Real-Time Intraday Management is a Game Changer
Workforce management (WFM) is an essential productivity tool designed to ensure a department has the right number of resources with the right skills at the right time to handle the anticipated volume. Personalized service is a priority today, and operating departments that are complex and employ hundreds of people with a wide variety of skills need a sophisticated WFM application to determine which resources must be available to get the job done. Companies require solutions that are flexible, easy-to-use and precise, so that they can accurately forecast capacity requirements (also known as volumes) and schedule staff to meet demand. However, even the most accurate WFM solution cannot plan for unexpected events – such as “acts of God,” widespread illness or system errors – which can render forecasts ineffective. All of these events can impact the volumes of incoming interactions, the staff resources available to handle them, and sometimes both. For a department to be able to adjust its staffing levels rapidly enough to keep up with unexpected changes, it’s essential to have a WFM solution with an intraday management module that adapts to the unpredictability of daily business in real time.
Today, most of the intraday management modules that come standard with WFM solutions alert managers about issues after they happen, but do not provide specific guidance about how to correct the problem or, even better, automatically fix the staffing imbalance. These modules do not help managers adhere to service levels because administrators have to go through the complex and time-consuming process of manually reforecasting and scheduling. By the time the new forecast and schedule are created, the situation may have changed again, so the recommendations won’t be very useful.
Introducing New Real-Time Adaptive Scheduling Capabilities
The market needs enhanced intraday management capabilities that can automatically identify and fix unanticipated changes in demand and resources. DMG refers to these new intraday capabilities as real-time adaptive scheduling for WFM. The intraday management module has to be able to identify out-of-adherence situations, re-forecast, determine the skills and resources required to address the new projections, and then fill the schedule with appropriate employees. The new adaptive solutions are designed to respond in real time and fully automate the process of ascertaining which resources are needed. These modules proactively address changing needs – schedule alterations may be in progress before the WFM administrator and contact center manager are even aware of a problem. The system tells management how a staffing situation is being addressed, allowing them to meet their service level commitments even in challenging conditions. This is a significant enhancement for contact centers, and can save outsourcers thousands of dollars by avoiding penalties for failing to meet service levels.
Real-time adaptive scheduling capabilities can be acquired from third-party vendors, Intradiem and Workflex, and should be fully integrated within a WFM solution to optimize their effectiveness. Companies can enhance the effectiveness of their real-time adaptive scheduling module by integrating into it data from many systems, including: the ACD, customer relationship management (CRM) system, quality management, speech analytics and performance management.
Real-Time Intraday Management Improves the CX and Employee Experience
The goal of the new intraday management solutions is to make sure that the contact center is staffed with the right resources at all times, even when it’s impacted by unexpected events. To achieve this objective, these modules must come with mobile apps that facilitate two-way communications between the organization and its employees. The application must use automated rules to identify opportunities and communicate them without delay to employees, who are encouraged to respond immediately. These modules must be able to process thousands of changes per second, changing many of the traditional dynamics of contact centers for the better. The new real-time adaptive scheduling modules will enable companies to deliver a consistent service level while also addressing staff expectations for flexibility and fairness in the workforce.
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.