Workforce Management: The Hosted Solution
August 08, 2006
By Susan J. Campbell, Workforce Management Contributing Editor
Workforce management sounds like a simple enough concept: manage your workforce properly to achieve your strategic goals. But, if it were really that simple, it wouldn’t have its own buzzword and a whole industry built around helping organizations achieve total productivity and cost efficiency.
A hosted workforce management solution is a complete win-win situation. When the call center is better able to perform its functions, the customer receives a better experience. This positive customer experience leads to customer loyalty which then generates higher revenues for the company.
Beyond higher revenues, however, is the potential for greater profit margins. When the call center is able to function efficiently through scheduling and other process improvements, many unnecessary costs are able to be eliminated. When costs are cut without compromising services, better profits are the rewards.
So – what is the magic behind a hosted workforce management solution?
The call center is an extremely dynamic environment. Customers call for a variety of reasons; agents possess different skills sets; volumes can peak at different times during the day---for these reasons and more, call center management has to be able to effectively match callers to agents, schedule according to call volume, ensure minimal wait time for customers and that each caller receives exceptional service. This is a lot to manage in any size call center.
According to the Society of Workforce Planning Professionals (SWPP), of the call centers that have workforce management systems in place, the most notable benefits include intraday forecasting performance capabilities, real-time adherence modules and ease of use, maintenance and administration.
A hosted solution powered by an experienced vendor can add great value to the call center environment. For one, the vendor can work with call center management to help identify areas of opportunity for improvement in efficiency. While it may seem contradictory that an outside company is needed to identify internal processes, the reality is that many managers and supervisors are either too close to the situation or too overloaded with everyday objectives to recognize areas of weakness.
Another challenge for call center management is being able to reduce expenditures without sacrificing service or meeting company goals. When a call center can execute effective processes and efficient agent scheduling, customer service levels are increased and the center can establish a competitive advantage. For a company in an industry overflowing with competitors, differentiation is critical to long-term success.
An experienced workforce management solution provider can help the call center gain the strategic and competitive advantage it needs to build profitability and growth in a dynamic industry. The only proven way to do this is through customer-centric decisions that propel the company into profitability.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.