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Why Workforce Management Software Should Be on Your Call Center's Wish List

January 12, 2012

We all know the disappointment of getting a bad gift around the holidays. Whether it’s another snowman sweater from grandma, or the annual fruitcake brick from Uncle Bob, nothing makes you want to clarify your holiday wish list like a “meh” present.

The same holds true for call centers, and although they generally don’t celebrate the holidays like human beings, if one were to anthropomorphize a call center, you could imagine that right at the top of their Holiday wish lists this year would have been a great workforce management software platform. So for all the good little call centers out there here are four reasons why a workforce management suite should have been a gift to yourself this year.

1. Forecasting

Being able to tell what kind of volume to expect on any given day in your call center is absolutely essential to the effective management of both staff and time. Think of how efficient your call center would be if you could identify the peaks and valleys of volume on a day to day basis. You can accomplish this with any good workforce management software suite and in doing so, you’ll be able to cut spending on idle agents, and improve your overall customer experience. Make sure that the management software you chose has a forecasting option, and you’ll be able to much more effectively address these issues.

2. Schedule Adherence

Because of the large human element involved in managing adherence, its often one of the most commonly cited pain points for call centers. And while getting all your agents in line without a workforce management solution can be a bit like herding cats, the granular insight that a full featured suite can bring your management will help you better understand where your adherence goals should be. Workforce management will let you know when your agents clock in, go on breaks and take time for after call work. , you’ll be able to identify repeat offenders and take actions that promote closer adherence among the staff.

3. Metrics

Without keeping an eye on key numbers like call length, abandonment, satisfaction level and queue size, there’s really no way for you to indentify weak points in your operation or make significant efforts towards correcting them. Tracking metrics is something that all good workforce management software possesses, and is the ultimate way to get real actionable information out of your call center.

4. Channel oversight

The days of the call center being just an office full of phones are long gone, and if you’re actively engaged in your customer base you’ll realize that the channels they’re reaching out to you on have expanded tremendously over the last decade. Whether it’s through social media, text, or email, keeping an eye on the number of interactions you have on a daily basis will allow you to more effectively shuffle agents to meet the needs of you customers. Say for example that between the hours of 9a.m. and 5p.m. you see a sharp rise in email communications. You’ll want to make sure that you have agents available to rapidly and effectively respond to customers, and tracking the level of these interactions with workforce management software is the best way to accomplish this goal.

So next year when your call center runs down the stairs to see what Santa Clause left under tree, don’t break their little ACDs with the workforce management equivalent of the pet rock. Find a feature heavy, capable software platform to fill the needs above and your call center will brim with cheer all year round.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend
ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO registration click here.

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Chris DiMarco is a Managing 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. Follow him on Twitter (News - Alert) @cpdimarco.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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