Are You Using Your Workforce Management Solution's Tools to Best Advantage?
January 04, 2013
While most call centers use workforce management solutions to build schedules and ensure that the right agents are scheduled for the right procedures at the right time, many of these call centers simply aren’t using the solutions to their best advantage. Workforce optimization solutions have become more complicated as call center operations have become more complex, and a majority of call centers simply aren’t using these solutions and the tools they offer to maximum effectiveness.
Workforce management tools can drive transformational, positive change for agents in the contact center and the business overall, but only if companies know how to use them successfully, according to cloud-based contact center solutions provider inContact’s Patzia Dwyer in a recent blog post. These advanced workforce management tools include shift bidding, social media, scheduling change, service level agreements (SLAs), and work-life balance.
While you may know how to build a schedule that best serves your call center’s needs, what you may not know is how to maintain that schedule should unforeseen factors occur. It would be nice if every agent could work every shift and every interval you want them to, but sticking to a schedule as gospel offers little of the flexibility to agents that help them maintain job satisfaction (important to keep turnover under control).
Today’s modern shift bidding and scheduling modules contained in workforce management solutions can go a long way toward offering agents flexibility while still sticking closely to important schedules. These automated shift bidding tools help automate the process, allowing flexibility to agents while ensuring that the schedule does not suffer.
Another area it’s critical to cover with newer workforce management tools is social media. More and more call centers are finding that their agents are handling social media channels out of necessity. (After all, they are in the best position to do so.)
Social media, however, is less predictable than call traffic and requires a more careful hand in scheduling. inContact recommends you ask some questions before you embrace social media in the call center schedule: what resources will you allocate to monitor and handle posts? Do agents need additional training? If your agents are responding to posts, ensure those who are monitoring social media are providing options for getting your customers in touch with the appropriate party, writes Dwyer. Otherwise, you’ll be frustrating your customers and your agents at the same time. By using social media scheduling tool built into workforce management solutions, you can meet both the call center’s needs and customers’ needs at the same time.
WFM tools can also provide insight into other staffing issues like achieving SLAs, schedule adherence, and work-life balance, writes Dwyer. You have an arsenal at your disposal that allows you to keep these factors (and more) under control: are you using them correctly?
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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