Workforce Management (WFM) technology has come a long way from the niche, single channel workforce planning and scheduling tool it once was, to the cloud based and cohesive solution offering we have today.
The contact centre technology has developed in parallel with the evolution of the contact centre and is still seen as one of the driving tools to utilise in this environment. It has unfailingly enabled organisations to plan and schedule efficiently through workforce planning and resource planning functionality, to improve customer service and promote employee agent engagement.
A recent report on ‘The State of Workforce Management in Contact Centres – 2016’ however has shown us that 83% of respondents were experiencing challenges with their current WFM system.
WFM has been around for many years, and as a result many systems have simply become incompatible with the workforce planning demands now placed on the modern contact centre. The majority of challenges reported by our respondents, (including speed, performance reporting and scheduling time off requests) are no longer encountered in the enterprise systems of today which are quicker, cannier and more user intuitive.
To name a few, some of today’s modern functionalities of WFM includes:
Workforce Management Self-service and engagement for employees
Offers employees the opportunity to login and effectively schedule their preferred working patterns (entailing shifts, holidays and breaks) based on organisational requirements.
Multi-channel Workforce Planning for all interactions
As technology gets smarter and faster, customers of today get used to instant service – with no exception. WFM takes into consideration all agent skill sets in order to identify those that could possibly cover multiple contact types such as emails, web chat, social media and SMS.
Integration with technologies
Workforce Management provides the ability to connect with your payroll, time and attendance systems proving instrumental in reducing admin time and manual tasks. It is also possible to integrate WFM data with third party applications such as performance management to provide a 360 degree view of employee performance.
Modern workforce management solutions are without a doubt a transformative proposal for contact centre managers today, looking for a system to reflect the ever-changing dynamics of the modern contact centre and enable efficient resource planning.
As workforce management technology has evolved, so has the needs of the contact centre which has unfortunately meant not all organisations necessarily have access to the latest features or may be using them to the best of their advantage.
David Evans, Workforce Optimisation Consultant at Business Systems puts things into perspective: “Organisations today are looking for WFM that provides flexible deployment options, and true multi-channel capabilities. The key is agility and flexibility to cater for the increasingly complex customer expectations. This should be matched with an employee engagement functionality that provides self service and self scheduling options.”