Workforce Management Feature Article
March 03, 2011
Workforce Management Solutions Help to Align Proper Forecasting and Scheduling
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Effectively managing the workforce is a tall order in the contact center as many different variables have to align correctly to achieve success. The good news is that companies like Monet Software offer robust solutions designed to capture all the necessary information and produce effective workforce management to create a productive and efficient contact center atmosphere.
In this recent Monet Software blog, the writer focused on the importance of accurate forecasts when determining the number of agents needed for a particular day, week or month. It is important to leverage workforce management solutions to ensure the contact center can meet call demand without under-staffing or over-staffing the center. To accomplish this, contact centers need methods to precisely predict the number of agents needed to handle the center’s contact volume.
Predicting the future, of course, is more than just a challenge. And, according to a DMG report issued in 2010, five forecasting challenges often make it difficult for contact center managers to scheduling accurately per actual needs.
These challenges included the need to forecast for multiple skill sets; changing business needs that negate the usefulness of historical volume data; volume that is driven by external events and not controlled by the company; volume that is seasonal and can vary greatly; and volume patterns that change frequently, which makes it that much harder to determine projections.
When you leverage workforce management solutions from Monet Software, you actually gain access to a few tips and best practices that can help you in the process of determining call volumes and required agents. The first tip is to develop “what if” scenarios so you can explore how a change in call volume or service level goals during a specific workday or week can affect the center.
You can also rely on workforce management solutions to create regular intra-day forecast updates throughout the day. You can then calculate a new forecast based on what has already occurred. In this process, you can establish the trends that will help you in future decisions. Then, forecast and scheduled based on response time and urgency of various channels, including chat, e-mails and calls.
The main point to workforce management solutions is to provide you with the tools you need to effectively manage the contact center and its employees. You have a lot to manage in terms of forecasting, scheduling, training and execution. With the right tools in place, you can be equipped with the processes you need to drive a more streamlined and effective atmosphere, which can lead to its ultimate success.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco