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Use Cases of Workforce Management in a Contact Center

Ten Use Cases of Workforce Management in a Contact Center Environment

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Executive Vice President

Workforce Management solutions ensure that contact centers have the right people and skill sets to successfully handle customer interactions on time and at a minimal cost to the organization.

The fundamental building blocks of Workforce Management (WFM) include forecasting, managing, and scheduling to ensure service levels are met or exceeded during customer interactions.

What Is the Uptake of WFM Solutions?

Dimension Data shows 41.3% of contact centers still operate without WFM technology. However, this is fast changing as agents are expected to handle more than one type of transaction across multiple channels.

Gartner predicts that, by 2025, 40% of large businesses will use automation for workforce scheduling decisions, and 75% will have invested in WFM to support digital workplace experiences.

The global WFM market forecast is to grow more than 10% annually and will top $10 billion in 2024.

The writing is on the wall that every contact center will have to move towards adopting WFM technology.

What Are the Possible WFM Use Cases?

Let me contextualize this and look at the use cases.

Imagine a large financial services contact center that handles customer inquiries, account support, and technical support.

Keeping this as the context, let us look at the use cases of WFM. 

1. Forecasting and Scheduling

WFM solution analyses historical data and identifies trends. For instance, it notes that call volumes tend to surge during tax season due to customers seeking assistance with tax-related queries.

Based on this data, the WFM solution generates accurate forecasts for the upcoming tax season. As a result, the contact centers create optimized staffing schedules, ensuring the right number of agents are available at different times to meet customer demands.

2. Matching Agent Skills

Suppose a customer calls in with a complex investment inquiry. The WFM system recognizes the expertise of specific agents in investment-related matters.

It routes the call to an agent specializing in investment advice, ensuring the customer receives accurate and specialized assistance. This would lead to faster issue resolution and improved customer satisfaction.

3. Monitoring Adherence

An agent has a scheduled break but extends it without proper authorization. This would affect the staffing schedules.

The WFM solution detects the deviation from the schedule and alerts the supervisor in real time. The supervisor intervenes to ensure the agent adheres to the allocated break time, preventing disruptions in the overall schedule.

4. Multi-Channel Support

Customers reach out through various channels such as phone, email, chat, mobile apps, and social media. Agents today are expected to address multiple transactions across multiple channels.

For example, during a marketing campaign promoting a new credit card, the contact center may experience an influx of inquiries through phone calls and live chat.

The WFM solution reallocates agents to handle the increased chat volume, ensuring the customers receive prompt assistance through their preferred channels.

5. Workload Management

On a regular day, a particular team of agents is overloaded with complex financial inquiries, while another group has a lighter workload.

The WFM solution redistributes incoming calls, ensuring a balanced workload distribution among teams, which helps prevent burnout and maintain consistent service quality.

6. Time-Off Management

Several agents submit time-off requests during the holiday season.

The WFM solution reviews the requests and considers the availability of other agents. It then generates a revised schedule accommodating the requested time off while ensuring adequate coverage to handle customer demands.

7. Overtime Management

Assume that a financial market event triggers a surge in trading inquiries.

The WFM solution detects the increased call volume and recommends offering overtime to available agents. Supervisors quickly approve overtime shifts to address the immediate demand.

8. Performance Analytics and Improvement

WFM solutions track key performance metrics for agents and teams, providing insights into productivity, efficiency, and customer service quality.

It tracks specific metrics like call resolution times and customer satisfaction scores. It generates reports indicating that some agents consistently achieve higher satisfaction scores than others.

Managers use this information to provide targeted coaching and training, resulting in improved performance.

9. Capacity Planning

Based on historical data, the WFM solution predicts an uptick in calls and the availability of resources at the facility.

Let us assume that 10% of your workforce is retiring and there is a 5% customer churn otherwise, you will have to account for this 15% change and the additional workforce needed to manage your business.

The WFM solution helps you forecast all this, and the contact center can use this insight to gradually hire and train additional agents with the expertise to meet future demands.

10. Compliance and Reporting

The WFM system monitors agent work hours and break times to ensure compliance with labor laws. It generates reports that show agents’ adherence to regulations, helping the contact center demonstrate its commitment to legal and ethical workforce practices during audits.

Overall, the WFM solutions provide actionable insights, streamline operations, and ensure customer interactions are handled efficiently and effectively across various channels.

This results in enhanced customer satisfaction, minimized wait times, and optimized resource utilization.

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