Workforce management (WFM) encompasses the processes utilized by a contact center to manage their workforce. In other words, WFM involves having the right number of agents with the right skills available at the right time. WFM processes involve predicting call volumes, scheduling agents based on predicted volumes, and managing daily workforce operations.
Although properly managing your workforce may seem like a challenge, using the right call center technology can help simplify daily operations. With that in mind, here’s a look at some fundamental WFM processes.
Forecasting Call Volumes
For call centers, forecasting involves calculating future call volumes. Many call centers use WFM or Excel spreadsheets to automate the forecasting process. Automating forecasting allows call center managers to view daily trends, divide daily contact volume into reporting periods, and analyze historical call data with ease.
Bright Pattern workforce optimization (WFO) and workforce management software provide call centers with the tools necessary to automate the forecasting process and accurately forecast call volumes. WFM software uses advanced algorithms to forecast call volumes and automatically creates schedules to ensure that the right agents with the right skills are available.
According to Konstantin Kishinsky, CTO of Bright Pattern, WFO software is ideal for call centers that want to “maximize the performance levels of representatives, as well as the quality and consistency of their communication with customers while reducing unnecessary overtime expenditures.“
When scheduling agents, call center managers must consider two main factors. First, call center managers must calculate how many agents are needed during each reporting period. Call center managers should also aim to design shift patterns based on forecasted call volumes.
Investing in WFM/WFO software can help call center managers save time when scheduling agents. WFM/WFO software also provides a greater degree of time flexibility for cloud center agents. Combined with a cloud contact center solution, call centers can hire a remote workforce to provide more flexible scheduling and take advantage of diverse agent skill sets.
Whether your agents communicate with clients via chat, video, or social media, your agents’ attitude and skills matter. WFO/WFM software empowers agents, allowing them to find creative solutions and improve their customer relationship skills. Using WFO/WFM tools makes it easy for call center managers to schedule agents according to predicted call volumes. Along with accurate schedules, improved quality management procedures make agents feel engaged and empowered while handling customer interactions.
Intraday management involves managing the daily operations of your call center workforce. Although scheduling agents around forecasted call volumes is typically an effective approach, there will be times when inbound calls exceed forecasted volumes.
Additionally, in the case of technical faults, product recalls, and unannounced marketing campaigns, call center managers are responsible for restoring order. WFM teams should consider putting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place for individual situations.
WFM/WFO allows call center managers to track agent interactions, efficiently train agents, and identify potential areas of improvement. Quality management tools can further help supervisors evaluate agent performance and customer satisfaction rates. By coaching agents on improving customer interaction skills and recognizing creative solutions, supervisors can reduce agent shortcomings and maintain high customer satisfaction rates in the event of understaffing.
Keeping up with the latest call center trends can also simplify daily operations. Integrating self-service options and practical storage solutions, like cloud picture backups, can improve agent productivity and give your call center an edge over the competition. Managing seamless customer interactions across multiple channels allows customers to interact with your call center on their preferred channel, further improving customer satisfaction.
Using subpar WFM tools results in understaffing, poor customer satisfaction rates, and low agent morale. Ultimately, WFM software can contribute to the overall success of your call center by accurately forecasting call volumes, efficiently scheduling agents, and simplifying daily workforce operations.