HANDLE YOUR CONTACT CENTER WORKFORCE LIKE A PRO
Managing a contact center can sometimes be a challenge, and your operations’ success often depends on your ability to properly manage your most valuable asset, your people. This is where workforce management (WFM) comes in – a set of key practices that help contact center managers intelligently optimize their productivity by forecasting demand, scheduling agents, and monitoring daily performance in real time.
With the right workforce management strategies in place, you’ll be able to boost efficiency, cut expenses, and ultimately improve the overall customer experience. But where do you begin? In this article, we’ll take a look at the key components every contact center workforce management strategy should have, from forecasting and scheduling to shift assignment and performance tracking.
Whether you’re new to the contact center as a service (CCaaS) industry or already a seasoned pro, keep reading to learn more about what WFM is all about and gain useful insights on why it’s a must for your contact center.
WHAT IS CONTACT CENTER WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT?
Simply put, workforce management is a set of strategies and technologies that companies put into practice to boost employee productivity. In a contact center, this means ensuring that the right number of employees, with the right set of skills, are scheduled at the right time to handle your customers’ demands.
It’s like being the captain of a ship. You need to steer your team in the right direction, navigate the choppy waters of customer demand, and ensure that everyone is working together to achieve the same goal – building and delivering exceptional customer experiences.
At its core, workforce management involves predicting how many passengers (i.e., customers) will be boarding your ship and assigning the right number of crew members (i.e., agents) to keep everything running smoothly. This is particularly important in today’s fast-paced business environment, where customers expect fast, responsive service at all times. By expertly forecasting demand and scheduling your agents based on their skills, you can create seamless customer experiences in every interaction, across every channel.
In addition to keeping your ship afloat, effective workforce management can also help you chart a course to greater efficiency and profitability. By monitoring your contact center’s performance in real time and constantly identifying opportunities for improvement, you can find the perfect balance between agent well-being and exceptional customer service.
This might sound easy at first glance, but it truly is quite a difficult task. It’s like balancing a stack of plates while tap dancing on a tightrope – one wrong move and everything can come crashing down. The good news is that today, there are countless workforce management tools that can help you keep those plates spinning and your team staffed appropriately to meet even the most demanding of client needs.
HOW DOES WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT WORK?
Workforce management is a difficult but critical procedure in a contact center. You must forecast agent workload, create timetables based on client demand, and respond to issues as they arise as quickly as possible. You can, however, master it while keeping your customers happy if you use the right tools and technologies.
Properly forecasting customer demand is the first step in any good workforce management strategy. This entails sifting through historical data, identifying trends and patterns, and accounting for external business factors (e.g., marketing campaigns or product launches). Once you’ve mastered it, you can begin creating schedules to guarantee that the proper agents are available. And if things don’t go as planned (which they inevitably won’t), you can respond in real time, modifying timetables and moving resources to keep your customers happy.
But customer demand prediction is just the beginning. You must also guarantee that your agents have the necessary skills and abilities to appropriately manage each interaction. This requires creating a skill-based scheduling system that connects agents with the right types of requests based on their competence. By doing so, you can reduce transfer rates, shorten handle times, and maximize first contact resolution.
Finally, successful contact center workforce management isn’t just about being reactive – it’s also about being proactive. By evaluating your data and monitoring key performance indicators (e.g., SLA, average handling times, and customer satisfaction), you may identify issues before they become problems and take actions to prevent them from recurring. Using real time reporting and analytics to make data-driven decisions and adjust strategies as needed.
In short, effective contact center workforce management is a challenging but rewarding task that involves planning, data analysis, and new technologies. With the right approach and the proper tools, you can provide an unparalleled customer experience while keeping your contact center running at top efficiency.
5 MAIN COMPONENTS OF CONTACT CENTER WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
We already cleared that effective workforce management is key to running a successful contact center and that you need the right software to help you balance workload and agent well being. Now, it’s time to focus on the main tools any workforce management system should have.
From forecasting demand to intraday management, here are the top 5 features we consider any good workforce management module should have:
Forecast of multichannel demand
As its name indicates, this feature helps you predict how many agents you’ll need to meet customer demands across multiple channels and at different times of day, taking into consideration a wide variety of factors (e.g., seasonal demand, holidays, promotions, and more) using advanced algorithms.
Once you have an accurate demand prediction, you must develop schedules that correspond to that demand as well as agent availability. This includes factors such as employee preferences, expertise, and time off requests, as well as swings in demand.
With this feature, you’ll be able to build schedules that maximize your staffing number and guarantee that your team is always accessible to answer client interactions. You may also need to set up rules that update schedules automatically and in real time when situations change; such as unanticipated spikes in call volume or unexpected agent absences due to illness or similar.
Well, you’ve already projected demand and created a plan to meet it. It’s now time to allocate the right employees to the proper tasks so that your clients get the finest, most personalized service possible. This feature considers agent skills, experience, availability, workload, customer preferences, and other business requirements.
Give agents the tools they need to efficiently manage their time. Allow them to view their own agendas, request time off, switch shifts with other teammates, and self-manage other aspects of their workday by giving them access to their own profiles. This way, you’ll reduce the administrative load on supervisors by ensuring that each agent can manage its own time and workload with a single click.
Finally, all good contact center workforce management systems should guarantee effective intraday management. What’s that? Basically, being able to react to issues as they arise in real time, such as peaks in demand or any unexpected change in the agents’ agendas.
In reaction to these unpredictable challenges, supervisors may swiftly change schedules and allocate agents to tasks using this workforce management tool, ensuring that customer service levels stay high and agents are able to work effectively.
While we’re aware there are many existing workforce management systems in the market, we also believe that when it comes to successful contact center workforce management you want a holistic solution that can do it all.
And the good news is that with uContact, our all-in-one CCaaS solution, you get everything you’d expect from a standalone workforce management system – plus a whole lot more.
WHY IS WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT ESSENTIAL FOR CONTACT CENTERS?
If you manage a contact center, you know that your customers expect quick and efficient service, no matter what time of day they reach out. However, managing your agents to meet these expectations can be a challenge. That’s where workforce management comes in – it’s the key to keeping your contact center running smoothly.
Without good workforce management, you risk putting your agents under unnecessary stress, which can lead to burnout and high turnover rates. As a result, the quality of your customer service may suffer, resulting in client frustration and possibly a loss of business.
One of the main advantages of workforce management is that it enables contact centers to optimize staffing levels. Contact centers may guarantee that they have adequate people to handle incoming calls without overstaffing and incurring needless expenditures by precisely predicting demand and scheduling agents accordingly.
Workforce management software can also help contact centers identify call volume trends and patterns, which can be utilized to enhance staffing levels and better align your team with actual demand.
Another significant benefit is that it may boost agent performance and job satisfaction. Contact centers may reduce agent turnover and boost customer satisfaction by establishing clear and consistent agendas for agents and ensuring that they have the necessary skills and training to handle all sorts of interactions.
Plus, workforce management can also help to lower agent burnout by making sure they are not overloaded with work and have enough time between shifts to rest and recharge batteries.
But most significantly, workforce management ensures that contact centers are meeting the demands of their clients in a timely and efficient manner. By making sure that there are enough agents available to handle interactions and that they have the right skills and training to resolve client concerns, contact centers may provide quicker and more efficient service. This then leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
In a nutshell, workforce management is key to the success of any type of contact center or enterprise communication. With the right tools and a solid strategy in place, you can ensure that your contact center is running like a well-oiled machine. But it’s not only about efficiency and productivity (though they are both certainly important). It’s also about delivering better experiences for your customers.
When you have the right number of agents with the right abilities in place, you can reduce wait times and the likelihood of customers being transferred or put on hold for long periods of time. This may assist to boost client happiness and loyalty, as well as your bottom line.
WHAT IS WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE, AND WHY SHOULD YOU USE IT?
Contact center workforce management software is a vital tool for streamlining operations by estimating client demand, scheduling agent shifts, assigning agents to tasks, measuring agent productivity, and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time. It gives contact center managers a complete picture of their overall operations, increasing productivity and boosting the customer experience.
At its heart, contact center workforce management software is designed to simplify the scheduling and administration of your agents, ensuring that you have the appropriate people in place at the right time to provide exceptional customer service.
While there are many workforce management systems available on the market, uContact is a contact center, all-in-one solution that offers a complete workforce management module designed to help businesses of all sizes optimize their contact center operations.
With uContact’s native WFM module, contact center managers can enjoy all the benefits of a standalone workforce management tool while also having access to a wide range of contact center management features, such as automatic call distribution (ACD), auto-dialers, interactive voice response (IVR), omnichannel engagement, and more.