the year, there are things you can do to minimize the cost and still meet the needs of both employees and customers.

We spoke with Andrea Altamirano, scheduling manager at a mid-size travel agency and timeshare scheduling agency. Most of her clientele want to travel in July and August, and November through Mid-February. Of course, they book all those trips anywhere from 2 to 4 months in advance.

“We go from a full time staff of about 35 people answering the phones, to really needing 70 people working anywhere from 10 – 14 hours a day.

“They don’t all do it every day, but we rely on people who can juggle knowledge of about 30 different, really important factors. Every call requires total expertise, and total commitment to the customer.”

Outsource the whole department?

“We couldn’t do it and expect the same attention to quality, and the time we would spend training would never be able to catch up with the job we really need to be able to watch over. We’re watching over 35 full time and another 35 part-timers for a good six months out of every calendar year.”

The heaviest season, between March and May can see payroll almost double.

But availability and longer hours of operation are balanced with a schedule that operators can check from anywhere. More of the management is done by the operators themselves and every operator is limited in the amount of overtime they can or need to work. Shift managers actually keep an eye, automatically, on part-timers’ availability.

More flexibility is built into the system each week, so that even though all employees are working more hours, they’re able to schedule when they’ll do them. They even coordinate with the shift manager through the internet and through their own smartphones so that every shift is well covered, and every call is answered by a fresh voice.

“We end up being the voice for the whole company, so as frustrating and hectic as it gets, we have to be on point when the phone rings, even 10 hours into a shift.”

Ximble allows Andrea to shine in the eyes of the company while basically outsourcing the tough part of scheduling, and still retaining employees who get more control, and more responsibility. All of that used to be Andrea’s headache.

Today, with Ximble in her corner, its just a walk in the park.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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