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How your contact center staff is organized and managed affects your agent’s ability to perform. With today’s workforce searching for improved work/life balance, staffing schedules are growing more complex. It’s more difficult than ever to meet service level objectives, control overtime costs and accommodate the scheduling needs of your workforce.
Workforce Management solutions are designed to help contact centers meet their service level objective goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These goals are designed to help your contact center:
Working with the right tools helps contact center leaders to match the needs of their changing workforce with the goals of their organizational leadership. The DVSAnalytics webinar – Hit Your Service Level Objectives with Streamlined Staff – dives into the advantages and benefits of adding highly interoperable, cost-effective, practical workforce management solutions to your contact center.
The traditional context in our workforce is changing. The new workforce demands the ability to work from home or shared office spaces. They may want to work part-time flexible shifts or even an alternative schedule. This makes creating employee schedules to meet service goals complicated.
A good example of a flexible schedule would be a college student who can work specific hours on specific days during their current semester, but their availability will most likely change the following semester. An example of an alternative schedule would be an employee who may work a second job and desires a swing or split-shift. Or someone who’s availability is dependent on their spouse’s work schedule or childcare availability.
These staffing challenges make achieving global service goals much harder. Workforce management software needs to be able to meet this challenge to achieve service level goals by creating schedules that take into account the complex availability of today’s workforce.
Workforce management solutions enable you to schedule employees with the correct skills to meet demand without overstaffing. Forecasting software should allow for a step-by-step process to reference selectable historical call data and set variables, such as service objectives and shrinkage percentages, to generate a customized variety of forecasts. It should also allow you to vary these elements and visualize the impact to your staff plan.
A good workforce management solution will allow management a view into real-time call center data, such as forecast performance and agent schedule adherence. Agents should be able to access their own adherence data. Empowering agents through transparency is important to contact centers. Their adherence data is a good example of this.
A key benefit of workforce management software is the ability to communicate with agents about schedule events, such as upcoming meetings and breaks, along with schedule changes, time off requests and schedule adherence. An additional bonus is the availability of an agent-facing mobile application. So there’s an app for that. Today’s contact center employees prefer accessing their schedules the same way you do everything else; on their phone.
We recently completed a case study on a credit union. This credit union had a call center with 75 agents exceeding 65,000 contacts per month. Their goals were to automate the scheduling process and decrease average handle time while improving customer service.
Using a workforce management solution to reference historical contact data, they were able to create a more effective staff plan which enabled them to reduce the average-speed-of-answer, abandoned calls, and overtime expenses. They were also able to reduce answer-time by 81 percent and reduce overtime costs.
Most contact center workforce management solutions have the ability to relate an agent to a time zone, and a good solution would be able to use those agents appropriately as the demand from the forecast calls for throughout time zones.
One of the main abilities of contact centers these days is having agents that have the ability to handle multiple skills, and being able to take those multiple skills into account when creating staff plans. This can reduce the amount of work hours you need and can make the whole staff plan more efficient.
Do Workforce Management Solutions integrate with payroll and HR systems, such as time clocks? Yes, they typically do. Many customers want the ability to handle time-off requests between the two systems, and they also want to be able to track when agents come to work. If an agent’s punching a time clock, it’s good for the workforce management software to know that the agent is at work.
With the Encore® Workforce Management software, our licensing model is based on scheduled agents only. So, if I have 200 agents in my contact center, I would need 200 licenses. Basically a license for each agent that I would like to schedule. There are no licenses for supervisors to login as administrators, schedulers or agents.
As a courtesy, a recording of the DVSAnalytics webinar – Hit Your Service Level Objectives with Streamlined Staff – is now available for viewing at your convenience.