Workforce Management and Scheduling Solutions Save Contact Centers Money
If you strip away the public relations and marketing-speak, most enterprise solutions today are chosen with one goal in mind: saving money. In the contact center industry, there are many way to save money. You can do it by reducing attrition, which saves on hiring and training costs. You can do it by raising the customer experience, which saves money by reducing customer attrition. You can do it by streamlining the customer support process, which saves money by keeping calls shorter and improving first-call resolution.
Since the goals of workforce management are to reduce waste and duplication, prevent expensive over-staffing or customer relationship-killing understaffing, and streamline the customer support process, workforce management and call center scheduling are, in a nutshell, the most cost-saving processes in the contact center today.
There are many ways call center scheduling, in particular, can reduce contact center costs in the long run, according to a recent blog post by Chuck Ciarlo, CEO of workforce optimization solutions provider Monet Software (News - Alert).
“Some call centers have found that providing agents with more flexible scheduling options results in less attrition, which leads to costly recruiting, hiring and training of new employees,” he wrote. “With a workforce management solution, it is much easier to fit flexible and even self-scheduling options into accurate forecasts.”
“Self-scheduling” refers to a feature of modern workforce management solutions that allows agents to bid for shifts, overtime and time off. Essentially, managers can set the parameters (new agents are not eligible to bid for time off, for example), and agents can have more control over their own schedules. Contact center agents who have a better work-life balance are less likely to leave, and agents with greater tenure are more of an asset: they’re more experienced.
Today, ideas such as “self-scheduling” features are enabled by the push by contact center solutions providers toward cloud-based solutions, according to Ciarlo.
“There is continued acceleration in the trend toward call centers moving into the cloud to avoid significant infrastructure investment,” he wrote. “Workforce optimization in the cloud delivers all of the data a manager needs for accurate forecasts and schedules, but at a fraction of the cost of an on-premise system.”
Using a cloud-based solution, companies can enable the use of home-based agents, which helps companies save on infrastructure costs, and provides contact center managers with even more flexibility to ensure that coverage for phone calls, emails and digital communications is neither too thick nor too thin. (Home-based agents can be asked to log in for an hour from home, for example, to cover an unexpected volume spike.)
In the contact center, there is perhaps no class of solution more about saving money and making more money than workforce management and contact center scheduling. Today, the feature sets offered by these solutions are becoming critical for success in creating a positive experience for both customers and agents.
Edited by Alicia Young