Workforce Management Feature Article
January 14, 2013
Google Coordinate Promises to Streamline Workforce Management
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Managing the workforce inside the customer service center is a challenge that many managers would rather set aside. Proper forecasting for anticipated volumes, scheduling according to the availability and needs of the agent and accounting for all breaks, training and time off is a juggling act. One wrong move and the whole thing can come crashing down.
To keep all the balls in the air, many a customer service center manager turns to workforce management solutions that help to automate the process. When these solutions are cloud-based, agents, supervisors, managers and other key players can access the dashboard online to view their schedule, request specific shifts, submit vacation requests, trade shifts with another agent and much more.
As mobility continues to be a key strategy in the contact center for customer-facing interactions and field service initiatives, managers are starting to recognize how that mobility can influence operations internally. Smartphone users continue to increase, even among the agent base, creating opportunities for the use of apps that may streamline workforce management even more.
According to this App Advice report, Google has introduced Google Coordinate, an iPhone (News - Alert)/iPad app designed as a workforce management tool. The app does require the user to have a license for Google Coordinate for the successful use of the app, but can allow for real-time location sharing to enable easy collaboration.
Google (News - Alert) Coordinate is designed for the business user and will not work with Google accounts on the consumer side. As a result, agents needing to access their workforce management data won’t be able to do so through their Gmail account. Instead, all employees able to access the app must be approved to do so.
The app enables the user to input all the information necessary for a job and then push the assignment out to members of the team with instant notifications. The manager can monitor when assignments are accepted by users and when the user has checked in to gather additional information.
If a team member is in the field, specific customer or market data may need to be collected. Google Coordinate provides for the customization of fields the mobile team must have to capture and collect the pertinent data for input directly into the app.
For the customer service center also managing agents in the field, an app like Google Coordinate not only helps in the sharing of information, it also links information such as location, customer data, assigned tasks and more. One interesting feature is that an employee can decline an assignment in the app, causing one to wonder just how well that goes over with management.
The current market is one where BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is gaining considerable momentum. For the organization seeking to streamline communications with its mobile team, Google Coordinate will work on Android (News - Alert) or iOS; all other users need not apply.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli