Call Center Management Feature Article
February 01, 2010
Healthcare Company Select's Monet Software's WFM Solution to Improve Call Center Operations
By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet
For years now the healthcare industry has lagged behind other industries in terms of adoption of communications and process automation technologies. In a way, it is surprising when one considers the many opportunities healthcare organizations have had to streamline their operations over the years, using technologies such as VoIP, teleconferencing, unified communications, speech-enabled self-serve systems (e.g. IVRs), CRM and ERP software, mobile communications, M2M and biometrics -- technologies that enterprises operating in other industries have been benefitting from for a decade a more.
Blame it on government regulation and compliance, blame it on a need for system reliability, blame it on complacency and a desire to maintain the status quo, the healthcare industry has been slow to migrate from manual, paper-based processes to communications-based and/or automated technology solutions.
One thing seems to be certain: If government healthcare reform passes, healthcare organizations will have no choice but to adopt new technologies that can help cut costs and improve efficiencies. In fact, it can be argued that they have no choice but to move in this direction anyway -- regardless of whether government healthcare reform passes.
Already, automated telephone systems and call centers are playing an increasingly important role in the healthcare industry. Many organizations are now making use of automated communications technologies to facilitate services such as nurse triage, patient transfer, disease management, automated proactive alerts/messaging, physician referral, surveys and dissemination of health information. They’re also using call centers to handle a wide range of interactions – outbound and inbound, informational and transactional – between doctors, patients, administrators, suppliers, vendors and other healthcare organizations.
As the call center plays an increasingly important role in the healthcare industry, investment in call center technology is expected to increase -- and call center software vendors stand ready to capitalize on new opportunities.
For example, Monet Software
, a leading provider of cloud-based call center workforce management solutions, recently announced the expansion of its healthcare customer base with the implementation of its Web-based workforce management solution at a health and human services call center company.
Monet Software’s Monet WFM Live
solution enables organizations to increase call center operational efficiencies and reduce staffing costs, while at the same time improving customer service. The system sports advanced analytics capabilities that allow call center managers to forecast, with a high degree of accuracy, how many agents will be needed for any given shift. This is achieved through integration with the call center ACD, or automated call distributer. Using historical call data captured from the ACD, Monet WFM Live is able to apply algorithms to the data to forecast call volumes. This, in turn, allows call center managers to schedule the proper number of agents.
This forecasting capability gives today’s WFM systems a huge advantage over spreadsheets and other “manual” systems for scheduling agents. It’s an important capability because, as most people know, labor is the single biggest cost facing any call center. For this reason, call center managers must be able to properly balance agent resources with call volume: Over-schedule for any particular shift and you’ll have agents sitting around idly, waiting for calls to come in. Under-schedule and call hold times will increase and customer satisfaction will plummet.
Because Monet WFM Live is a fully Web-based system that means it is simple, fast and affordable to deploy. All that is really needed are the computers and high speed Internet connection: There is no need to invest in new hardware or network infrastructure. The software is delivered via the software-as-a-service model, which means organizations lease the software on a subscription basis. In addition, because the software is delivered as a managed service -- much like a utility -- that means Monet Software takes on responsibility for application performance, including maintenance and troubleshooting of hardware and network infrastructure. This greatly reduces the strain on an organization’s internal IT department.
Not only does this powerful workforce management solution help managers forecast call volume and schedule accordingly, it also offers real-time adherence
and intra-day management
, thus bringing new levels of flexibility and accuracy to daily call center scheduling. With this comprehensive system, call center managers can rapidly create a flexible agent schedule, proactively compare planned agent activity to actual activities throughout the day, and analyze schedule adherence and other key performance indicators with real-time reports.
'We are very excited to welcome more call centers from the healthcare industry to our customer base,' said Chuck Ciarlo, CEO of Monet Software, in a release. 'An increasing number of call centers are choosing Monet's cloud computing-based solution because they have out-grown their scheduling spreadsheets, and shy away from the large investment of on-premises WFM software.'
To learn more about how Monet Software’s Web-based workforce management system can boost your bottom line, be sure to check out the upcoming free webinar, “Increase Revenues through More Accurate Scheduling,” to be held at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET), this Thursday, Feb. 4. Ciarlo, who successfully owned and operated multiple call centers, will explain how forecasting, scheduling and agent adherence impacts revenues of your call center; how to monitor and manage key scheduling metrics to increase revenues; and how a workforce management solution helps automate this process.
Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.
To register for this informative free webinar, click here
Edited by Patrick Barnard
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