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Running a business means serving the customers when they call for help without keeping them waiting. 50% of customers, according to a trend report by Zendesk, want a response in less than 5 minutes. Moreover, customers prefer and have high expectations to receive a quick solution via call than any other means.
All these suggest that you need to have your contact center filled with agents and also utilize workforce management to keep your customers satisfied.
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Workforce Management is a procedure used by organizations to improve the productivity of the agents and performance efficiency. WFM ensures that employees with proper skill sets are staffed at the right time to tend to the customer’s needs. A goal, “service-level”, is set by contact centers to establish what they want their agents to respond to the customers and solve their queries.
In a call center workforce management, agents have to operate through a set cycle of procedure:
For calculating your Average Handle Time (AHT), you need to gather some data which includes your total talk time, total hold time, and after-call work (ACW) time. By adding all of them and dividing by the total number of calls, you can get your average handle time.
includes calculating the volume of inbound calls and predicting the future workload of the agents.
Identifying trends, spikes, and dips in customer calls help forecast the future workload. Also, studying upcoming campaigns, historical data, and trends can tell you if you need to staff up the contact center to manage the customer’s calls.
ensures that in case of an unexpected increase in the volume of calls, the number of staff/agents can meet the service required. Also, the management needs to ensure that the agents are doing their scheduled work during the time intervals.
Quickly identifying an unpredicted increase in calls, for example during press coverage, or product recalls, workforce management analysts work fast to resolve the issue before it can disrupt the workflow.
implies the need for scheduling employees at the contact center at the right times. Customers call a contact center with the expectation of getting their issue resolved at any time of the day.
A WFM can provide you with live data/real-time data that can help you and your team identify if the volume of customer calls is exceeding the agents scheduled.
The supervisors plan the staff shifts according to the call trends and the skills the agents have. Having the right staff available impacts positively in the service levels.
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Contact centers are a part of the industry that is continuing to grow and become complex. However, there are 41.3% of call centers still operating without WFM, according to Dimension Data. These call centers are still manually scheduled using a spreadsheet which was widely used until recently to create static schedules.
However, the call center agents have a diverse and increased workload than before. They have to handle different types of transactions throughout the day through multiple channels. The spreadsheet cannot serve the increasing work and nor can it meet the needs of customers.
Workforce Management can help the contact center efficiently and benefit the organization as well.
Satisfied employees with a proper job to perform feel capable and valuable for the company. With the introduction of self-service features, agents are expected to resolve more complex queries. This requires the agents to be properly trained on the skills needed.
Often many call centers even when understaffed, cancel training sessions of their employees to meet the high volume of demand. This leads to the agents pushed to the edge and they leave due to frustration.
WFM ensures proper training, maximum work/life balance, feedback, and support to the agents. These can enhance the happiness and satisfaction of the agents. Low recruiting cost and an increase in agent engagement are the benefits a WFM provides.
Consistent customer experience is the priority of any contact center. Customers when they call the company to share an issue they want the issue resolved regardless of whether it is an AI or an agent. Their ultimate expectation is to have the information they called for and the information is accurate.
Similarly, the call center’s aim is to resolve and help the caller in any possible way and reduce the hold time. Workforce management can ensure a smooth flow of work and meet these expectations.
Planning a proper schedule and managing the resources is a crucial part of when spending a budget. WFM can ensure your budget is not wasted by overstaffing the contact center when scheduling agents for the upcoming work. Also, ensures the quality of interaction and maintains the level of work performance.
The WFM tools permit the analysts to schedule the work for the employees much faster than the spreadsheet. Moreover, the employees also have a certain amount of control over their schedule. They can switch to self-service in order to go for their training sessions or meetings. Also, they can work from anywhere because the software allows them to do so .
While the spreadsheets have become outdated, the advanced Workforce Management software offers constant support to the call center and the agents. WFM is designed to improve scheduling, enhance the engagement of agents, and efficiently optimize workflow and reporting.
Manual spreadsheets as used previously are time-consuming and prone to error. Moreover, it forces the analysts to forecast and schedule only 1 to 4 times a year. This leaves the contact center understaffed for the rest of the year.
Workforce Management software is created to run forecasts and schedules frequently and easily. This ensures that the contact center responds to the fluctuation and staffing issue more readily. Moreover, it provides the option to reschedule without starting all over again.
The supervisors can access the forecast with the help of visual reporting and solve situations of over/understaffed. Moreover, the WFM system allows the supervisors to identify the best times to organize other activities.
WFM software can forecast and schedule a hundred times more in the same amount of time a spreadsheet takes to craft a single forecast and schedule. WFM automation also enables the analysts to run the day-to-day work in automation while focusing on other ad hoc requests.
Automation features are set on the rules according to your business. It can approve or deny a request made by an agent for time-offs, meetings, or even if they try swapping schedules with another agent. It reduces the burden on the supervisors.
Also, evaluation by automation is conducted under the rules of the company and it eliminates any personal preference.
The software of Workforce Management makes the process to create reports easy needing no help from IT. Also, you can auto-run reports at set intervals.
It also enables supervisors and analysts to receive real-time reports revealing trends in staffing, call volumes and also provides access to data which can extend to agents as well.
The WFM system allows the agents to select their own schedule. Also, the tools can automatically predict the agent’s availability and time off when scheduling their work.
The self-service features benefit the agents as they can take time off for training or meetings by setting their system up for self-service.
Moreover, the agents can also schedule their work from anywhere and any device. This leads to more engagement on the agent’s part giving them more flexibility.
At times when unpredictable workloads impact, the dynamic scheduling tool can help adjust the schedule of the agents in real-time. This tool can organize the lunches and breaks of the agent to align with the new workload.
Dynamic scheduling enables opportunities for overtime in case of high work pressure. Additionally, not only during unexpected high volume of calls but also during slow periods, the WFM system can offer voluntary time-off to the agents.
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