“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients“.Richard Branson, the founder of The Virgin Group
As discussed in the Employee Experience is the New Customer Experience post, one thing is clear: The best way to ensure a great customer experience is to create a great employee experience.
This is especially true when employees have direct contact with customers, such as customer service representatives.
But a call center agent’s job is not easy.
Besides handling customer complaints and dealing with rude customers, and often working at strange hours, which are common issues in customer support roles, there’s another topic that’s not talked about as much: How technology trends impact the experience of the agents.
The Consequences of Neglecting Agent Training in Technology Integration
With technology’s ongoing development, businesses increasingly rely on modern tools to enhance the customer experience. However, those who interact with customers on a daily basis – agents – are often overlooked in the process. Agents are expected to quickly learn new technology to address better customer needs, which can actually lead to increased complexity and stress. Integrating these new systems can be challenging, and many agents report that it negatively impacts their performance, through:
- Disconnected back-end systems
- Frequent app switching
- Unnecessary, redundant systems
- Clunky user interfaces
- Inadequate training
Unfortunately, companies often assume that agents will simply adapt to new demands without the proper training and support. This lack of investment can ultimately lead to high turnover rates and decreased productivity.
That is where Workforce Management steps in.
How Workforce Management impacts Contact Center and Customer Success
When you are overstaffed, you are wasting money. But when you’re understaffed, your employees are overworked, provide poorer customer experiences and might ultimately leave.
Staffing the right people at the right time is crucial, but it is easier said than done.
Workforce Management Systems acts as an intelligent planner for a contact center, ensuring it operates seamlessly and efficiently. It balances the two objectives: promptly addressing customer needs while evenly distributing tasks among agents, therefore ensuring the center meets its service goals.
While the WFM tool itself is valuable, it’s the WFM specialist’s knowledge and expertise that unlock its full potential. They ensure the tool is set up correctly, integrated seamlessly with other systems, and can adjust to the company’s evolving needs.
Here’s a breakdown of the integral components of workforce management:
Setup and Configuration take into consideration the setup of the WFM solution configuration of teams, agents, skills/queues in the WFM solution, any needed reminders/tasks/exceptions, as well as manual imports if and where needed.
Forecasting involves short-term forecasts of volumes across queues/skills/teams, based on established configurations.
Scheduling involves the creation of employee schedules based on preferences, availability and organizational requirements.
Capacity Planning involves estimating the staffing needs based on work volume, considering Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) and hours, including any shrinkages or expected absenteeism. Typically, this planning spans an entire calendar year or the remainder of it, broken down into weekly segments.
(RTA) Real-Time Adherence involves a WFM specialist monitoring agents’ adherence to their designated schedules. If an agent deviates from their set schedule, the WFM specialist communicates with Team Managers, Supervisors, or directly with the agent.
Skill and Competency Mapping involves evaluating agents’ abilities to handle phone calls, emails, and chats, detailing the types of calls they can manage and the specific queues they operate in, and categorizing agents into respective teams.
Compliance Tracking involves regularly reviewing policies and procedures, including scheduling practices, monitoring staffing levels, and ensuring employee breaks for optimal customer service.
Management Analytics includes analyzing data and historical trends across various key indicators.
Comprehensive Reporting encompasses extracting and analyzing information and providing detailed reports.
Staffing Gap Analysis involves analyzing the difference between the required hours or FTEs needed to complete the incoming work against available resources.
Creating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and configuring reports and dashboards that provide valuable insights into individual and team performance is essential for evaluation and future improvement. By collecting and analyzing data, specialists can identify trends and patterns in customer behavior, which is crucial for informed decision-making regarding staffing and strategic planning.
Systems Integration takes into consideration the setup of the WFM solution (configuration of teams, agents, skills/queues in the WFM solution, any needed reminders/tasks/exceptions, and manual imports if and where needed).
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.
FrontLogix helps companies with every aspect of a WFM program, from strategic advice on choosing the best WFM solution for their needs to labor forecasting and scheduling, the development of scheduling rules, identification and implementation of best practices, and providing access to tactical WFM knowledge whenever necessary.
We provide highly skilled on-demand management expertise integrated with your WFM solution based on our 20+ years of workforce management experience.