Adherence is the ability to compare forecasts with reality, and learn from mistakes. Sophisticated scheduling and forecasting is useless without the opportunity for improvement brought about by adherence monitoring.
Real-time adherence monitoring allows managers to see exactly what is happening, and can alert them to deviations from the expected activity, allowing them to make changes before problems occur. Adherence allows a business to fine-tune its contact centre activity. Put simply, the more you use it, the more accurate your forecasts and schedules become.
This is another area where the cerebral activity of traditional workforce management has become more dynamic. Real-time reporting on schedule adherence, and the ability to access this information through a web browser or mobile phone means that dynamic changes can be made to the system. In the more sophisticated solutions, ‘workforce management’ has now become ‘workforce performance management’.
For example, adherence does not have to refer to the contact centre as a whole, as WFM solutions enable contact centre managers to monitor and manage agent performance in real time, by connecting to the ACD system and monitoring the status of an agent’s activity (for example, time spent logged on against planned work schedules). Agent adherence and non-adherence can then be acted upon quickly, and used to support performance appraisals.
Businesses should look for a solution which is simple to understand (so staff will feel comfortable using it) yet retains the power and functionality to help the contact centre manager understand what has happened and to make changes quickly if necessary.
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- Steve Morrell of ContactBabel