Call Center Management Feature Article
May 06, 2010
Another Reason Switching to Hosted WFM Improves Call Center Management, Cuts Costs
By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet
Today's hosted workforce management solutions hold many advantages over spreadsheets and other "manual" scheduling processes. These powerful software solutions are rapidly replacing spreadsheets as the preferred way to manage call center schedules, as they help call center managers more effectively combat common, every-day call center management issues such as schedule adherence and shrinkage.
While it's true that a majority of the return on investment and operational savings stemming from these solutions comes from improved management of the general agent labor pool, there is also something to be said for the amount of time they save call center managers.
With these Web-based solutions, call center managers can automate many of the tasks involved in call center scheduling, thus helping them stay focused on other, important call center management issues such as agent training, coaching, hiring and retention - not to mention customer satisfaction.
Considering that labor is the single biggest cost facing any call center - and that call center managers are in general paid at rates many times higher than regular agents - the savings to be gained from making the manager's job of scheduling faster and easier alone are enough to justify the investment in workforce management software.
In essence these software solutions perform the same calculations that a manager would run manually using a standard spreadsheet (such as applying Erlang equations to historical call data) only they carry them out on an automated and real-time basis and offer a much greater depth a breadth of functionality and features. Thus they provide call center managers with real-time and historical data that can be quickly packaged into detailed reports and acted upon immediately - a capability which spreadsheets simply cannot match. In addition to improved management of intra-day call center activities, these reports can also be used to drive longer-term businesses decisions: For example the data can be used to improve recruiting and hiring campaigns, providing data on, for example, what skill sets are most needed for the current agent workforce.
A recent white paper from Monet Software shows how switching from spreadsheets to workforce management software can deliver dramatic cost savings within weeks. As the white paper points out, the company's Monet WFM Live offering can reduce the amount of time a manager spends on developing and updating the schedule by as much as 25 percent. Considering that some call center managers spend 10 hours or more a week just managing the schedule alone, it's easy to see how this solution delivers immediate savings and rapid return on investment.
In fact, the white paper demonstrates that when a call center with 200 agents and four managers switches from spreadsheets to Monet WFM Live, it can save up to $260,000 a year in operating costs.
The white paper comes free as part of Monet Software's Workforce Management Success Kit, which is available on the company's website. The Success Kit includes other valuable resources, including "10 Tips to Weather the Challenging Economy in your Call Center;" "How to Select a WFM Solution;" "The Real Costs of Spreadsheet Based Scheduling," and "What is SaaS (News - Alert)-Based Workforce Management?" It also includes "Fast Track: A Guide for Rapid Implementation of WFM," as well as product overviews of Monet WFM Live, Monet Software's fully cloud-based workforce management solution, and Monet Anywhere, the company's flexible and powerful agent/supervisor portal.
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.
Edited by Patrick Barnard