4 reasons to up your contact centre’s workforce management game

Sometimes when an organisation has been doing things a certain way for so long, it just comes to be called a system. Especially when it comes to a contact centre’s workforce management. No matter how many post-it notes are involved, how often a shift supervisor knows something a team supervisor doesn’t, and how many things slip through the cracks, the system keeps on being the system because overhauling it somehow seems worse than writing down a schedule change on a Big Mac box.

It shouldn’t be this way, and with modern computing technology, it doesn’t have to be.

Head in the cloud

If implementing workforce management software were known as being easy, only the most obstinate organisations wouldn’t do it. However, while implementing an automated workforce management solution is never going to be what you would call easy, it certainly doesn’t have to be hard. Nor does it have to be expensive, cumbersome to your IT staff, or reconfigured every time your contact centre grows or evolves – so long as you’re taking advantage of what cloud computing has to offer.

Yes, the ideal solution for organisations of all sizes is a cloud-based workforce management system that automates nearly all contact center logistics so managers and employees can focus on, you know, customer satisfaction. And the reasons to get on board with a cloud-based workforce management system get even more specific than that.

Reason #1: Because you envy the accuracy of weather forecasts

One of the biggest factors in contact centre success is accurate forecasting, since not having enough agents available at peak times is a recipe for customer dissatisfaction, and having too many agents available is an exercise in overspending. If forecasting were easy, however, every organisation’s contact centre would be a finely tuned engine.

A leading cloud-based workforce management solution will gather and analyze all available historical data and account for other business influences like marketing promotions or product releases to create the most accurate possible forecasts, all of which would be far too complex or onerous for even the most seasoned contact centre managers working without an automated system.

Reason #2: Because your contact centre has more channels than your TV

Whether your organisation is multichannel or omnichannel it undoubtedly offers customers many ways to get in touch. That means your contact centre is likely staffed by frontline agents doing a wide variety of jobs.

Truly effective workforce management means effectively managing the skills and talents of agents. Scheduling agents for the channels in which they are most effective and productive means better interactions for customers, agents who perform better and have increased job satisfaction and supervisors who spend less time putting out fires and issuing corrective feedback, which all adds up to overall organisational improvements. While no manager has time to analyse agent performance to that extent, cloud-based workforce management solutions are designed to get that job done in the time it would take you to snap your fingers, if you had time to snap your fingers.

Reason #3: Because your supervisors spend more time scheduling than coaching

Did you hire your supervisors because they’re just so good at scheduling? Because they have a certain finesse when it comes to deciding who should come in when? Because they thrive on getting phone calls about emergency dental appointments?

Or did you hire them because they’re excellent coaches, motivators and managers?

When you have a cloud-based workforce management system automatically doing the grunt work of scheduling and everything related to it, it frees up your supervisors to do what they’re supposed to be doing: getting the most out of your agents and ensuring your contact center is delivering a consistently exceptional customer experience.

Reason #4: Because your agents could stand to be a little more engaged

There’s telling your agents they’re important members of a team, and then there’s actually giving them the privileges and freedoms afforded to trusted, valued employees. A workforce management solution can help put employees in the driver seat when it comes to their schedules, their performance, and how their entire team operates by allowing them to easily request time off, trade shifts with other agents, and even share tips, ideas and strategies for increasing the success of customer interactions. A cloud-based system in particular gives employees this access and power from anywhere for the ultimate in convenience as well as engagement. Workforce management that empowers agents like that is worth more than any number of team-building exercises, regardless of if pizza is involved.

Looking up

Getting started with a workforce management system is understandably daunting to many organisations. The thought of a months-long implementation period alone is enough to get the whole idea firmly filed under Not Worth It, and that isn’t even taking into account the upfront costs and the headache it will be to redo the system as the contact centre grows and evolves.

This is precisely why a cloud-based system is the ideal solution for organisations of all sizes. It eliminates the upfront equipment and licensing costs as well as the need for specialised IT staff, is web-based for easy integration with any existing systems, offers much faster implementation, allows employees to access from anywhere, including outside of work, and is easily scalable for the expanding contact centre. What it lacks in old-school scribbled schedule charm it makes up for in efficiency, as well as in a distinct lack of notes written on items that otherwise belong in the trash.

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