National Express Saves Over Five Hours Per Week on Scheduling | Calabrio

National Express Saves Over Five Hours Per Week on Scheduling

5 1/2

Hours per week
saved on scheduling

Easy, ad hoc scheduling
of WFH agents

Mobile access to
agent shifts

At a Glance

Company National Express

Industry Travel

Region Europe

Products Used Calabrio WFM

About National Express

National Express is a leading passenger transportation provider with bus, coach and rail services in the U.K., North America, continental Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. In the U.K. alone, the company is the largest operator of scheduled coach services, operating high-frequency services linking more than 900 destinations across the country.

Gaining forecasting and scheduling flexibility to meet regular—and unexpected—call volumes


National Express’s busy contact center employs over 160 agents working complex shift patterns to guarantee 24/7 service every day of the year. It’s the job of contact center leaders to ensure someone is always available to respond to customer calls and the increasing number of online queries submitted via Facebook, Twitter, email and live chat—even during its busiest time of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. They also need to make sure all agents receive the required rest breaks and time off for holidays.

Yet leaders found it difficult to do it all—schedule staff shifts that comply with working time regulations, ensure staff well-being and meet the needs of the business—using their existing workforce optimization (WFO) system. Leaders had to manually intervene whenever they needed to create or change schedules. They also couldn’t forecast into the future.


The National Express management team selected the cloud-based Calabrio WFM platform to gain the scheduling flexibility and automation contact center leaders needed.

Managers use Calabrio’s automatically updated call data to easily schedule, adjust and re-run shifts in order to ensure sufficient cover, and that changes and holiday requests are accommodated.

In addition, a new staff portal powered by Calabrio WFM provides a secure way for agents to quickly, easily view and change their shifts in advance, on their own. If, for example, an agent shares the same skillsets or shift patterns as a colleague, the agents can use Calabrio’s mobile app to easily swap schedules while they’re on the go.

The biggest difference … is that our staff can see their own shifts on their mobile phones and request shift changes easily without having to get manager approval.”

Golam Rabbani –
Performance Manager
National Express


Since implementing Calabrio WFM via the cloud, National Express has accelerated its scheduling process, used actual call data to build forecasts and increased staff visibility of shift patterns.

Now, 160 contact center agents and 20 managers/team leaders use Calabrio to deliver outstanding, uninterrupted customer service for approximately 2,000 calls each day. All calls are quickly handled to resolution—even during peak rush-hours and holidays, or when instances of bad weather significantly increase inquiry volumes.

Contact center managers can see forecasts and schedules up to six weeks in advance, and get a quick view of call demand versus forecast whenever needed. They also can: track forecasts against actual calls for future planning purposes, then base new schedules upon previous data; plan overtime requests more cost-efficiently; and better manage call rates and agent breaks in order to ensure adherence to working-time legislation while minimizing the impact on service levels.

Calabrio’s inherent scheduling flexibility delivers a host of benefits to both contact center leaders and agents alike. When schedules need to be changed, leaders only have to spend 30 minutes tweaking the forecast instead of six hours rebuilding the schedule. They also can quickly and easily schedule additional work-from-home agents to cover unexpected peaks in demand—giving agents an opportunity to be available for and work more shifts than their contracts state. Agents also enjoy a newfound ability to view their shifts on mobile phones and easily request shift changes from their phones on their own, without having to get manager approval. 

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