New AI-driven workforce management solution from TalkDesk can help improve agent engagement for better customer experience outcomes.

As a focal point for customer interactions, the contact center plays a central role in the delivery of a high-quality customer experience. However, many organizations continue to struggle with outdated contact center platforms that lack the agility to respond to changing customer demands. In many cases organizations have bolted on additional communications channels and use third-party tools for workforce management.

“The old contact center infrastructure, cobbled together from a set of vendor solutions, limits the delivery of differentiated service,” wrote Forrester analysts Kate Leggett, Art Schoeller, Ian Jacobs and Laura Naparstek in the November 2018 report, Vendors Battle for the Heart of the Contact Center. “It stops contact center managers from obtaining a full, omnichannel view of customer interactions, limits their ability to forecast and schedule agents across media types, and makes it difficult to configure more-effective rules for contact flow.”

Talkdesk is a fully unified Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) solution built on a cloud-native microservices platform. The company recently introduced new agent-centric workforce management tools that are designed to improve employee satisfaction. That can produce significant increases in key performance indicators (KPIs) and reinforce the “happy staff leads to happy customers” principle.

Workforce management tools are designed to maximize employee productivity and ensure that the right employees are available at the right time. These solutions analyze transactional data to forecast workloads, and enable managers to schedule shifts to meet projected demand and skills requirements. Some solutions enable organizations to monitor employee performance and identify and track skill sets.

Talkdesk Workforce Management takes an agent-first approach to drive employee engagement and reduce stress. Powered by Talkdesk iQ, the solution eliminates manual intraday analysis to determine optimal staffing levels. Artificial intelligence (AI) technology presents recommended staffing adjustments in real time, and an intuitive interface allows users to easily accept or decline changes with the click of a button.

Agent schedule changes are simplified with self-service shift swaps and time off requests accessible from the agent desktop or their mobile device. Administrators have the option to require management approval or automate the process if the change fits within predefined parameters.

Managers also gain the visibility they need to predict and plan for hiring. Talkdesk customers can receive advanced notifications when staffing levels are expected to drop below acceptable thresholds, calculate how many agents will be needed, determine start dates and predict when new agents will reach optimal proficiency levels.

With the infusion of AI throughout Talkdesk Workforce Management, contact center leaders have the ability to automate scheduling processes to increase operational efficiency, reduce costs and minimize effort. Powerful new capabilities allow contact center managers to fine-tune staffing needs, make rapid intraday adjustments and improve schedule adherence.

“While we’ve seen several companies enter the Contact Center as a Service market with shiny, new microservices-based solutions, workforce management has, for the most part, been addressing the move to the cloud with variants of premises-based applications. It is exciting to see Talkdesk take on the challenge of throwing the proverbial Erlang C book out the window to build a true cloud-native, single platform, AI-to-the-core, WFM application,” said Sheila McGee-Smith, founder and principal analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics.