Workforce Management Doesn’t Have to be So Hard
By Donna Fluss
Workforce management (WFM) applications are mission-critical for contact centers. These solutions are the only way to ensure that a contact center has the right level of resources with appropriate skills to handle all inbound and outbound transactions within a pre-defined service level. Workforce management is the most disliked application in contact centers because most of these solutions are complicated and very difficult to use. In general, the core capabilities of these solutions deliver high value; the frustration is caused by poorly designed user interfaces and features that are so complex that they can only be used by quantitatively-oriented and technically trained WFM analysts.
Back in the days when WFM solutions were used predominantly by large contact centers that had at least one dedicated WFM analyst, the complexity was acceptable. But no more. Managers in contact centers with anywhere from 10 to thousands of agents want WFM solutions that can help them deliver outstanding service consistently and cost-effectively. Mid-sized and smaller environments cannot afford to dedicate one or more analysts to oversee their WFM solutions, and large contact centers would prefer less tedious and time-demanding applications.
Vendors are finally listening to their customers and starting to deliver enhanced WFM solutions. These new-generation WFM solutions do many of the same things as older versions, but in less than half the time and with a great deal less training and effort. And very importantly, like all Web 2.0 applications, the system logic is embedded in the user interface, making these solutions much easier to use and maintain.
The primary modules of these enhanced solutions will continue to be forecasting, scheduling, intra-day management, real-time adherence (RTA) and self-service. See Figure 1. This white paper explains these core capabilities and how next-gen WFM solutions should be used to optimize contact center service and performance.