Workforce Management Software Selection for Contact Centers

When choosing the best workforce management (WFM) solution for your call center, there are a number of considerations to review based on that center’s specific needs. The goal is to increase efficiency and service levels, while also reducing costs. Here are ten important evaluation criteria for any WFM software solution. 1. Capabilities What can the software do for your call center? Its capabilities should 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. 2. Implementation Calculate how long the software will take to implement, including installation, configuration, customization and training – weeks, months, years? 3. Integration How well will the system work with your existing systems, for such necessities as sharing of vital data? Will this be possible out of the box, or will custom integration be required? 4. Cost Incorporate upfront costs, ongoing monthly or maintenance costs, and any hidden costs in your consideration. Can the system be used over the web without equipment purchase? 5. Usability How long will it take for mangers, supervisors and agents to get comfortable with the system? Is it confusing? Are there too many features that you may not need, but that can complicate usage? 6. Unification How unified will the user experience be across solution components? Will the dashboards show everything you need to monitor a call and discover how and where corrections should be made? 7. Metrics Besides forecasting, scheduling and adherence, other key WFM metrics that should be able to be reviewed via dashboard include call answer times, first call resolutions and transfer rates. 8. Scalability Can the solution grow with your call center? Can users, modules and additional functionality be added without additional hardware costs or other expensive implementation? 9. Risk What happens if the first system you buy doesn’t pan out? Can you return it or stop using it without incurring any financial risk? 10. ROI What will the return on investment (ROI) be, and how quickly will you recoup you investment in the system? ROI can be hard numbers (e.g. cost savings) and soft benefits (e.g. higher customer satisfaction) – both will have a positive impact to the bottom line. We have recently updated our workforce management resource center where you can download various documents that might be helpful in your selection process.

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