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Workforce management (WFM)

Call center Workforce Management tools

Call center Workforce Management (WFM) tools and their benefits

Call center workforce management WFM tools streamline the most important aspects of call center operations: labor needs and service levels.

Call centers employ a mix of part-time and full-time personnel working multiple shifts, typically providing 24/7 customer support. Addunpredicted call volume spikes, agents calling in sick, and their lack of enthusiasm to work weekends and holidays make call center management even more challenging.

This is where a WFM tool comes into play.

Table of content:

Call center Workforce Management (WFM) tools

What are call center WFM tools?

Call center workforce management tools or software streamline the most important aspects of call center operations – employee scheduling, capacity management, labor forecasting, and time and attendance tracking.

These systems ensure above-par service quality while minimizing personnel expenses through efficient agent scheduling. The WFM software significantly contributes to higher CSAT ratings, improved CX, and increased customer retention by elevating service levels with correct forecasting and aligned scheduling.

Which is the best WFM tool?

There are many WFM systems on the market. While some software is independent and concentrated on a single activity, others offer a wider range of cloud solutions. The size, industry, workforce makeup, location, and company goals are significant in selecting the best WFM software for your contact center.

Follow these six steps when choosing the right software for your business:

  • Define the existing processes and persons responsible for each WFM task.
  • Determine which WFM activities are currently effective and which ones require improvement.
  • Determine whether the company requires a stand-alone solution focused on a single task or a more robust software with a broader suite of cloud solutions and comprehensive analytics.
  • Make a list of desired WFM features and evaluate your options accordingly.
  • Choose a system that will easily integrate with existing applications and function with your current workforce without requiring future changes down the road.
  • Ensure vendor support meets your needs.
Call center Workforce Management (WFM) tools

What can a WFM tool do?

1. Improved demand forecasting = improved scheduling

Improved forecasting is where the WFM tool demonstrates its full strength.

WFM makes demand forecasting easier by identifying patterns and trends. Using both past data and predictive algorithms, WFM tools can predict demand fluctuations based on historical need, seasonality, and even weather conditions.  This allows a contact center to respond more quickly to rising contact volume or personnel changes.

The function of Intraday scheduling takes demand forecasting one step further. It enables monitoring of the current day’s call volumes and trends to make same-day rebalances to the workload.

Decision-making is even more simplified with the simulated scenario forecasting feature. It allows supervisors to analyze potential metrics and change scenarios depending on different criteria.  Supervisors can use simulations to see how changes to a schedule or new shift patterns affect productivity and labor costs.

2. Proper scheduling = reduced overhead costs

A call center’s biggest expense is payroll, and its biggest challenge is scheduling. Relying on the traditional manual spreadsheet approach is time-consuming, unreliable, and leaves room for underutilization of labor.

Ineffective scheduling can go two ways. Operating understaffed leaves the reps overworked and stressed out. Being overstaffed affects the company’s bottom line.

A workforce management tool helps achieve balance between the two. It optimizes the scheduling process while reducing labor costs and offers scheduling flexibility to agents while increasing their job satisfaction levels.

Functions such as best-fit schedules make managers’ jobs easier by automatically developing schedules based on a variety of parameters, including expected demand, availability, agent skills, scheduling preferences, staff seniority, and many more.

Aside from optimized shift scheduling, a good WFM tool also simplifies the process of break scheduling. It enables automated break scheduling and rescheduling based on current-day events.

3. Flexible scheduling = happy agents

Recruitment, screening, interviews, onboarding, and training costs can easily exceed thousands of dollars.

With high agent attrition being one of the biggest pain points for call centers, improving your agent’s satisfaction should be your top priority.

WFM tools offer agents the added benefits of:

  • Preference-based scheduling where agents can specify their choices for shift allocation.
  • Shift bidding and shift trading allow agents to express interest in working certain shifts and facilitate swapping shifts with other agents that have the same skillset.
  • Dynamic scheduling solutions split staffing requirements into configurable chunks, allowing work-from-home agents to perform split shifts and sign in fast for unexpected call spikes.
  • Access to schedules on mobile phones that let agents view their schedules at any time while facilitating shift bidding and shift trading.
  • Accepting or declining shift assignments using the web or a mobile device.
  • Overtime and paid time off request submission and balance review.

4. Automated requests = reduced manager’s workload (and happier agents)

WFM allows you to track all attendance data, type of employee time  (regular work hours, overtime, holiday hours), work locations (remote work, at the office), and absence categories (annual leave, maternity leave, personal days) for payroll purposes.

It also allows agents to self-manage their vacation days, overtime, and voluntary time off requests, reducing your manager’s workload in the process. Allowing agents to self-manage their requests not only streamlines the manager’s job, allowing them to focus on more important matters, but it provides your employees the flexibility they need without affecting service levels. By employing a WFM tool, you’ll have a fair system in place for deciding who can take time off and when. It directly boosts employee morale as they don’t have to wait as long to know if their request is being approved. A WFM tool offers transparency for everybody, eliminating the idea of playing favorites for the most popular leave periods.

* Another added benefit of the WFM tool is that all of the changes mentioned above can be set to be automatically authorized, or if you prefer additional control, supervisors and managers can quickly approve and oversee agents’ actions.

5. Real-time reports and metrics = increased operational efficiency

WFM technologies provide detailed, up-to-the-minute reporting, providing valuable insights into agent efficiency, ticket status, and service levels. They also provide real-time statistics on the number of hours worked, actual vs. scheduled hours, and overtime to assist managers in staying within budget.

The automated tracking of time spent on tickets, chats, and calls significantly reduces the paperwork, resulting in increased operational efficiency. By observing employee behavior in specific roles, locations, and work periods, managers can schedule staff based on these performance management features.

Common WFM reports include:

  • schedule efficiency (workload fit)
  • forecast data
  • request data
  • preference data
  • availability data
  • queue and agent data
  • staffing data
  • adherence data
  • intraday performance data

6. Improved call center operations = happier customers

    A WFM tool streamlines the entire call center operation, which directly influences customer satisfaction. By elevating service levels with correct forecasting and aligned scheduling, WFM software significantly contributes to higher CSAT ratings, improved CX, and increased customer retention.

    As previously mentioned, one of the additional benefits of WFM technology is happier agents ‒ and the call center’s effectiveness definitely depends on its staff’s productivity. Being the point of contact with customers, customer satisfaction will only be as good as agent satisfaction.

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    Real-time reports and improved forecasting is where the WFM tool demonstrates its full strength. Improved demand forecasting leads to better scheduling, and proper scheduling leads to reduced overhead costs.

    Through the utilization of functions such as flexible scheduling and automated requests, WFM tools reduce managers’ workloads and increase agents’ job satisfaction levels.

    WFM software significantly contributes to higher CSAT ratings, improved CX, and increased customer retention while improving your bottom line.

    Not sure where to begin? FrontLogix can assist through every step of the WFM process.

    From helping you choose the right WFM tool for your needs to designing labor forecasting and scheduling rules, identifying and implementing best practices, strategic WFM support and consultancy, cost management improvements, and performance monitoring, FrontLogix is here to be a flexible extension to your WFM solution.

    WFM in call and contact centers

    What is Workforce Management (WFM) for Call and Contact Centers?

    What is Workforce Management (WFM) for Call and Contact Centers? Is it a set of practices or is it a tool? And what are the actual benefits of WFM? 

    What is Workforce Management for Call and Contact Centers?

    Workforce Management (WFM) in call and contact centers refers to processes that streamline operation workflow by providing more precise demand forecasting and managing workforce scheduling.
    This entails optimizing employee productivity and cost-effectiveness, scheduling paid labor hours while preventing employee burnout, and maintaining customer satisfaction.

    Benefits of WFM in call and contact centers

    Well-implemented WFM delivers significant benefits, including reduced labor costs, increased efficiency through better planning, lower agent attrition, and improved customer experience (CX). Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of a good workforce management program for call and contact centers.

    Agent satisfaction and simplified scheduling

    Staff turnover is one of the most severe issues that call and contact centers experience. Finding and retaining qualified employees significantly impacts the bottom line and the quality of service.

    According to Gartner, agent attrition is caused by feeling overburdened by their work and is highest during the first 90 days of employment. Losing an agent can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $20,000, depending on their experience level and duties.

    Workforce Management can dramatically increase agent job satisfaction by streamlining the scheduling process. Scheduling flexibility can help agents achieve the work/life balance they require. The right WFM tool can offer more options in the scheduling process, such as:

    • Preference-Based Scheduling allows agents to be involved in the scheduling process, enabling them to request working hours that best fit their lifestyle.
    • More options for Intra-Day Changes which significantly reduce last-minute sick calls.
    • Shift Bidding is where agents can express interest in working open shifts.
    • Dynamic Scheduling Solutions that divide staffing requirements into configurable chunks enable work-from-home agents to easily work split shifts and sign in fast for unexpected call spikes.
    • Automated Trades allow agents to swap shifts with others with the same skills.
    • Automated Vacation, Voluntary Time Off, and Overtime Requests allow agents to use self-service tools and are an excellent opportunity for satisfying work requirements and satisfying agents at the same time.
    • Access to Schedules on Mobile Phones allows for effective communication and enables agents to interact with their work schedules at any time.

    Improved demand forecasting

    Demand forecasting is the foundation of WFM. It is the technique of predicting future call volumes based on historical and current data.

    By abandoning spreadsheets in favor of WFM software, forecasting and managing agents’ time becomes easy, without having to bother with Erlang calculators.

    Workforce Management tools simplify demand forecasting by identifying trends and patterns, leveraging historical data, and considering demand fluctuation from recent days and weeks, as well as weather conditions and seasonality. This makes it easier for a contact center to respond to increased contact volumes or staffing fluctuations.

    Budget savings and increased efficiency

    Payroll is the highest cost of any call and contact center. Planning, scheduling, and management of human resources have a significant impact on the budget. WFM eliminates over-staffing by creating the most efficient schedules possible with the personnel at hand while keeping appropriate levels to deliver quality interactions.

    Monitoring call center statistics and performance measures are critical for increasing efficiency, profitability, and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. WFM software facilitates this by automatically tracking key metrics such as service levels and time spent on tickets, chats, calls, average call wait time, conversion rates, and upsell rates.

    Front Logix’s expert team can assist you in making the most of your data. We will help extract and analyze information and deliver detailed reports. We can assist your management team in analyzing data and historical trends across various critical indicators.

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    These strategies will do exactly that and more.

    Improved customer experience

    Key takeaways

    Workforce management (WFM) in call and contact centers refers to processes that streamline workflow through improved demand forecasts and agent scheduling. WFM comprises two components: efficient WFM software and competent specialists to ensure that the WFM software operates optimally.

    With solid WFM practices in place, call and contact centers can significantly increase operational efficiency and customer satisfaction ‒ while greatly reducing agent attrition and labor costs.

    Utilize our 20+ years of workforce management experience to build your business excellence.

    Workforce Management (WFM) services

    Successful Workforce Management involves two things: A great WFM system and a knowledgeable partner that offers Workforce Management (WFM) services.

    Workforce Management (WFM) has made its way into every sector, from WFM in contact centers to WFM in customer support, HR departments, and accounting. Well-implemented WFM can reduce labor costs, increase efficiency through better planning, provide higher levels of customer service, and boost team morale.

    Successful Workforce Management involves two things:

    • A great WFM system for the company’s needs
    • The right people to ensure the best performance of the WFM system

    Choosing the right WFM system

    There are numerous WFM systems available. Some software is stand-alone and focused on a single task, whereas others provide a broader suite of cloud solutions. Choosing the optimal software depends on the company’s size, industry, business objectives, and needs.

    Choosing the right WFM experts

    WFM solutions can assist you in managing all aspects of your employees’ work assignments. From tracking time and attendance, allocating tasks, scheduling shifts, budgeting, and forecasting demand, WFM software is an excellent solution for increasing operational efficiency.

    Since WFM technologies cover many focus areas, ensuring a proper system implementation, developing a WFM strategy, and providing adequate workforce training is essential.

    While system setup and employee training can be costly, outsourcing WFM expertise can help you make the most of your WFM data. It will help you ease worries about resource limits, inadequate system implementation, and ineffective data management and usage – all at a significantly reduced cost.

    Women looking into phone

    Benefits of WFM-managed services:

    Built on our 20+ years of workforce management experience, FrontLogix’s WFM services deliver highly relevant, on-demand management skills integrated with your WFM solution to achieve outcomes like:

    • Improved customer experience by providing timely and proper service.
    • Improved company profits through the utilization of experienced WFM resources at a lower cost.
    • Reduced investment losses due to staff churn by eliminating the need for hiring and training new employees.
    • Increased product adoption by ensuring that your customers become aware of your product, perceive its value, and become regular users.
    • Increased employee productivity through setting employee benchmarks and taking corrective action if employees fall short of expectations.
    • Eliminated training costs of in-house personnel by offering a learning management system (LMS) solution. This will help reduce in-house training costs while providing comprehensive instruction from experienced pros.
    • Increased service levels by offering profound insights into how your company operates and indicating any potential areas for development.
    • Improved forecasting and time management by delivering a precise plan and a reliable forecast.
    • Improved agent adherence and utilization by providing precise adherence data and highlighting areas where agents thrive. As a result, WFM analysts will benefit from a better understanding and application of contact center trends.
    • Optimizing omnichannel support through WFM-managed services will assist you in ensuring the correct agent with the relevant skills is available on the right channel.
    (WFM) services

    WFM-managed services

    FrontLogix offers a full spectrum of WFM Services to help you build business excellence. From strategic WFM support to cost management improvements, we are here to guide you through every step.

    FrontLogix’s WFM-managed services include:

    Strategic WFM support and consultation

    Provide your WFM team with the most important insights and the best possible knowledge and assistance combined with your WFM system.

    Precise data integration in your WFM system

    By ensuring the data is inputted accurately and correctly, your team will operate better and smarter.

    Help in labor forecasting and scheduling

    By helping you understand and model scenarios, your company can receive an accurate labor forecast.

    Optimization of workforce resources

    By conducting a thorough audit, we can pinpoint where inefficiencies lie and help you address them effectively. We can also provide insights on time tracking, absence mitigation, and overtime management.

    Access to skilled and experienced WFM advisors

    We can provide experienced WFM advisors at a competitive cost.

    Comprehensive reporting

    Comprehensive reporting enabled by our team of experts will help you get the most out of data and aid you by extracting and analyzing information and providing comprehensive reports.

    Management analytics

    By assisting your management team in analyzing data and historical trends across various key indicators, we can help you make the most of your WFM software, and access and interpret real-time data.

    Efficiency enhancement

    Facilitated by an improved organization and customization from our WFM experts, your WFM team can run smarter, better, and more efficiently.

    Cost management

    Our cost management solutions will assist your company in rethinking its fixed expenditures, reducing variable costs, and performing effective budgeting.

    Performance monitoring

    Through performance monitoring and measuring employee productivity, we can help you improve your work quality and deliver a superior customer experience.

    6 simple yet powerful strategies to improve customer retention

    Can you remember the last time you re-engaged with your customers and tried to win them back?

    These strategies will do exactly that and more.

    Our partners benefit from our decades-long experience as pioneers in workforce management. FrontLogix’s services include labor forecasting and scheduling, development of scheduling rules, identification and implementation of best practices, and our large pool of tactical knowledge.

    How to make your business recession-proof during economic downturns

    Make your business recession-proof during economic downturns

    Where to make cuts

    1. Focus most of your attention on your core competencies and outsource the rest. Your core competencies have gotten you this far, and they should be able to get you through the economic downturn. Focus on them and outsource everything else. Find a Business Process Outsourcing partner that is located in a country with an emerging economy. Since living expenses in developing countries are much lower compared to Western countries, so is the median wage. Turning to outsourcing will help you reduce workforce costs through labor cost arbitrage.

    2. Cut back on office and technology costs. Consider moving to less expensive premises and introducing remote work. Again, outsourcing proves beneficial for cost-savings. Think of all the expenses involved in the upkeep of the offices, the technology, subscription services, and infrastructure (both hardware & software). With outsourcing, you can access the newest technologies without making further investments.

    Where not to make cuts

    1. Customer Experience, Customer Care, and Customer Service quality should remain above par and show no signs of potential internal turmoil. As the labor market cools – so does consumer spending. Customers are the lifeblood of the business – and you need your loyal customers now more than ever. This is actually a golden opportunity to distinguish your brand from the competition. Many companies will fall back on below-average CX due to cutting costs on manpower and partnering up with a BPO that doesn’t deliver quality services.

      Many businesses fall into the trap of subcontracting a particular BPO solely because it offers incredibly affordable services, failing to consider how that practice may prove detrimental. Remember: your customers don’t differentiate your customer care provider from your business. They can quickly tell if an agent is well-trained and knowledgeable. Make sure that you don’t underestimate the importance of your BPO agents’ written and verbal communication skills. They are literally the voice of your business.

      At FrontLogix, we thoroughly screen all applicants for verbal and written communication skills. All of our Customer Care agents possess extensive knowledge of conversational English and technical vocabulary by studying it from the first grade. Once vetted through a 6-stage process, the candidates are trained on proper etiquette, current technology, single-call resolution for inbound and outbound calls, and the specifics of each client’s product or service.

    2. Marketing and advertising Even though it might seem counterproductive now is the time to step up your marketing efforts. During a recession, many companies feel pressured to cut back on their advertising budgets – leaving a void that the savviest businesses will seize upon. Trounce the competition by winning their customers over and strengthening your market position.
    Business colleagues discussing over digital tablet at desk in office


    • Strategic WFM support & consultation
    • Precise data integration with your WFM system
    • Help in labor forecasting and scheduling
    • Optimization of workforce resources
    • Cost-effective access to skilled and experienced WFM resources
    • Comprehensive reporting
    • Management analytics
    • Efficiency enhancement
    • Cost management improvements
    • Performance monitoring
    Workforce management (WFM)

    Workforce management (WFM), WFM software, and workforce-managed services

    Many organizations still use back-and-forth emails, manually-created spreadsheets, and hard-copy roster sheets to organize their schedules and workloads. Surprised? Or is your company one of them?
    Keep reading if you are ready to hop on the Workforce Management (WFM) bandwagon but need help figuring out where to begin.

    In this blog post, we will cover the following:

    What is Workforce Management (WFM)?

    Workforce Management (WFM) refers to a set of processes used by a company to streamline operation workflow. It is intended to maximize resource management and workforce productivity, ensuring the most effective use of labor and enabling more precise forecasting of workforce planning.

    In simpler terms, Workforce Management is an institutional process that improves  performance and proficiency.

    The two main aspects of WFM are demand orientation and optimization, and advantages may include the following:

    • Reduced operational costs
    • Increased service levels, productivity, and product adoption
    • Improved employee adherence, utilization, and empowerment through direct involvement in the scheduling process
    • Improved forecasting and time management
    • Optimized omnichannel support
    • Maximized customer experience
    • Accurate reporting, data collection, and analytics
    • Eliminated training costs of in-house WFM personnel
    • Freed resources for strategic projects
    meeting Workforce management (WFM)

    What is a Workforce Management solution or WFM software?

    A Workforce Management Solution or WFM software is an umbrella term for desktop and mobile programs that optimize, automate, and organize the Workforce Management process.

    Think of it as the motherboard of an organization –  a single platform that connects all of the components. Essentially, it’s a tool with features such as workforce analytics, forecasting, employee scheduling, and attendance tracking software that replaces time-consuming tasks and provides insights and data analyses.

    Is WFM software the same as HCM software?

    Although these two terms are often used interchangeably, they are somewhat different.

    Human Capital Management (HCM) software, as the name implies, is used by the – you guessed it – Human Resources department to drive productivity and business value by organizing HR processes such as employee recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, and payroll, among others.

    On the other hand, WFM software is used to track time and attendance, assign work, schedule shifts, budget, and forecast demand, and ensure that the workforce is managed and operated as effectively as possible by assigning tasks to employees with a matching skill set.

    Which industries can benefit from implementing a WFM tool?

    Organizations have adopted WFM software from a variety of industries in an effort to reduce costs and improve workforce effectiveness. In particular, companies with a mix of part-time and full-time employees who work shifts and deal with fluctuations in demand volume can benefit significantly from implementing a WFM solution.

    WFM is well suited for organizations in industries such as customer service, hospitality, retail, and healthcare, among others. However, Workforce Management can be beneficial in other sectors and industries. Regardless of whether the company is a large enterprise, a midrange company, or a small business, implementing a workforce management tool can prove vital to any business management strategy.

    Workforce management (WFM) office

    How to choose the right WFM software?

    FrontLogix’s WFM-managed services include:

    • Strategic WFM support and consultation
    • Precise data integration with your WFM system
    • Help in labor forecasting and scheduling
    • Optimization of workforce resources
    • Cost-effective access to skilled and experienced WFM resources
    • Comprehensive reporting
    • Management analytics
    • Efficiency enhancement
    • Cost management improvements
    • Performance monitoring

    FrontLogix is a flexible and resourceful extension to your WFM system that will help optimize the customer experience, reach new levels of productivity, and enhance your employee engagement and customer experience – while reducing costs.

    We provide access to a team of WFM product experts, integration specialists, and industry veterans 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    As pioneers in workforce management systems, you can benefit from our decades-long experience and:

    • Maximize the overall customer experience
    • Utilize experienced WFM resources at a lower cost
    • Avoid investment losses caused by employee turnover
    • Increase product adoption
    • Increase productivity
    • Eliminate training costs of in-house personnel
    • Increase service levels
    • Improve forecasting and time management
    • Improve agent adherence and utilization
    • Optimize omnichannel support