Workforce Management Feature Article
August 28, 2010
Help Cut Call Center Management Costs with Hosted WFM Software
By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet
Very often, workforce management software vendors emphasize the value of their products in terms of their ability to increase schedule adherence, reduce shrinkage and improve customer service through the smarter scheduling of agents.
While it’s true that these are the main ways that workforce management solutions help companies bring new efficiencies to the call center, it should also be pointed out that these solutions bring new efficiencies to the call center manager’s job as well. In fact, it is estimated that a hosted workforce management system can reduce the amount of time a call center manager spends scheduling agents by as much as 25 percent, compared to spreadsheets and other manual systems.
So, for example, if your call center manager is currently spending about four hours a week making and adjusting the schedule, using spreadsheets, you can reduce that to about three hours through the deployment of a hosted WFM system. That gives your manager an extra hour a week which can be used for other call center management duties, such as training and coaching agents.
Much of this time is saved by sparing the manager from having to manually input information into the spreadsheets – in other words, the WFM software helps “automate” the process of scheduling agents, mainly through its forecasting capability, which, in general, is achieved through integration with the call center ACD and other databases.
In addition, many of today’s hosted WFM systems sport Web-based agent/supervisor portals where agents can “swap,” “bid on” or cancel shifts – thus sparing managers from having to deal with last-minute changes to the schedule and the hassle of tracking down an alternate when an agent can’t make it in for a particular shift. Not only do these Web-based portals give managers (and agents) much better control over the schedule, they also enable managers to react more quickly to changing conditions and update the schedule accordingly. Whenever an agent makes a request for time off, swaps a shift with another agent, or posts a notice that they are available to work additional shifts, the manager is alerted immediately. This is much faster and more efficient compared to having the agent phone-in or email their request – which can lead to "phone tag (News - Alert)” and subsequent confusion.
Monet Software is a provider of hosted or software-as-a-service based WFM solutions. To learn more about how the company’s Monet WFM Live offering can help free up more time for your call center managers, and improve call center management, click here.
Patrick Barnard is Group Managing Editor, TMCnet, focusing mainly on call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard