Don’t Rely on Luck—Your Contact Center Needs Workforce Management

Don’t Rely on Luck—Your Contact Center Needs Workforce Management

 In Best Practices

Do you believe luck plays a significant part in your own career? What about the role luck plays in driving positive business results for your contact center?

A recent simulation by two Italian physicists and an Italian economist attempted to quantify the role of luck and talent in successful careers. Their results—which correspond with studies based on real-world data—strongly suggest opportunity and luck “play an underappreciated role in determining the final level of individual success.”1 After further review, however, the researchers realized rewards and resources typically are given to those who already are highly rewarded, which in itself creates a self-fulfilling prophecy for them while creating a lack of opportunities for others most likely to benefit from such additional rewards and resources.2

As a result—in addition to “luck”—the researchers identified the following as important factors needed to give people a higher chance of success: a stimulating environment rich in opportunities, a good education, intensive training, and an efficient strategy for the distribution of funds and resources.3

Delivering the first three are relatively commonplace for most contact centers. In most cases, the programs and curriculum to meet those first three needs are already in place.

But the fourth success factor—an efficient strategy for the distribution of funds and resources—can be a challenge for today’s contact center. And luck alone won’t get you there.

Workforce Management: Your Forecasting Engine

To efficiently distribute funds and resources in your contact center, you need good forecasting. That’s because accurate forecasting helps contact centers adequately plan staffing requirements and budget estimates to meet anticipated service levels at any given time.

The result? Cost savings, thanks to reduced understaffing and overstaffing, and higher customer satisfaction, due to shorter customer wait times and an optimized customer experience.

Workforce management (WFM) is the engine you need to develop these accurate forecasts. When it comes to forecasting, WFM empowers you to:

  • Create highly accurate forecasts and schedules in only minutes, instead of days.
  • Mine historical data in order to predict future spikes and lulls.
  • Respond to surges or ebbs as they occur.
  • Reduce overstaffing and overtime.

That’s because WFM delivers improved:

  • Accuracy, by enabling forecasts and schedules to be run more frequently and easily—and in much less time—and by helping contact center leaders better assess and rectify staffing on-the-fly as needed.
  • Automation, by helping contact centers reduce the amount of time needed to forecast, schedule and manage service levels for multiple channels and multiple locations.
  • Adherence, by helping contact center managers minimize negative impact on services levels by monitoring schedule adherence in real time.
  • Analysis, by delivering improved, expanded reporting and analysis compared to what’s available with spreadsheet-based approaches.

But good forecasting doesn’t come from luck. The only way today’s contact center can develop accurate forecasts is to leverage a WFM strategy that understands—at a minimum—these four fundamental metrics:

  • Contact (call) volume. How closely the actual number of interactions handled on a daily basis match your forecasted customer interactions.
  • Handle time. The average duration of one transaction, typically measured from initiation of the customer inquiry and including any hold time, talk/correspondence time and related tasks following the transaction.
  • Daily contact arrival pattern (aka “forecast accuracy by interval”). The busiest and slowest times of the day for the contact center, and everything in between.
  • Interaction volume. The volume of interactions handled by the contact center. 

Take the City of Vancouver. By using Calabrio WFM to accurately schedule the right resources at the right time to answer the forecasted call volume, the city provides exceptional, expedient customer service effectively to its constituents while maintaining high employee satisfaction.

The City of Vancouver didn’t rely on luck to build accurate forecasting, and neither should you. It’s time for WFM.

 

1, 2 Scientific American, “The Role of Luck in Life Success is Far Greater than We Realized.” Mar. 1, 2018.

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