What is Workforce Management for Contact Centers?

What is your definition of workforce management? It probably depends on the type of business you are in.  Wikipedia provides this general statement: “In many markets and industries, workforce management is all about assigning the right employees with the right skills to the right job at the right time.” For contact centers, that definition is a great place to start. If a manager schedules the right agents with the appropriate call-handling skills on the shifts where those skills will be most needed, he or she is certainly on the best track to an efficient operation. However, knowing what to do and how to get there are two separate challenges. That’s where workforce management (WFM) software can play a critical role. A manager needs to know what type of calls, and call volume, to expect on a certain week or day or even during a particular hour. With WFM, historical call data is collected and analyzed with the goal of predicting future workload. With the more accurate predictions provided by WFM, a manager can forecast needs and schedule staff accordingly. Finding the best agents for the needs of a shift or a certain type of customer? Again, past performance of agents can be reviewed for how quickly different types of calls are handled, and which percentage were brought to a successful conclusion. The best WFM solution will include accurate call volume forecasting from historical data and ACD integration, flexible schedule creation that incorporates foreseen and unforeseen variables, agent exceptions, intra-day changes to both forecasting and scheduling, and performance management reports. For even more information, please visit our new Workforce Management resources website – it provides workforce management tips, industry news and other resources.