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Workforce Management Software

Workforce Management FAQs

10 min read
Author Business Systems UK
Date Aug 13, 2018
Category Workforce Management

Are you considering implementing a Workforce Management solution? Do you have a number of questions that need to be answered first? With a wealth of WFM experience under our belt, we address the most frequently asked questions when it comes to Workforce Management technology.

Do I need Workforce Management?

Depending on the size of the contact centre, setting up schedules can be far too complex to be handled in a simple spreadsheet, and this is where Workforce Management, with advanced workforce planning and forecasting features, comes in.

How long will it take for me to get a return on my investment from WFM?

This can depend on a number of different variables such as how many agents you have / if you used to use excel/ how flexible your staff can work/ if you are currently under or overstaffed.

If you need assistance building a business case for Workforce Management,  then why not fill out our useful WFM ROI calculator?

Can I use historical data to help build my forecasts with a Workforce Management system?

Yes. With many Workforce Management solutions, you can use the data from your telephony switch and/or upload data in a set format from a file.

Can I build and compare “what-if scenarios” so I can make an informed decision when planning ahead? 

Yes this can definitely be done with a WFM tool where you can easily build scenarios and compare. e.g What if we introduce a marketing campaign how will that impact our volume profile and demand? What if we blend our agents across different skills – how will that impact our demand and profile?

Do some Workforce Management tools make use of a mobile app for users? 

Yes, and this includes push notification for significant schedule changes encouraging flexibility and empowerment for both agents and contact centre supervisors.

Can WFM tools work across different customer contact channel types such as chat and email as well as phone? Will the tool evolve with my business as we bring more channel types on-board in the future?

Yes, some Workforce Management (WFM) solutions will not only accurately forecast and schedule your call volumes but will also do the same for other customer contact types such as email and chat.

By entering the below details for example, the tool can accurately predict staffing requirements for email and chat customer contact types:

  • Parallel tasks (For chat agents the number of chats completed at the same time)
  • Handled within (For email agents – Target for email completion)

Can the WFM tool work with multi-skilled agents?

Yes, Workforce Management software can schedule agents across different skills and channels within the same day based on where your demand requires it. This greatly helps with resource planning.

In addition, proficiency can be built in which reflects the ability of an agent at a given time period. For example, a new agent will be less proficient on a particular skill than an agent with long tenure.

Would my agents be able to view schedules in advance?

Yes with a Workforce Management solutions you can create forecasts years in advance but publish for let’s say a month only, meaning creating and publishing dates for forecasts can be different.

Do Workforce Management tools have any real-time functionality so I can manage adherence to my plans?

Yes, some WFM systems have a dedicated real-time module. This means you can tailor alarms to proactively spot issues before they become significant. Contact centres have also found the real-time adherence functionality within WFM software to work exceptionally well for when agents are remote working.

Do Workforce Management tools have reporting functionality?

Yes, many solutions have a dedicated reporting module. This means you will be able to run reports from site/department/team and agent levels.

Can WFM tools handle holiday and overtime requests?

Yes, WFM tools allow agents can book holidays or overtime requests by the mobile app or desktop. As an alternative, requests can also be fully/part automated or manually approved.

Can I re-optimise on the day?

Yes and you can isolate certain activity – i.e.: choose not to optimise (move) any coaching sessions as you don’t want them altered for that specific day, greatly helping with your workforce planning.

Can I use previous days or call profiles to build my forecast for events that impact my business?

Yes you can build in not only the volume but the profile of when you are likely to reach these volumes – I.e.: a spike in the morning or drops in the evening.

Can Workforce Management tools handle shift trading?

Yes based on rules set up this can be automated or the decision for approval sent to the planner.

Our team of WFM consultants are here to help.

If you need advice on WFM, whether it be exploring Workforce Management for the first time or upgrading your existing system, get in touch.

Our solutions are deployed across some of the largest Contact Centres in the UK. Our customers are using our tools to efficiently plan, forecast and schedule their workforce planning on a day-to-day or hour-to-hour basis.

What is workforce planning?

Workforce planning is the business operation of evaluating labour supply (skills) against the demand . It includes analysing the current workforce, determining future workforce needs, identifying the gap between the present and the future, and implementing solutions so that an organisation can accomplish its mission, goals, and strategic plan.

The core essence of workforce planning is about getting the right individuals, with the right skills employed in the right place at the right time, at the right cost and the right contract to help accomplish a businesses short and long-term objectives. Workforce planning can have a positive long-term effect on an organisations performance through better decision making about the future people needs of the business.

At BSL we offer Workforce Management solutions (WFM) for workforce planning, you can learn more here.