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What is Workforce Management?

August 16, 2012

Workforce management software offers call centers actionable intelligent in preparing staff levels on a daily basis. Generally Workforce Management suites are used instead of standard spreadsheet style scheduling and can offer a more detailed and comprehensive look at your staffing expectations for a given day. By efficiently managing your workforce you can curb issues like shrinkage, over staffing and schedule adherence all of major concern in the call center, where staffing is usually the number one cost associated with the operation.

Above anything else, workforce management software gives a more reliable top-down view of staff requirements as they relate to the expected call volume. By analyzing historical information, duration of customer contact, expected seasonal peaks and staff schedules, Workforce Management software can quickly balance how many agents you have vs. how many you’ll need. Some workforce management suites even offer CRM integration, routing to a preferred agent each and every time and continuing a productive dialog to that fosters customer retention. Workforce management products also allow you to monitor agent adherence levels and determine which skills are in demand in your call center.

Peaks and valleys in call volume are common on a seasonal basis for most call centers. For example fulfillment operations see peaks during the Christmas shopping seasons, and outbound services might see peaks during election seasons. Knowing what you’re up against before creating a schedule means you’re getting the most out of each agent. When agents are idle, you’re paying them to do nothing and when the phones are over queue your losing customers. While it might be possible to find the perfect balance without a workforce management solution in a small call center, as operation becoming increasingly large and complex the need for a solution rises exponentially.

Workforce management solutions offer increases in staff efficiency through intelligent forecasting. Make it easier for your call center managers to schedule accordingly by incorporating a workforce management solution in you call center.

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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