Workforce Management Feature Article
January 28, 2013
Workforce Management - Think You Can Still Do Manual?
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Scheduling for anticipated volume in the call center is one of the tasks the call center manager cannot escape, yet it is also one of those tasks that can be the most daunting. The process often demands that the manager accurately anticipate call volumes; schedule for breaks, vacations and trainings; make changes according to agent requests; anticipate the types of calls versus the available skill level of the agent base; and more. If all of this is done through manual processes, the manager may not have any time left to actually manage.
Monet Software often covers the topic of workforce management on its blog. A recent post explored the key drivers behind the implementation of workforce management software, especially in environments where management is accustomed to the manual/spreadsheet method. It not only reduces the time involved, minimizes shrinkage, optimizes schedules, promotes accurate forecasting, and increases the productivity and quality of the service in the call center; it also provides a solid Return on Investment.
Reduction in Time
Time is incredibly valuable in the call center environment. If the call center manager has to spend too much of his or her time forecasting and scheduling for call volumes, there is little time available for coaching, training, performance assessments and even motivating the team. The manager with his or her head in a spreadsheet all day is one that lacks impact. Workforce management software reverses this trend, minimizing the amount of time needed to actually forecast and schedule.
Accurately Forecast Development
Without a clear understanding of the volume of calls coming into the call center at a given time, managers cannot accurately schedule agents to maximize their time on the floor. Robust workforce management solutions rely on historical data to predict the number of agents to handle the anticipated volume. This information is available in real-time and can be used to run a variety of scenarios to schedule for campaigns, time off and holidays.
Reduction in Shrinkage / Optimization of the Schedule
Every minute an agent spends on the clock that he or she is not on the phone is an unnecessary cost for the call center. When the calls are routed according to the skill level of the agent, the call is completed in less time with greater satisfaction for the customer. Workforce management software enables the manager to schedule according to anticipated call volume. Agents are then scheduled according to this forecast, ensuring the right number of agents with the right skill set is on the clock, manning calls at all times.
Drive Productivity and Quality of Service
While productivity is key to the success of any call center, it must be accompanied with quality of service. Customers measure their perception of a brand based on the experience when interacting with the company. The productive call center is one able to handle customer interactions professionally, delivering first call resolution as a priority.
Return on Investment
The ROI for any call center purchase is critical to justify a change in process. A bottom line comparison between manual, spreadsheet processes and workforce management software demonstrates the clear advantages to automating this process. It not only ensures all critical elements are considered in scheduling for the call center, it also eliminates the human error that tends to surface with manual processes.
Monet Software offers a wide range of call center solutions designed to improve operations and streamline interactions so as to benefit the bottom line. This white paper resource is a great place to start to learn more about this innovative provider and how their knowledge of the call center environment contributes to robust solutions.
Edited by Carlos Olivera