How to Use Workforce Management in Contact Centres

Call centre agents sat at desks
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Behind every successful contact centre operation stands the people enabling this success – individuals who are motivated, rewarded, engaged, trained, and managed exceptionally.

It’s therefore self-evident that effective contact centre workforce management is crucial for optimizing the performance of contact centres. But how is this achieved?

This guide will provide you with a clear understanding of what contact centre workforce management is, why it’s important in the context of a contact centre, and offer practical insights on how to implement these strategies to improve your organization’s efficiency and effectiveness.

What Is Workforce Management?

Contact centre workforce management is the systematic process of optimizing employees’ productivity by engaging in activities such as forecasting demand, scheduling teams efficiently, managing daily performance, and planning for future needs.

It involves tools and methodologies that enable managers to align the workforce with the demands of the business, ensuring customer queries are handled efficiently and effectively.

Why Contact Centre Workforce Management Is Important

Contact centre workforce management is essential for several reasons:

Operational Efficiency

Effective contact centre workforce management ensures that available workforce levels are closely matched to customer demand.

According to a study by Salesforce, using data to predict customer demand and adjust staffing reduces downtime and inefficiencies.

This alignment between workforce and workload helps maintain consistent service levels even during peak times or unexpected events.

Customer Satisfaction

Implementing skills-based routing and upskilling existing agents can significantly improve the customer experience.

According to research, this technique not only increases customer satisfaction rates but can also boost first-contact resolution rates.

For example, centres that match calls to agents based on specific skills see a reduction in customer wait times and an increase in satisfaction levels, often improving first-contact resolution rates by up to 70%.

Cost Management

By optimizing the number of agents on duty, contact centre workforce management can significantly reduce operational costs.

Studies show that the use of contact centre workforce management tools can improve schedule adherence by 5% to 15%, directly reducing unnecessary overtime and associated costs.

By utilizing these strategies, contact centres enhance their operational effectiveness while also providing superior customer experiences, all while managing costs effectively.

Essential Features of Workforce Management in Contact Centres

In modern contact centres, contact centre workforce management technology plays a crucial role in enhancing both agent performance and customer satisfaction.

Here are some essential features of workforce management systems that are particularly effective in contact centres:

Guided Performance Improvement

Advanced contact centre workforce management solutions provide tools that leverage performance data to offer continuous, personalized feedback to agents.

This can include gamified KPIs that encourage agents to meet daily targets through engaging and competitive formats.

The integration of performance data with gamification helps maintain high levels of agent engagement and motivation.

Comprehensive Recognition Tools

Recognition is key to boosting agent morale and productivity.

Modern contact centre workforce management systems include a full suite of recognition tools that may feature peer and manager recognition, badges for achieving milestones, and points for activities like social knowledge sharing.

These tools help create a positive work culture and increase overall job satisfaction among agents.

Advanced Gamification

Gamification strategies are increasingly important in contact centres. They can transform mundane daily tasks into engaging challenges that agents are eager to overcome.

Features might include dynamic leaderboards, point systems for redeemable rewards, and team competitions, which help drive performance and accountability.

Rapid Content Deployment

The ability to quickly create and update training content is crucial for keeping agents informed and adept at handling emerging customer needs.

This might include easy content authoring tools for crafting learning missions, quizzes, and simulations that ensure agents’ ongoing proficiency and adaptability.

Augmented Coaching and Feedback

Continuous, AI-powered coaching and feedback systems help cultivate strong relationships between agents and managers.

These systems can provide real-time guidance and support, facilitating constant improvement and ensuring that no agent falls behind in performance.

Efficient Onboarding and Upskilling

Accelerating the time to proficiency is critical in fast-paced contact centre environments.

Effective contact centre workforce management systems support rapid onboarding processes and provide continuous upskilling opportunities to help agents quickly become effective and reduce time-to-competence.

3 Benefits of Workforce Management for Contact Centres

There are several key benefits of contact centre workforce management, but three that are very important to highlight:

1. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

By optimizing agent schedules and skills matching, contact centre workforce management helps improve critical metrics like first-contact resolution rates.

2. Increased Operational Efficiency

Contact centre workforce management systems automate many routine tasks, which can lead to significant time savings. For example, AI integration in contact centre workforce management has been shown to help agents handle calls up to 20% faster.

3. Decreased Employee Attrition

Contact centre workforce management contributes to a better work environment by ensuring fair and equitable work distribution among agents.

Happier, more engaged employees are less likely to leave, reducing turnover rates. Centrical, for example, has demonstrated an average of 8% reduction in attrition among its clients, showcasing how effective management practices contribute to retaining talent.

These benefits underscore the value of implementing robust workforce management solutions in contact centres, driving improvements across key performance indicators and enhancing both customer and employee satisfaction.

How to Choose a Contact Centre Workforce Management Solution

Choosing the right contact centre workforce management solution involves several steps. For each step, we’ve included specific action items and a practical tip:

1. Identify Your Needs

  • Assessment: Begin by evaluating your current contact centre workforce management processes. Identify pain points, such as scheduling inefficiencies, high attrition rates, or poor adherence to schedules.
  • Requirements Gathering: Consult with stakeholders, including agents, supervisors, and IT staff, to understand their needs and expectations from a contact centre workforce management system.

Practical Tip: Create a list of must-have features versus nice-to-have features based on your specific pain points and operational goals.

2. Consider Scalability

  • Future-Proofing: Ensure the solution can handle anticipated growth in terms of both call volume and agent count. For instance, if you plan to expand your operations globally, the contact centre workforce management solution should support multiple time zones and languages.
  • Flexibility: Choose a system that can adapt to changing business strategies and customer service trends.

Practical Tip: Opt for cloud-based solutions known for easy scalability, such as those offered by Centrical. 

3. Evaluate Features

  • Essential Features: Look for key functionalities like performance management, and training.
  • Integration Capabilities: The solution should seamlessly integrate with your existing CRM, ERP, and other critical systems to ensure smooth operations.

Practical Tip: Request demonstrations to see how the system performs and how intuitive the user interface is. 

4. Read Reviews and Case Studies

  • Customer Feedback: Check out reviews on platforms like G2 to get unbiased feedback from current users.
  • Success Stories: Look for case studies similar to your industry or operational size to understand the solution’s effectiveness in real-world scenarios.

Practical Tip: Pay attention to reviews about customer support and service reliability, as these are crucial for long-term satisfaction with the solution. 

5. Check Vendor Support

  • Availability: The vendor should offer comprehensive support via multiple channels and have a good reputation for responsive customer service.
  • Training: Consider whether the vendor provides adequate training to ensure your team can effectively use the contact centre workforce management system.

Practical Tip: Opt for vendors that offer ongoing support and training as part of their service.  

By following these steps and considering these practical tips, you can choose a contact centre workforce management solution that will take your contact centre workforce management to new heights.

Conclusion

People make or break contact centre performance and must be motivated and supported to do great work.

Contact centre workforce management is how to get the most from your people. This makes choosing the right contact centre workforce management solution incredibly important for your business.

Finding a platform that understands the “people” side of contact centres, while simultaneously offering the latest features and benefits, was always a challenge.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Centrical – View the Original Article

For more information about Centrical - visit the Centrical Website

About Centrical

Centrical Centrical provides a real-time performance management, microlearning, gamification, coaching, and voice of the employee platform for frontline teams. The solution inspires and personally guides employee success and growth by making every moment actionable.

Find out more about Centrical

Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: Centrical

Published On: 3rd Jun 2024 - Last modified: 4th Jun 2024
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