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I run a small contact center with 22 agents. I’d like to use WFM but am wondering if it will deliver benefits to my organization. Can you tell me what benefits I should expect and also what I should be concerned about?

I run a small contact center with 22 agents. I’d like to use WFM but am wondering if it will deliver benefits to my organization. Can you tell me what benefits I should expect and also what I should be concerned about?

4/8/2015

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Question
I run a small contact center with 22 agents. I’d like to use WFM but am wondering if it will deliver benefits to my organization. Can you tell me what benefits I should expect and also what I should be concerned about?

Answer

Workforce management (WFM) solutions provide benefits to contact centers of various sizes. While small contact centers with fewer than approximately 50 agents will not realize as many productivity improvements, due to the inherent limitations of the erlang C algorithm used in many WFM applications, these solutions offer a variety of other benefits to operations of any size:

  • Automation of the forecasting and scheduling process – For supervisors, this eliminates the tedious and time-consuming task of manually scheduling agents. By using a WFM solution, they will be able to more rapidly manage vacation, time off, and schedule swaps. Also, supervisors will likely be able to approve requests on a more timely basis, which will improve agent satisfaction.
  • Increasing agent engagement by actively involving them in the scheduling process – Effective WFM solutions include a self-service module that allows agents to provide input about their schedule preferences, vacation requests, trades, and more. Gamification, mobile apps and social notifications are new features that are helping to increase agent empowerment and engagement.
  • Reduction in complaints of favoritism and unfairness – Using a WFM solution will reduce and hopefully eliminate complaints of unfairness in the granting of schedules, time-off requests and schedule shifts. If the WFM solution includes a rules-based workflow for automating the approval of schedules and vacations, and provides visibility into the approval process, agents will be able to monitor the status of requests.
While a well-implemented and administered WFM solution can deliver quantifiable and qualitative benefits for small contact centers, there remain legitimate concerns about the application of these solutions in smaller environments. When considering a WFM solution, discuss these concerns with the vendors and see how they can address them.

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