Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
November 08, 2012
Aspect Embraces Virtual Contact Center Agent Growth with Workforce Management 7.5
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor
Workforce management solutions have always been critical for the success of large contact center operating environments. Today, these solutions are also being used to simplify management and scheduling of multinational and multisite agents, including virtual workers in organizations of all sizes.
Aspect (News - Alert) Software, a provider of customer contact and enterprise workforce optimization, has recently introduced Workforce Management 7.5, an integrated workforce management (WFM) product and a new iteration of the Workforce Management 7 platform. WFM 7.5 helps companies improve the customer experience by creating a streamlined work environment for contact center agents.
"The use of home-based agents gives organizations access to a much broader talent pool or resources. It also introduces new challenges that require next generation technologies, including WFM solutions that have been optimized to address these opportunities,” said Donna Fluss, DMG consulting president and contact center industry analyst, in a statement.
According to a recent study by Forrester (News - Alert) Consulting on behalf of Aspect, technology plays a big role in delivering customer experiences. The survey shows that 73 percent respondents view technology as playing a large to very large part in customer experience. The survey also shows that the alignment of a company's contact center strategy with a customer experience strategy is just as important, according to respondents. Almost half of the respondents said their contact center strategy is the cornerstone of their customer experience strategy.
The work environment of contact center agents becomes critical as it correlates with customer service. WFM 7.5 improves Aspect's platform by offering self-service shift bidding coupled with features for supervisors to use shift bidding approval strategies. This provides flexibility for at-home agents who have special scheduling requirements, as well as the ability to reward agent achievements.
"Agents love our at-home agent program because they can focus on the needs of the customer without the distractions found in a busy contact center," explained Seth Ettwein, manager of Call Center Work Force Planning, Alaska Airlines. "Aspect Workforce Management allows our management team to focus more on training, problem solving, and delivering the best customer service possible, instead of spending a large portion of time on schedules, and communicating across multiple work sites."
With WFM 7.5, Aspect customers have experienced improved customer service levels by 20-30 percent and have reduced agent labor costs by 16 percent.
Spence Mallder, senior vice president, general manager of the Workforce Optimization division and CTO at Aspect, said, "The enhancements to the WFM 7 family allow us to continue offering flexible, enterprise-wide technologies for next-generation customer contact while addressing the evolving needs of customers.”
Edited by Rachel Ramsey