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Contact centre managers looking to position their organisations ahead of the competition know that optimising their workforce is key. Workforce optimisation strategies such as quality management (QM) and workforce management (WFM) increase operational efficiency, strengthen agent performance and lead to best-in-class customer experience. Read on to learn how.
Today’s contact centre managers are grappling with meeting customer service KPIs, transitioning to remote work and maintaining agent engagement from a distance. While workforce optimisation solutions have been implemented for a number of years, current conditions have elevated QM and WFM from additional, to essential tools.
The upheaval the world has experienced due to COVID-19 has thrown established playbooks out the window. The health risks have drastically altered how businesses operate, with more than a third of UK workers expressing reluctance about returning to work, according to research by Resolution Foundation. Though the global pandemic will come to an end, new ways of working may not. Employers have noted the cost-saving potential of a remote workforce, and many employees enjoy the convenience of working from home. It is therefore vital that contact centre managers have workforce optimisation systems in place to succeed in a new reality.
As companies increasingly transition to remote work, contact centre managers are looking for ways to provide the assistance agents need from afar. Dedicated support is delivered through quality management solutions integrated into Contact Centre as a Service solutions that make agents’ work easier and more transparent. QM programs provide numerous ways to augment agent performance, including:
Above all, QM solutions enable agents to be proactive. Agents are encouraged to seek help from managers and liaise with colleagues via an ergonomic tool that streamlines communication. Insightful feedback on agents’ strengths and areas for improvement can be conveyed practically and constructively. Not only will this create a culture of continuous improvement, but agents will be gratified to know that their managers take an active interest in their professional development.
In achieving workforce optimisation, it is essential for contact centre managers to clarify company goals, instil an open culture dedicated to quality, quickly identify any shortcomings in customer service, align processes with agent expectations and encourage agent participation. All of this becomes easily manageable with the help of QM solutions.
Workforce management solutions could take a variety of forms, as industries need tailor-made strategies that take into account sector-specific requirements, though all should place agent engagement front and centre. Broadly speaking, when integrated into CCaaS solutions, WFM systems maximise agent effectiveness by enabling projections of incoming call volumes and scheduling agents according to skills and needs. Gartner highlights several common features, including:
The proven benefits of WFM are undeniable, which explains why organisations across sectors are integrating it into their agent consoles as part of their workforce optimisation strategies. According to research carried out by HR.com, businesses that implement a workforce management solution will see, on average, 6-10% cost savings in under 12 months. Additionally:
Beyond the increased workforce optimisation WFM solutions deliver to contact centres, their impact on agent satisfaction is an important advantage. Why? Through empowerment. Agents’ work is organised in shifts, so by giving them opportunities to swap and bid for shifts, they will be able to organise their work according to personal needs.
Having this autonomy and flexibility has never been more important, with agents working remotely and juggling familial duties and professional careers. By increasing agent engagement and giving them a voice in their schedules, contact centre managers can increase their morale, foster a sense of fairness and achieve more transparency.
Workforce optimisation should not just be viewed as a means to reduce costs and improve operations. The real value comes from the improved agent experience (AX) that workforce optimisation accomplishes. Fully engaged agents who enjoy their roles and feel recognised by their organisation are far more likely to become true brand ambassadors. In this way, contact centre managers can achieve a symmetry of attention, a principle which argues that to achieve great customer experience, contact centres must first raise agent experience.
Contact centre managers know that agent experience is central to improving customer service, especially in the new reality created by COVID-19. That’s why international organisations are turning to Odigo.
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