As companies embrace digital possibilities to empower their workforce and re-define the customer experience, Magnus Geverts takes a closer look at what’s next for WFM. Here, he explores how self-scheduling technology is raising the bar for employee autonomy, ushering in a new era of contact centre freedom
For many years, contact centre leaders have viewed automated Workforce Management (WFM) as their savior, eliminating many hours of time-consuming manual entry to balance their resources effectively. From building efficient schedules that take into account employee preferences, skill sets and training needs to gaining control over the multiple shift types that dominate their increasingly virtual workforce, planners and managers have relied on real-time WFM to manage the complexities of their contact centre operations.
Over time, frontline staff too have come to enjoy more control over their working lives through self-service. However, unlike their management who have already had the power to define the working day of the contact centre thanks to advances in real-time automation, customer service representatives (CSRs) and other frontline staff have often been left behind.
Beyond having increased ability to influence their schedule and request changes, CSRs are generally denied the ability to self-manage their working week or enjoy the same level of flexibility to deal with the unexpected throughout the day – until now.
Recent advancements in WFM like self-scheduling, intraday automation and planning optimization for customer-facing staff are taking workplace autonomy to a whole new level. More freedom for employees means greater freedom to achieve more, for themselves, customers and the business. So, while the concept of self-service for shift preferences, trades, overtime or time-off is nothing new, these latest innovations mark the first time that employees have the power to really manage their own schedules as unexpected life events happen on the day or as appointments pop up in the week ahead. In an instant, staff can move their lunch to take advantage of that last-minute appointment at the hairdresser or if they are planning a weekend away, they are able to move their afternoon break so they can organise it, all this while improving service levels in the contact centre.
The latest WFM solutions combine the benefits of planning optimization, intraday automation and self-scheduling for frontline employees. They provide a range of practical benefits to CSRs, planners and managers, enabling everyone to control their constantly changing work environment while giving them the tools to elevate the status of the contact centre in a highly strategic way. Use autonomous self-scheduling via innovative WFM to:
As CX takes centre stage, everyone has an important part to play and therefore the emphasis should be on giving CSRs permission to delight customers in their own way. The latest self-scheduling solutions liberate employees with a greater sense of independence, involvement and satisfaction that motivates them to experiment and excel as never before. What is more, CSRs can view their own personal performance KPIs and take part in challenging competitions through gamification, all within a single self-service application.
At the same time, reducing the demand on resource planners and managers for manual intraday and intraweek monitoring and request-handling removes the stress of drowning in frequent, last-minute changes and gives them the freedom to focus on higher-level tasks and CX objectives.
We often hear about the need for a customer experience that is personalised and frictionless so why shouldn’t it be the same for employees? Today’s emotionally intelligent, multi-skilled CSRs are in high demand and contact centres need to nurture and keep them to boost customer loyalty and drive competitive advantage. Forward-thinking organisations take the well-being of employees and the ability for them to realise their full potential very seriously. They also know that deploying the right technology helps them become progressive workplaces and attractive places to work for current and future employees. Self-scheduling capabilities allow CSRs to make changes to their own schedules throughout the day and for the coming week while enabling team leaders to maximise skills and meet agreed customer service levels – creating a win, win all round.
When frontline staff work in a helpful, flexible environment with tools that are accessible from anywhere and enable them to self-serve their working lives even when they are away from the office, they acquire the freedom to focus on delivering exceptional customer service.
Equally, offering self-schedule management in a fair and transparent way builds trust between peers and managers. Within thresholds set by their supervisors or resource planners, CSRs can quickly minimise stress and move break times or lunches to accommodate sudden home emergencies or sickness, all at the click of a button or the swipe of a mobile device.
It’s a totally fresh approach to self-service that humanises the workplace, empowers and enables staff, whether that is the frontline agent in need of scheduling freedom or the workforce planner drowning in intraday requests.
Learn how your own organisation can create a flexible, digitally enabled workforce that increases staff satisfaction, boosts team performance and drives customer success. The latest WFM solutions are designed to help organisations create the best possible employee, as well as customer, experiences. For more information on agent Self-Scheduling available now in Calabrio WFM, click below or visit https://www.calabrio.com/uk.