When it comes to WFM, there are some very important things that are generally not considered. What happens when contact-center agents, the frontline soldiers of your organization, are not happy?
Traditionally, WFM adopted in the past has not been very accommodating to agents. Managers would create forecasts, plan and schedule – the latter often done arbitrarily. Ok, fair enough; some would try for a measure of fairness, if possible, on their Excel spreadsheets.
What ended up happening, and still does for some contact centers, is that a good many agents with second or even third jobs, or studying in parallel, face having to leave, due to conflicts in their schedules. This creates a never-ending, down-ward, negative spiral:
Attrition, due to agent dissatisfaction, is not much talked about but one thing is for sure; it leaves in its wake high costs, which, worse, are often intangible – ones difficult to estimate and keep track of.
Today’s WFM platforms are offering mobility. In fact, growth within the mobile side of the WFM equation is expanding in leaps and bounds. Why? Because they are necessarily adapting to this age and this generation of Millennials.
That said, there are stark differences as to what vendors provide in terms of mobility quality. By quality, I mean the extent to which agent availability, their skills set and preferences can and are taken into consideration.
In parallel, this must be balanced with the operational needs of the contact center. Which resources are best utilized where? Artificial intelligence engines analyze operational needs, based on demand, to pinpoint resource needs. Superior scheduling methodologies identify where and when to best utilize one’s resources. The advantages arising from the use of such modern, automated WFM are not only remarkable but tremendous:
Furthermore, gamification is now tied to the WFM process; a methodology or engine brought to the table that rewards agents with prizes in the form of, for example, gold, silver or bronze medals at the achievement of specific KPIs. For agents, this could mean better ranking for preference-based scheduling, time off, vacations, etc.
For some organizations today, gamification is the catalyst that pushes them to modernize their WFM. It’s the game changer: modern-day WFM with gamification implemented for KPI goal measurement. It keeps agents occupied and happy. A sense of competition gives meaning to coming to work, and staying on at the work place. Can it get better than that?
Yes it can! WFM systems today are not just limited to contact-center operations. They can and are used across the organization to manage other areas of the business – back office, ground operations, etc. – extending the same functionality and mobility to the rest of the organization’s operations.
Modern-day WFM is also a source of rich business intelligence. It also be direcly linked to e.g. salesforce.som, human resources, payroll, etc. allowing for a synergistic effect. Some vendors offer a toolkit, free of charge, allowing for a multi-brand approach.
A last word of advice for those looking to evolve or replace or upgrade their WFM: purchase a couple of extra days of consulting. Consultants take a close look at your contact-center operations to see where improvements can and/or need to be made. You’d be surprised at how many things they can come up with that contact centers never even thought about – including improvements.