What are the Key Components of a Workforce Management System?

When first looking at the range of workforce management systems available, it can be confusing trying to figure out which might be best for your call center. So, for those in need of a quick primer, here are the most significant workforce management tools for call centers, and why they are critical to the success of your business.

  • Forecasting – By using historical data, and through simulations to calculate future call volume, WFM generates forecasts for appropriate staffing, call handle time and other factors to maintain optimum call center performance for any time interval of the day.
  • Scheduling – Accurate forecasts create accurate schedules. A WFM scheduling engine should incorporate all call types and other activities. A staffing schedule is only valuable when it is optimized for all necessary factors, including agent skill sets, staff availability, holidays, breaks and service levels.
  • Intra-day Management – Scheduling an agent for a shift is not enough – WFM should provide a graphical display of variances in agents’ schedules during the workday for breaks, lunch and other exceptions. Real-time updates allow managers to compensate during surpluses or shortages for each time period.
  • Exception Planning – Choose a WFM solution with an integrated exception calendar, that simplifies the scheduling of agent exceptions for training, time off and other variables.
  • Real-Time Adherence – Use WFM to compare planned agent activity to actual activities throughout the day, while also reviewing forecasts for key performance indicators such as call volume and handle time.
  • Configuration/Administration – WFM should adjust to your call center regardless of how it is organized. Choose a system that lets you build an unlimited number of center splits or agent groups with separate service objectives and guidelines. Use WFM to manage multiple sites and time zones, and set service level goals down to 15-minute intervals.
  • Performance Analysis/Metrics – WFM provides actionable insights on all agent activities through dashboards, key performance indictors and real-time alerts.
  • Ease of Use – Technology cannot benefit a business if it is not easy to use, and if it cannot be incorporated into the center with minimal training.
  • Agent Collaboration – Communicate with agents on schedule changes, exception planning and shift bidding. WFM should also issue automated alerts and notifications to maintain schedule adherence. 

For more advice on workforce management system selection, please download our “How to Select a WFM Solution” whitepaper.