Johanna Raux of Odigo discusses how to boost agent performance and increase customer satisfaction with workforce optimisation strategies.
Today’s contact centre managers are grappling with meeting customer service key performance indicators (KPIs), transitioning to remote work and maintaining agent engagement from a distance.
While workforce optimisation solutions have been implemented for a number of years, current conditions have elevated quality management (QM) and workforce management (WFM) from additional to essential tools.
The upheaval the world has experienced due to COVID-19 has thrown established playbooks out the window. The health risks have drastically altered how businesses operate, with more than a third of UK workers expressing reluctance about returning to work, according to research by Resolution Foundation.
Though the global pandemic will come to an end, new ways of working may not. Employers have noted the cost-saving potential of a remote workforce, and many employees enjoy the convenience of working from home.
It is therefore vital that contact centre managers have workforce optimisation systems in place to succeed in a new reality.
How QM Solutions Raise Agent Performance Levels
As companies increasingly transition to remote work, contact centre managers are looking for ways to provide the assistance agents need from afar.
Dedicated support is delivered through quality management solutions integrated into Contact Centre as a Service solutions that make agents’ work easier and more transparent.
QM programs provide numerous ways to augment agent performance, including:
- Clear guidelines as to what is expected of them,
- Intuitive platforms that facilitate coaching and real-time support,
- Enhanced visibility regarding individual and team performances (graphs, scoring).
Above all, QM solutions enable agents to be proactive. Agents are encouraged to seek help from managers and liaise with colleagues via an ergonomic tool that streamlines communication.
Insightful feedback on agents’ strengths and areas for improvement can be conveyed practically and constructively.
Not only will this create a culture of continuous improvement, but agents will be gratified to know that their managers take an active interest in their professional development.
In achieving workforce optimisation, it is essential for contact centre managers to clarify company goals, instil an open culture dedicated to quality, quickly identify any shortcomings in customer service, align processes with agent expectations and encourage agent participation.
All of this becomes easily manageable with the help of QM solutions.
How WFM Solutions Increase Agent Engagement
Workforce management solutions could take a variety of forms, as industries need tailor-made strategies that take into account sector-specific requirements, though all should place agent engagement front and centre.
Broadly speaking, when integrated into CCaaS solutions, WFM systems maximise agent effectiveness by enabling projections of incoming call volumes and scheduling agents according to skills and needs. Gartner highlights several common features, including:
- Call volume forecasting,
- Calculation of required agents,
- Agent scheduling (meeting and vacation planning),
The proven benefits of WFM are undeniable, which explains why organisations across sectors are integrating it into their agent consoles as part of their workforce optimisation strategies.
According to research carried out by HR.com, businesses that implement a workforce management solution will see, on average, 6-10% cost savings in under 12 months. Additionally:
- 60% of businesses reported an increase in their administrative efficiency,
- 42% of businesses reported improved compliance and less scheduling errors,
- And nearly 40% of businesses say since investing in a workforce management solution they have seen a decrease in absenteeism.
Beyond the increased workforce optimisation WFM solutions deliver to contact centres, their impact on agent satisfaction is an important advantage. Why? Through empowerment.
Agents’ work is organised in shifts, so by giving them opportunities to swap and bid for shifts, you allow them to organise their work according to personal needs.
Having this autonomy and flexibility has never been more important, with agents working remotely and juggling familial duties and professional careers.
By increasing agent engagement and giving them a voice in their schedules, contact centre managers can increase their morale, foster a sense of fairness and achieve more transparency.
Achieve Workforce Optimisation and a Symmetry of Attention
Workforce optimisation should not just be viewed as a means to reduce costs and improve operations. The real value comes from the improved agent experience (AX) that workforce optimisation accomplishes.
Fully engaged agents who enjoy their roles and feel recognised by their organisation are far more likely to become true brand ambassadors.
In this way, contact centre managers can achieve a symmetry of attention, a principle which argues that to achieve great customer experience, contact centres must first raise agent experience.This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Odigo – View the Original Article
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