June 22, 2017
Workforce management software is one of the most effective tools in the contact center technology arsenal to increase efficiency and better manage your customer experience, but it can be daunting. These platforms can provide so many useful tools that it can be difficult to know how to get started. Most importantly, workforce management strategy involves changing policies around how groups of people operate, and people can be reluctant to embrace change.
Your shiny new workforce management solution is freshly deployed in your environment. Where do you go from here? What is your workforce management strategy?
4 Steps to a Functional Workforce Management Strategy
- Standardization: The first step to any new policy is to clearly articulate the rules, and it is important these new rules are carefully considered before introducing them to the team. If constant tweaks and adjustments are made to scheduling and attendance policies, it will be much more difficult to convince your team to adopt and comply with these rules.
- Time and Attendance Tracking: Once your plan is in place, it is time to begin snagging low hanging fruit. The lowest of the low here is time and attendance tracking. The manual alternative of tracking employee hours with an analog time sheet or excel file can be a huge time sink for management that doesn’t utilize the contact center manager’s actual skillset. Automating this process alleviates a mundane, administrative task to give management more time to focus on what really matters: their agents and their customers.
- Employee Scheduling: Again, the goal is to first eliminate any tedious managerial task, so from here, employee scheduling is the next hurdle. However, we can now also begin to take advantage of some of the analytical functions of workforce management. Workforce management tools can automatically generate agent schedules for the coming week, but even more useful, the tool references call volume data and trends to determine the ideal number of agents to staff for the expected call volume. With one stone, your workforce management strategy is freeing up management’s time while also increasing the overall efficiency of the contact center.
- Internal Self-Service: At this point, we have a few automated systems running to make management’s life easier. Now we can begin to bring some value to the agents themselves. By establishing internal self-service options to request time off, bid on certain shifts, and swap shifts, the agents gain greater flexibility in their lives and work. Better yet, it achieves these benefits without creating disruptions in the overall operation. This can also be an attractive perk to retain agent talent and lower attrition rates.
Only the Beginning
This is only the beginning of your workforce management strategy, and these steps should help you get started. From here, the next objectives will largely be determined by your unique business needs. Perhaps remote or mobile workers are ideal for your operation or compliance concerns are more pressing. Either way, you’ll be building upon a stable foundation of value and efficiency in your workforce management strategy.
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