The ability to evaluate the effectiveness of your workforce management solution can drastically improve the performance of your contact centre.

Workforce management (WFM) solutions provide contact centres the ability to forecast, schedule and track performance as well as analyse agent productivity and provide insight into shrinkage by category and interval. Using a workforce management solution can provide so much more insight than an Excel spreadsheet, helping you to streamline operations, optimise performance, and engage agents. While it sounds like a simple and straightforward process, there are many differences between the various solutions on the market so it is important that you really understand the capabilities of the system to ensure they meet the needs of your contact centre’s size, structure, and requirements.

Below are several important factors you should consider in order to get the best workforce management solution for your contact centre.

Easy Integration

Every business wants to implement the best workforce management solution for their contact centre, but it can be a disruptive process that damages your business if your solution isn’t integrated effectively. Versatile WFM solutions can integrate with your payroll to provide managers and agents not only the ability to view schedules, swap shifts, and analyse performance but also view things such as annual leave accruals and availability.

Access to data to Create and Automate Reports

Having access to the backend tables and fields can be extremely important if you want to build custom reports and use the data typically stored in a workforce management system for other reporting requirements.  Ensuring your system provides this functionality is an important consideration. Open APIs

The ability to automate processes to export or import information can also be an extremely valuable timesaver.

What-if Forecasting and Scheduling Capabilities

Workforce Planners often need to test out different situations in both forecasting and scheduling.  What if your service level changed or you received double the contacts for an ongoing period due to changes in lockdown rules?  Having the ability to easily test out different forecasting and scheduling requirements for the same date ranges, without overwriting your existing information is an essential feature that must be standard in a good workforce planning tool. The right reporting solutions and dashboards that can display key performance indicators and performance outcomes.

Ability to Plan for Different Types of Contact

Workforce Planners no longer only plan for inbound voice calls.  As the complexity of customer service increases, so too does workforce planning and the variety of channels that you need for forecast and plan for.  Understanding how your selected tool can handle each channel, should be an essential part of your selection process. Good workforce planning tools can be used at an enterprise level to forecast and schedule for the following:

  • Inbound voice
  • Outbound
  • Chat
  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Back Office Processes
  • Branches

Ability to Plan and Track where your Staff are Sitting

The aftermath of the Covid pandemic is that many organisations need to be able to track where staff are sitting when they come to work or be able to report on who is working from home and who is in the office.  A strong workforce planning tool can help with seating plans and allocation of seats with social distancing as well as help you track and easily report on where your staff are each day whether that be WFH or in the office.

Agent Self- Serve Capabilities

Providing staff with the tools to view their schedules, swap shifts, apply for leave and view how they are performing against set KPIs is an important part of engaging staff and making them feel empowered.  Being able to do this from anywhere, on their phones, is an additional benefit.

When selecting a good workforce planning tool, it is important to understand the self-service capabilities for both agents and team leaders to make sure they can do the things you need them to be able to do.

Ease and Granularity of Setting up Security Levels

With different people accessing the information in your workforce management tool, it is important to be able to easily provide different roles within your contact centre with the level of access they need to each feature within the tool.  Ensuring that your workforce planning tool can easily create different security profiles with the level of access you need is an essential part of selecting a good workforce planning tool.

Ability to Deploy in either On Premise or Cloud Environments

Understand your IT environment and the requirements for an on premise or cloud solution as well as the security requirements that go with that.  The right workforce planning tool for you needs to meet your IT requirements.

Selecting the right tool for your organisation, requires more than yes/no answers.  To really understand if a tool will meet your workforce planning requirements you need to ask to see those features in action.