Published: April 08, 2014 | Comments
What triggers your initial interest in WFM? When companies add new contact center sites or when they start adding multichannel services, the first tool they reach for is often a workforce management (WFM) tool. Makes sense right? When operations get more complex, it’s time to move beyond manual processes or outdated technology. The volume and the variety of different types of interactions, requires a broader pool of skilled agents. Whether you are supporting multi-location or multi-channel operations, the task of forecasting and scheduling becomes much easier with the latest software. Real-time visibility into volume can also provide workforce managers the ability to make adjustments intraday before customers are impacted.
Message from our sponsor: Adding new process and technology sounds expensive. And we all know, there’s never enough budget to get what we really want. The good news is the cloud has changed the whole picture. Now it’s easier and less expensive to get the latest WFM software in the cloud. But wait there’s more . . .
Workforce management (WFM) tools are a great start, but it’s really just the beginning. Workforce optimization (WFO) is comprised of many processes and tools that are used for assessment and improvement of the agent and organization. With a full suite, you get powerful tools to help understand and act on four key levers: Presence, Proficiency, Performance, and Perception. All four are needed to increase success within the contact center.
We interrupt this article: Oh no, now you want me to buy MORE stuff?
Presence refers to measuring contribution, attendance, schedule adherence, and which tasks are being completed when. Workforce management tools help contact centers plan the work, and work the plan. It is a balance between the right number of people, at the right time, with the right skills. The right software will help you maintain that balance between the three.
Proficiency deals with how contact centers measure success. Quality Management (QM) is a process for continuous improvement. Evaluating the interactions on a regular basis provides consistent feedback to agents to help them improve.
Monitoring interactions across all channels is just the first step to measuring success in the contact center. Creating dynamic forms to measure behaviors that matter to your business will drive value back into your core processes. Calibration is also a necessary process within QM that will guide consistency across the organization.
Got your attention? The cloud makes the full WFO suite affordable now for companies of all sizes. And that’s not all—you can get the latest in speech analytics in the cloud as well.
Speech analytics adds another layer of intelligence that will help you identify the calls that matter to your business and quantify your biggest call drivers. The key is finding a way to leverage this type of intelligence across your resources without sacrificing your budget for the year. Training is the final piece of proficiency that will provide insight into the success of your processes.
With the proper tools you can measure the success rate of your staff in the curriculum, and if that training material is driving the desired outcomes in your business.
OK—so help me sell my boss! – We know that’s about ROI. If you spend it, will you see a difference?
Now let’s discuss how your teams are held accountable to performance metrics. Every business is tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in some way on a regular basis. Create visibility at all levels of the organization on metrics that matter to help drive improvement and accountability. Real-time performance information combined with gamification is the best way to engage your workers even more and can help facilitate change and learning new skills.
Understanding how to accurately integrate the variety of contact center systems you have tracking data, without sacrificing the quality or adding cost, is also equally important. With that said, communication is the key to driving success. Even if everything mentioned above is in place, you have to communicate goals and expectations regularly if you want to be successful. A formal coaching program opens a channel for regular communication and should be a consistent process is any contact center.
Savings plus: The cloud is eliminating the need for expensive premise hardware and software. The beauty of the cloud is that it also enables you to manage operations without heavy dependence on IT staff or professional service teams.
And the final chapter, how do customers perceive your business, your employees, and your product? A successful voice of the customer program should include a balance of indirect and direct feedback. Indirect feedback is available on every call, but the proper tools are needed to mine that data. With speech analytics you can capture all of this feedback without the extra resources or dollars. Understand why customers are calling, their reaction during a call, and what the key drivers of your business are, all without asking the customer any direct questions.
You’ll also want to gather direct feedback after the interaction with a good survey tool. When looking for a survey tool, find one that provides flexibility with delivery and also can help you drive improved service recovery. Extracting the data in a way that is shareable and also actionable is critical. Providing surveys to customers with no way to act on the feedback fast will be a waste of time and money for any business. And finally, recording integrations with surveys will allow you to replay the recorded interaction while reviewing the survey and give your managers the full picture of customer experience.
Hot tip: You can find a good WFO solution in the cloud by googling “inContact”
All of these tools are available in WFO—helping you see the big picture for your contact center operations. There are many components that you need to drive productivity and better customer experience. Finding tools to help create efficiency in process and drive actionable feedback through integration will help you find the success you’re looking for.