The Three Critical Steps to Effective Workforce Optimization
Picture a barstool with three legs – take any one of its legs away and the whole thing collapses.
Workforce Optimization (WFO) is something like that. There are many bells and whistles involved in an effective WFO program, and if you speak to different managers you might get different answers about how WFO components are deployed. But the essentials should always be there.
If your WFO effort is going to successfully improve efficiency while reducing contact center costs, it must be focused on these three critical steps.
Surprisingly, a recent poll found that less than half of contact centers surveyed considered training to be part of workforce optimization. Chances are these are the places where training is that step that comes right after hiring, and then never receives the same attention again. That’s not a recipe for success. Why do professional sports teams with athletes making millions of dollars keep full-time trainers on staff? Because even the best need help to get better. Training turns good agents into great agents and great agents into top performers. Performance management (another key component in WFO) can play a role here as well, by identifying specific skills where agents excel, flagging skill gaps, and tracking the effectiveness of your training program.
Sometimes coaching is confused with training, but its objectives are different. Using a coaching session only to point out what an agent is doing wrong may eventually generate better results, but it might not be the most efficient way to get the most from that particular agent. Coaching should be more than training – it should, at its best, also provide encouragement and build an agent’s confidence. Once this has been achieved, the agent will be more receptive to discussing any issues and how these problems can be addressed. It will also elicit less stressful reactions to scheduling coaching sessions.
Even the best coaching and training won’t be enough if agents do not have the tools they need to optimize the performance of their daily tasks. That means a system that delivers pertinent information during a customer conversation – not ten minutes later. It means forecasting and scheduling tools that result in proper staffing, so agents are not overburdened, or sitting in their cubicles doing nothing.
Monet’s next-generation Workforce Optimization solution creates efficient schedules for incoming call volumes, tracks key metrics in accordance with a company’s business goals, and monitors calls for quality, training and compliance purposes, all in one integrated platform.
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