Buying a Workforce Management Solution: What You Should Know
Contact center managers face challenges every day that impact workforce efficiency and effectiveness. The customer experience and contact center revenue generation are at stake. Workforce Management can play a vital role in overcoming or mitigating the impact of these challenges while still delivering on service level agreements within operating budgets.
When selecting a Workforce Management system for your organization, you should make sure it can help you achieve the following goals:
• Reduce over and understaffing
• Increase control of schedules
• Monitor compliance and quality
• Improve process efficiency
• Make better usage of training budgets
• Analyze root causes to improve processes and Key Performance Indicators
• Reduce operational overhead
Here are some Workforce Management capabilities that are essential to achieving progress toward these goals:
• Define ‘external events’ that impact the forecast
External events such as thunderstorms, floods or other events like marketing campaigns can influence your center’s performance. You should be able to carve out these events from your historic information, or insert them at the moment they happen so that you can better analyze the impact based on previous occurrences.
• Simulate forecasting scenarios
For strategic planning and tactical purposes you want to create multiple forecast scenarios to understand what the staffing and cost implications are. What happens if volume grows 5% each year and how do performance outcomes change?
• Track capacity
The Forecasting program should utilize historical data of contact shrinkages or expansions which can be applied to a forecast at the interval level. This greatly improves the accuracy of your staffing.
• Build schedules across multiple sites
Each individual site is taken into account when building schedules so that meals, breaks, meetings and task sequences may be accounted for as a whole, rather than on a site by site basis.
• Build schedules based on employee skill sets
Agents should be scheduled to meet the forecast demand for their particular skill sets, so that the right person is available to handle a specific type of call at the time it arrives.
• Specify agent requirements per service
As an outsourcer, you may need to generate the most efficient schedules possible with a limited workforce specified by your clients. Setting workforce limits for a given service will help you provide optimum performance within a client’s budget.
Real Time Management
• Compare forecasted, scheduled and actual data
Understanding what the deviations are between what you forecasted, how many employees you scheduled and what the reality is gives you actionable data to make real time decisions when you are not reaching your performance objectives.
• Real time adherence
Employees do not always adhere to the schedule you give them. Having real time insight as to what your employees should be doing and what they are really doing will help provide a better customer experience and ensure consistent occupancy.
• Visual Cues
Visual cues automatically activate when the variance between expected values and actual values breaches a specific threshold. This helps reduce the time of detecting a problem and taking action.
• Trend reports
Multi-day reports using intraday data for contact center and workforce performance help you easily spot trends that impact business operations.
• Export information to external systems
Some of your other information systems, like HR or payroll, may need information generated by your workforce management solution. You should be able to make this information accessible to other systems vital to your center.
• Request time off
Team members can use an agent-oriented web forms to request time off. Based on configurable rules, these requests can be granted or revoked automatically or by a team leader or manager.
• List your preferences
If an employee prefers not to work on a Wednesday afternoon or prefers the afternoon shift or the morning shift, these preferences can be automatically taken in to account when the schedule is built.
• Trade shifts
Trading helps organizations find the right balance between a schedule that matches your objectives and a flexibility that benefits your team agents. Within the rules you have defined, team members can trade a shift without compromising your service level.