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Workforce Management Essential to Combating Seasonal Call Center Peaks

April 27, 2011

The challenge of managing a workforce is of major concern in a business where the absence of one agent can botch the flow of your entire operation. The best way to handle a workforce of varied skill and dependability is with a workforce management software suite. WFM software is fully prepared to do the heavy lifting for you with a number of faculties that would nearly impossible to manage manually.

Key among these tools is a software suites’ capacity to forecast peaks and valleys in call volume based on previously collected information. The fluctuation of call volume happens on a seasonal basis and can wreak havoc on the delicate balance of your call center. Say for example your company ships coolers or parts for coolers; you can generally expect to see the volume of your phone calls ramp up significantly as the summer gets underway with significant spikes just before the Memorial or Independence Day. If you’re unprepared for these spikes, customer request will go unanswered and they will blame you for the broken cooler at their BBQ.  

If you had been employing a proper workforce management program before that peak hit you would have been notified that more agents were needed to keep up with customer demand. You would also have known which skills these agents required to ensure they could handle the incoming calls. Instead you have a bunch of customers without coolers who can directly blame your customer service operation for warm beer. That kind of association is something that anyone with an active customer service strategy can do without.

The main point to workforce management solutions is to provide the tools you need to effectively manage the contact center and its employees. You have a lot to manage in terms of forecasting, scheduling, training and execution. With a powerful WFM solution you’ll make sure these problems are organized enough for you to make a dent in. More importantly you’ll make sure customers aren’t cursing the day they decided to do business with you.

Chris DiMarco is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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