In today’s advanced contact center environment, Workforce Management (WFM) should not be thought of as only a process, but a culture that uses data to drive systems and practices toward optimum results. Centers that continue to maintain their WFM practices on spreadsheets often miss out on the big picture in terms of planning and adjusting the needs of staffing. Conversely, centers that use WFM software can more readily and easily focus on the changing business needs of the center on a minute-by-minute basis. These changes include agent skill/split needs for product lines, inbound vs. outbound, voice channel vs. email or text, supervisor distribution, call monitoring, coaching, mentoring and training needs, and more.
The question becomes, “When is the best time to consider an investment in WFM technology?” It depends on your center, but generally once centers reach a level of 30-50 FTE’s, managers should consider investing in specialized software. The benefits of WFM software include:
- The ability to understand the delta between the ideal staffing from the actual, and thus realize a cost saving;
- An awareness during change management processes when building teams, queues and taking on additional business; and
- Help in aligning the center with the strategies and goals of the company.
It is also important to avoid tunnel vision. Keep your focus on those metrics that truly drive success, rather than metrics that are pushed by conventional wisdom. An example of this is the thought that the higher the level of Occupancy, the better. The truth is, that a 100% Agent Occupancy rate can become detrimental as it leads to rapid burnout. Agent Adherence should be aligned with Agent Occupancy and Shift so that it adjusts to business needs. Agents who stay over their shift by a few minutes to satisfy the needs of the caller, thus providing a higher level of caller appreciation and driving business to the company, should not be penalized for being “out of Adherence” – – a practice commonly in place.
This CallTalk Caramel was compiled and edited by Bruce Belfiore and Kamal Webb from a CallTalk episode with Adam Cincoski.
CallTalk is a monthly internet radio program featuring the most innovative managers and thought leaders in the customer contact field, interviewed by BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “Caramels” distils “Aha!” moments from these interviews into practical, bite-sized nuggets to inform and assist you as a contact center professional.