Will Jones at Business Systems explains workforce optimization (WFO), looking at how it works and where it’s heading.
What Is WFO Software?
In short, WFO (Workforce Optimisation) is a business practice that focuses on improving efficiency and workforce performance.
It encompasses multiple call centre software technologies to enable an organisation to save money and, more importantly, save time for the customer.
Contact centres use WFO technology to enhance the customer experience. This can be done by automating processes and increasing data visibility.
What Is the Difference Between Workforce Management (WFM) and Workforce Optimisation (WFO)
Workforce Optimisation (WFO) and Workforce Management (WFM) are similar in many ways. Workforce Management focuses primarily on forecasting and scheduling. This ensures that organisations like contact centres have the right number of staff at the right time in order to meet customer demand.
Workforce Optimisation, however, provides the support contact centre leaders need to drive data-driven decisions.
How Does WFO Technology Work in the Contact Centre?
Although WFO is viewed as one component of a contact centre, this technology can boost productivity and efficiency.
Workforce Optimisation Technology includes:
WFM (Workforce Management)
WFM technology is used in contact centres to optimise the productivity of employees. It is also used for efficient workforce planning. WFM allows organisations to:
Forecast Contact Volumes
- Schedule employees
- Promote employee engagement (this can be done with Gamification)
- Automate processes
- Track real-time schedule adherence
Call Routing is simply the process of placing calls in a queue. These calls are then distributed quickly and effectively to the right agent. This can significantly improve the service level contact centres are providing to their customers.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
RPA is a type of automation technology. It is derived from Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML). The technology is designed to perform repetitive tasks like extracting data, filling out forms etc.
Speech & Interaction Analytics
Speech Analytics is a WFO tool that can leverage omnichannel, historical and real-time analytics. This data can then be analysed for insights into regulatory compliance, customer journey analysis and more.
Call Quality Monitoring
A Quality Monitoring (QM) solution provides an organisation with the tools to continuously measure and monitor agent performance. In addition, organisations can also monitor customer interactions. QM technology can drive a consistent improvement in their service.
Real Time Customer Feedback (Voice of the Customer)
Real Time Customer Feedback technology enables contact centres to gather feedback from customers across any contact channel. This includes phone, text, web, email, and social media. This technology is sometimes referred to as Voice of the Customer (VOC) technology.
How Can WFO Software Be Deployed?
Choosing the right deployment method when implementing a new WFO platform can be almost as important as the solution itself. For example, many organisations are now choosing cloud-based deployments for the ease of use.
Best-in-class WFO platforms provide the user with the flexibility to choose the deployment model that best suits their requirements.
It’s important that organisations review the pros and cons of each deployment method.
On-Premise WFO Deployments:
This is the model many organisations may be familiar with. With an on-premise deployment, the organisation will supply its own hardware to support the software platform and infrastructure. The organisation is then responsible for hardware-related issues and any expenses associated with this.
Cloud WFO Deployments:
Many organisations are now embracing the cloud deployment model. In addition to stability, with a cloud model, all maintenance and hardware costs are covered by the vendor.
Another benefit of moving to the cloud is that organisations can keep up with technology advancements. This can be done much more efficiently than with an on-premise system.
Hybrid WFO Deployments:
Hybrid deployment is, in effect, the best of both worlds. It combines having on-premise infrastructure and some in the cloud. The hybrid method can be the most adaptable method when it comes to customisation and security.
What Are the Benefits of WFO Technology?
Workforce Optimisation technology allows organisations to know more tomorrow than they do today. Having an informed and engaged workforce can make a world of difference when it comes to improving customer service.
The benefits of organisations implementing WFO software are plentiful. For example, by utilising WFO technology, each decision the organisation makes can be driven by data. By enabling organisations to make data-led decisions, their employee engagement, customer experience and overall efficiency will all improve.
More benefits of using Workforce Optimisation software are explained below:
Improve Operational Performance
By implementing workforce optimisation, organisations can better manage agent and workflow processes. This can be done across various functions, providing a unified view of contact centre performance.
Improve the Customer Experience
WFO solutions are designed to improve the customer experience (CX). This is achieved by ensuring the customer experience is as smooth and efficient as possible.
For example, technology like call routing is designed to decrease customer waiting times and therefore boost customer satisfaction.
Improve Employee Engagement
Customising contact centre processes with WFO technology can have a huge impact on improving employee engagement. WFM functionality such as forecasting, workforce planning and gamification are great ways to increase the employee experience and productivity.
Where Is Workforce Optimisation Software Headed?
Organisations are constantly having to adapt to the ongoing changes in the world of business. A big change which organisations have had to adapt to, for example, has been remote working.
Keeping on top of employee engagement has also become an increasingly difficult task. With no sign of remote/hybrid working going away any time soon, WFO is now becoming a crucial part of how organisations use technology to make effective changes to their work processes.
In addition, research shows us that by 2025, millennials are going to comprise 75% of the workforce. This, alongside growing staff turnover rates is making employee retention more challenging than ever before.
Increasing employee engagement and productivity has now become crucial for an organisation’s success. Introducing technology like Workforce Optimisation will allow companies to boost their productivity and efficiency while retaining happy employees.