What is workforce management (WFM)

The definition of workforce management (WFM) may vary depending on its application.

Wikipedia provides this general description, “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.” This definition certainly applies to contact centers. If a manager schedules the right agents with the appropriate call-handling skills on the shifts where those skills are most needed, he or she is certainly on the best track to an efficient operation.

What does Workforce Management include?

As mentioned above, workforce management can also be defined as achieving and maintaining operational efficiency. By doing so, contact centers can reduce their operational costs, boost productivity and enhance customer experience.

Contact center workforce management usually encompasses the following activities:

Forecasting: In the contact center, forecasting is used to predict the call/email/chat workload as well as staffing requirements based on historical data in order to avoid understaffing or overstaffing.

The more historical data you have from different channels (phone, chat, email, etc.), the more accurate your forecast will be as you will be able to identify trends and patterns.

Scheduling: Contact center scheduling is one of the most complicated tasks as you need to juggle business needs, scheduling rules, contracts, shift patterns, flexible working hours and ever-changing requirements.

In addition, you need to take into account other contact center metrics such as Average Handle Time (AHT), shrinkage, Average Speed of Answer (ASA), service, levels, etc. to make sure you deliver the best customer experience possible.

Adherence Tracking: Schedule adherence monitors how closely your agents follow their assigned activities. Schedule adherence can be impacted negatively by a number of factors such as agent tardiness, unscheduled or extended breaks, chatting with their co-workers, etc.

Intraday Management: Intraday management refers to the set of activities within a day or a contact center shift to manage unexpected events in order to rebalance the workload with available resources and maintain service levels.

Performance Management: Performance management plays a paramount role in the contact center’s success by aligning your people, processes and systems to your business objectives such as service levels, customer satisfaction, agent churn, costs and revenue.

What can a Workforce Management Software do for your contact center?

While you certainly know what to do to meet your goals, how to get there is not always an easy path. That’s where workforce management (WFM) can help.

Contact center WFM software can collect historical call/email/chat data to analyze it and predict future workload. It can also include flexible schedule creation that incorporates foreseen and unforeseen variables, agent exceptions, intraday changes to both forecasting and scheduling, and performance management reports.

Workforce management software therefore automates some of the most time-consuming and error-prone tasks for supervisors while enhancing the forecast accuracy and schedule flexibility.

Workforce Management (WFM) can help you:

  • Accurately forecast to create consistent and reliable schedules
  • Improve employee productivity
  • Identify performance gaps
  • Empower your workforce to deliver outstanding and efficient customer service

These are just some of the many benefits that a WFM solution can bring to your contact center. When selecting a vendor, you should keep your current business in mind as well as your future needs and chose a solution that fits into your environment and can adjust to your growing needs.

Verint Monet is a simple, cost-effective cloud WFM solution that provides an ACD neutral option for businesses looking to improve their contact center and help desk operations. With over 65 integrations including Salesforce, Verint Monet is the perfect option for customers looking to implement an omnichannel SaaS workforce engagement solution.

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