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Workforce Management Software Eases Contact Center Complexity

People, processes and technology represent the so-called “Golden Triangle” framework that businesses have been using since the early 1960s to achieve organizational efficiency. It’s often described as a three-legged stool comprising people who do the work, processes that describe how the work should be done, and technologies that support people and processes.

Workforce management (WFM) Solutions Unite People, Processes and Technology in Contact Centers

WFM is particularly valuable in today’s contact center operations. Conventional processes and staffing requirements have been thrown out of kilter over the past two years due to technology innovations and pandemic-triggered restrictions. Remote agents working from far-flung locations now engage with customers using a complex array of communication channels and AI-powered interactions. While this offers many benefits, it also creates management challenges.

In particular, the 24×7 nature of these operations makes it difficult to forecast labor demand, create and assign employee schedules, track attendance, and evaluate agent efficiency. The challenges are amplified in organizations that still rely on manual, spreadsheet-based processes for budgeting and staffing.

In one survey of 400 contact center managers, 85 percent agreed that they need enhanced tools for scheduling and forecasting. More than a third said they must revise schedules daily or multiple times during the day. That clearly doesn’t contribute to consistent operations.

With advanced analytics, machine-learning features and increased automation, WFM solutions help resolve such challenges. Whether implemented as on-premises software or accessed through the cloud, WFM solutions help contact center managers ensure they have the right people with the right skills available to address customer needs at the right time.

Here are some of the key ways WFM solutions create balance in the contact center:

Staffing:

Machine-learning algorithms and analytics engines can evaluate historical data about the volume of calls, messages and transactions to predict times of peak demand. This helps ensure that the right number of agents are scheduled to meet anticipated volume. When automatically populating schedules, WFM solutions will also account for vacations, overtime and other availability issues.

Budgeting:

Demand-based staffing forecasts also provide important information for budgeting purposes. Accurate calculations will help managers determine when they may need to hire additional agents, or save money by reducing staff during relatively quiet periods.

Time and attendance:

Studies show that manual time and attendance tracking methods result in high error rates and compliance risks. Most WFM solutions integrate easily with payroll and accounting software to automate the process and eliminate errors. WFM can also be used to track and manage paid time off, sick leave and banked time, and help eliminate excessive overtime costs.

Onboarding:

WFM systems automate many of the tasks involved with onboarding new employees. For example, they can automatically generate tickets for the provisioning of email accounts, IT hardware and key applications, along with approvals and user login information. Document management features help ensure the coordinated delivery of tax and payroll forms, benefits packages, employee handbooks, etc. In many cases, information entered in one form will auto-populate on other onboarding documents to save time.

Performance reviews:

Workforce management solutions can track employee goals, accomplishments and review history to standardize evaluations across the organization. Additionally, analysis of annual performance reviews can be useful in identifying particular skills gaps. That data can then be used to create training programs.

The ROI of Workforce Management Software

Studies suggest that most organizations implementing WFM solutions realize reductions fairly quickly. In one recent study, companies reported saving an average of $1,614 per employee in the year immediately following the implementation. Give us a call to learn more about WFM and how it can help you achieve balance in your contact center operations.

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