What is Workforce Management Software?

Workforce management in a contact center or help desk is the art and science of having the right number of employees with the right skills at the right times, to meet accurately forecasted volumes of work at a predetermined service level with minimized costs.

Workforce management is a critical task for contact centers and help desks, as poor planning and execution can have a negative impact on your business (revenues, costs) your customers (satisfaction, loyalty) and even your employees (motivation/turnover/burn-out).

The objective of workforce management software is to gain visibility into call center metrics such as service levels, schedule adherence, average handle time, etc.

Whether you are new to workforce management or a seasoned contact center manager, here’s a short reminder of what workforce management software does:

  1. It collects the data from your Automatic Call Distributor (ACD), Contact Center Infrastructure (CCI) or CRM system to identify the patterns i.e. the days, times, holidays, seasonal periods when you can expect a spike in call/case volume.
  2. By gathering and analyzing the data, it calculates an accurate forecast and staffing requirements meaning that a manager can forecast needs and schedule staff accordingly.
  3. It automates your staff roster creation considering agent availability including available staff with the required skills, holidays, breaks, employment contracts, business policies, etc.
  4. Workforce management software monitors and manages agent schedule adherence in real time so that you can take corrective action when necessary.
  5. It provides reports, scorecards and analytics to align your people, process and systems to your business objectives. Workforce management software tracks performance both on an individual level and as a whole and helps you interpret Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  6. It helps reduce operational costs and boost your contact center’s efficiency while improving your employee’s morale.

Is Workforce Management Software important?

It all depends where you stand. If your call center has less than 30 agents, you can keep up with spreadsheets to forecast and schedule.

However, if you have more than 30 agents, experts state that manual scheduling and forecasting can become inefficient, time-consuming and prone to error. Consequently, if your call center has more than 30 agents and if you’re planning to grow your team, now might be the right time to invest in workforce management software.

What Are the Types of Workforce Management Software?

Workforce management software can be on-premises, hosted or in the cloud.

On-premises: An on-premises system is one in which hardware and software must be installed, deployed and maintained at the contact center. All equipment is purchased up front. It is traditionally associated with large enterprises that have the budget to acquire the capabilities deemed necessary, and the full-time IT staff available to configure and modify systems as needed for optimal control.

Hosted: A hosted system relies on an outside service provider. The contact center purchases the necessary software, which is installed in a data center on either physical or virtual servers that may be owned or leased by the business. Implementation is similar to an on-premises solution, but the cost is lower because the hardware does not need to be purchased. However, the contact center must still pay an initial provisioning fee as well as a monthly fee for the rental or usage of the hosting center’s equipment and personnel.

Cloud: A cloud-based workforce management software doesn’t need to be installed on the company’s IT system. Concerns such as computing capacity, physical space, bandwidth and storage are no longer issues. The contact center pays only for the time and capacity that it needs. A cloud solution provides the highest ROI and savings of any WFM strategy due to its low upfront investment and low operating costs.

Want to learn more on these 3 delivery methods? Download our whitepaper about Cloud vs. Hosted vs. On-Premise Contact Center Software.

What Are the Main Benefits of Workforce Management Software?

While workforce management software represents a cost, its central role is so crucial that it is worth the investment. Given that staffing can be the most expensive resource in the contact center budget (60 to 80%), therefore, even a 1% increase in productivity can significantly impact the bottom line and provide a quick ROI.

Let’s take a quick look:

Lower operational costs

Workforce management software automates key tasks that have an immediate impact on your bottom line through more accurate call volume forecasting, staffing calculations and scheduling and daily performance tracking. It also means less errors and less manual processes. Time equals money, consequently the less time you waste, the more you can get done.

Boost productivity

Workforce management software provides metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you can monitor and track in real time. These Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) reveal the big picture as well as individual performance that you can leverage to take corrective actions and make improvements.

Reduce financial and non-compliance risk

Thanks to workforce management software, more data can be delivered to managers and supervisors. You must also abide by the company policy, worker’s contract rules, country regulations, etc. With an automated WFM system, call center leads can reduce the risk of inadvertent violations and bridge the gaps in compliance that can lead to costly errors.

Improving customer satisfaction

Workforce management software can help optimize omnichannel support and make sure your customers are connected to the right agent with the right skills to help them resolve their issue during the first interaction.

Improving employee morale

By providing more transparency, work flexibility and improving supervisor/agent communication, workforce management software helps make your agents happier and more engaged. This leads to less attrition and more satisfied customers.

 

Want to learn more on Verint Monet Workforce Management solution? Request a free demo