Workforce Management Software Selection Guide for Call Centers

Every call center has different needs. Size, structure, industry, type of calls and many other factors determine your unique requirements. However, there are some guidelines and key questions you should consider when selecting workforce scheduling software for your call center: Key Functionality:

  • Forecasting: Ability to run simulations to calculate a precise forecast for future call volume, agent requirements and average handle time for any time interval of the day, based on historical data from your ACD.
  • Scheduling: The scheduling engine should incorporate all call types and other activities to generate staffing schedules that optimize a wide range of factors, including agent availability, skills, holidays, breaks and service levels.
  • Exception handling: Integrated exception calendar to simplify scheduling of agent exceptions such as time off and one-time or recurring training meetings.
  • Intra-day management: Graphical display of agents’ schedules with drag-and-drop functionality to quickly manage breaks, lunches and other exceptions. Real-time updates can be made to required and assigned agents instantly, and display surpluses and shortages for each time period of the day.
  • Real-time adherence: Ability to compare planned agent activity to actual activities throughout the day, as well as real-time views of forecasted and actual call volumes, handle times and other key performance indicators.
  • Configuration & administration: Ability to set up unlimited number of center splits or agent groups, each with its own set of service objectives and guidelines. Management of multiple sites and time zones. Ability to set hours of operation by day of week, and service level goals down to 15-minute intervals if desired.
  • Metrics and reporting: Ability to report and analyze all agent activities including their schedule adherence and key performance indicators. Managers need to get actionable insights through tools such as call center dashboards, Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and real-time alerts.

Implementation and user adoption – Questions to ask when evaluating the implementation:

  • Implementation and setup: How long does it take to implement and configure the solution to your unique needs.
  • User setup: How much effort is it to set up users in different locations such as remote and home offices?
  • Training: How much effort does it take to learn and productively use the solution?
  • Usability: Is the solution easy to use so that users can leverage the full potential of the software?

Total cost of ownership – Evaluate key cost drivers of the software:

  • Upfront cost: How much do you have to invest upfront for software licenses, hardware and other software?
  • Implementation cost: Costs for internal staff and consultants to implement the software and train the users.
  • Ongoing cost: Calculate the internal cost of operation, as well as external cost such as ongoing software maintenance fees, subscription and consultant fees.