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WFM in call and contact centers

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

You have probably heard that Workforce Management (WFM) is essential for the optimal operation of Call Centers and Contact Centers. But, what exactly is WFM? Is it a set of practices or is it a tool? And what are the actual benefits of WFM? 

In this blog post, we will cover all of that:

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.

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.