Workforce Management (WFM) solutions help contact centres with workforce planning in order to improve operating costs. The technology automates the process of forecasting and scheduling within contact centres to optimise the productivity of employees.
Why is Workforce Management important in a Contact Centre?
Workforce Management plays a vital role in improving the level of service provided by a contact centre.
In order to hit service level targets, contact centres need to ensure there are a sufficient number of agents with the right skills sets to service customers. To achieve this, workforce planners need to understand agent availability, agent preferences, and plan for expected and unexpected events.
For contact centres who are doing this manually or using Excel, it requires a significant amount of time and is often prone to human error. Using Workforce Management software, means contact centres can compile sophisticated traffic forecasts. These can be amended to reflect known events as well as factoring in the unknown, using the “what-if” scenario functionality.
What are some of the features of Workforce Management Software?
Some of the core functions of WFM software include:
- Staff Scheduling Create staff schedules that meet legal and contractual requirements as well taking into account skills, personal working time preferences and customer satisfaction.
- Forecasting Creating schedules and forecasts for short and long-term workforce planning staffing requirements.
- Real-Time Scheduling Analysing interaction volumes as they occur to provide a fast response to changing demands.
- Agent Self-Scheduling Allowing employees to actively engage in the resource planning scheduling by selecting preferred working hours or break times. This helps to boost employee engagement and motivation.
What questions should I ask my supplier when looking for a Workforce Management System?
Deciding to invest in WFM software can be a big decision for a contact centre to make. Introducing a new system and new processes requires effective change management, employee acceptance and investment of time and resources.
Here are a few questions which contact centres should consider asking potential suppliers when looking for a workforce management solution:
- Is the system easy to implement? Many contact centres may avoid installing the software because of the time it may take. However, WFM tools on the market today are now simple to set up and simple to use.
- Can the solution create intelligent workforce planning schedules? The best WFM systems will allow you to create schedules based on employee skills, preferences and experience.
- Does the system have time and attendance functionality? With time reporting and absence management functionality, it will allow you to plan better.
- Does the system emphasise employee engagement? It’s important to look for a WFM solution that makes employee engagement a high priority. This may include functionality such as Gamification or a self-serve WFM Mobile App.
- Will the system integrate with your payroll provider?
- Do they prioritise research and development? Before committing, it’s important to find out how committed the vendor is to their WFM roadmap. This also includes the features they are currently developing and where they intend to go in the future.
What are some of the best Workforce Management tools?
There are many workforce management systems for contact centres to choose from. The most important factor to remember when choosing a supplier is to ensure the WFM functionality fits the contact centre requirements. This also includes current and any future requirements.
Some Workforce Management solutions are listed below:
- Calabrio Teleopti Workforce Management: One of the most powerful forecasting tools on the market that works across multiple contact centre sites. This solution can be deployed in the cloud or on-premise. Some of the features of this WFM tool includes:
- Automated workforce scheduling
- Advanced forecasting
- WFM Mobile App (where agents can submit overtime availability, trade shifts or request holiday/absences)
- Intraday Management
- WFM capacity planning
- WFM real-time tracking
- WFM schedule adherence
- NICE Workforce Management (previously known as NICE IEX Workforce Management): Highly configurable workforce planning software. NICE WFM produces precise forecasts. It also leverages AI technology which can pinpoint the algorithm and forecasting model that will produce the most accurate results.
- Verint Workforce Management: Robust Workforce Management tool designed to plan, forecast, and schedule. Verint WFM meets the needs of contact centres, back-office and branch operations. This technology is also available via cloud or on-premise. Verint WFM leverages real-time visibility providing a graphical view of forecasted, actual and predicted contact volume.
- Puzzel Workforce Management: Fast to deploy and intuitive, Puzzle WFM is a workforce planning tool designed for contact centres to help maintain a high level of customer service. Some of the features of this tool include multi-skill and multi-media scheduling as well as Intraday Management.
- NICE CXone – WFM: (previously known as NICE inContact CXone WFM): Cloud based Workforce Management solution which forms part of the functionality modules included in NICE CXone suite. Anticipates business demands and optimises the workforce. Equipped with one of the industries most intelligent omnichannel forecasting engine.
If you’re looking for a workforce management voice solution for your organisation, then get in touch. Our Workforce Optimisation team have over 50 years worth of combined expertise.
Alternatively, if you are already using a WFM system, but would like to see if you are getting the expected return on investment from it, take 5 minutes to fill out our WFM ROI calculator.