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From Employee Optimization to Enterprise Analytics: The Transformation of WFO

The workforce optimization (WFO) market is transforming from a segment dedicated to optimizing staff performance to one that delivers employee, customer and enterprise analytics. Since the two primary WFO applications, recording and quality assurance (QA), are highly penetrated, vendors are finding new ways to leverage their fundamental capabilities and increase their usefulness to enterprises. In the last few years, innovative WFO competitors have been making investments and extending their suites beyond staff optimization to encompass a variety of customer and employee analytics. The new capabilities, which include speech, text and desktop analytics, are useful and practical. The challenge is for the vendors to prove the value proposition and benefits of these new capabilities and convince their customers to buy applications that they didn’t think they needed.

What is a WFO Suite?

As defined by DMG Consulting, a WFO suite is “a collection of integrated modules designed to capture, analyze and optimize omni-channel interactions and processes to proactively promote customer and employee engagement and satisfaction. WFO suites aggregate historical and real-time data in order to assess the performance of their front and back-office departments and staff. The findings are used to analyze the operating department to uncover the root cause of issues and provide the information needed to make data-driven changes to address the perceptions, needs and wants of customers, prospects and employees.” Full contact center WFO suites include the following 12 modules:

  • Recording – audio, screen and video recording for quality assurance, regulatory or speech/text analytics purposes
  • QA/quality management (QM) – determines how well agents adhere to internal policies and procedures
  • Workforce management – forecasts and schedules agent staffing needs
  • Coaching – tools to communicate with agents about their performance
    eLearning – learning management capabilities that provide the functionality needed to create, issue and track training courses
  • Enterprise feedback management (EFM)/voice of the customer (VoC)/surveying – omni-channel solutions that provide a holistic approach for collecting internal and external feedback that is actively solicited and passively gathered from social media, community platforms and online review sites
  • Performance management – aligns contact center activities with enterprise goals, and provides scorecards and dashboards to measure staff, team and department performance
  • Speech analytics (post-call and real-time) – captures, structures and analyzes unstructured phone conversations
  • Desktop analytics – captures, tracks and analyzes everything that happens on the agent desktop
  • Text analytics – extracts information from unstructured text-based interactions such as emails, chats, SMS, social media, etc., in order to structure it and use it to identify the reasons why people contact the organization
  • Gamification – allows departments to incorporate gaming methods and techniques in business applications and processes to enhance and improve agent/staff performance, motivate and drive ideal behaviors, and provide recognition and awards for goal achievement
  • Customer journey analytics (CJA) – provides a 360-degree view of a customer’s omni-channel interactions with an organization, and evaluates the experience every step of the way from the customer’s perspective

All contact center WFO suites come with recording, QA and coaching, and offer at least 4 of the 12 modules; few of the contact center WFO suites offer all 12. In most of the WFO suites, some of the modules are OEM’ed from best-of-breed providers. An important differentiator between WFO suites is the level of integration and data-sharing between the various modules.

What Prospects Want from WFO Vendors

Enterprises want and need the products sold by WFO vendors, both the traditional products – recording and QA – and the newer employee engagement and enterprise analytics solutions. At the same time, companies are looking for WFO vendors to make it easier for them to implement and integrate their capabilities with other operating and analytics solutions, so that they can increase the benefits of their investments. It’s time for the WFO vendors to introduce a next-generation product to the market, one designed to easily interoperate in the world of “big data” and the cloud.

Ask the Experts

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On July 10, 2015, the FCC issued a Declaratory Ruling and Order regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) in response to 21 petitions for TCPA clarification. While the order was intended to clarify several issues regarding the use of dialers, it has resulted in greater confusion for companies that sell and use dialing solutions. One area addressed in the order concerns the use of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) to place calls to cell phones… Read More

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DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.