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Contact Centers Missing the Point with Workforce Management Software

April 16, 2007

Organizations throughout the global economy are continually seeking differentiation in tightly competitive markets. Often, that differentiation is found through service deliverables. As these organizations are often serving customers worldwide, this service is delivered through the contact center as it is often the only point of contact between the company and the customer, whether it is a problem, support or an extension of services that has motivated the interaction.
With an increased focus on a high quality of service, the contact center is under intense pressure to ensure that every customer interaction results in a highly satisfied customer. In doing so, the center has to coordinated employee schedules to correctly match forecasted peaks and valleys in customer contacts. A failure to accurately forecast and schedule can produce an end result of higher employee attrition and dissatisfied customers.
To overcome these challenges, contact centers have access to an application that is considerably underused – workforce management software. Not only can these applications help promote accurate forecasting and scheduling, they can also support performance reporting. Yet, despite the benefits that workforce management software applications can provide, most are not used to their full potential to generate optimal performance in the contact center.
A study completed by the Society of Workforce Planning Professionals found that 90 percent of contact centers have a workforce management system in place. However, according to a study by Customer Relationship Metric, L.C.,  those using workforce management software to support the scheduling function is quite high at 88 percent, 52 percent do not use the application to support performance reporting and another 25 percent do not use workforce management software to support forecasting.
The Customer Relationship Metrics study indicates that while workforce management software is indeed being used in a majority of contact centers, most are not using it to its full capability. For those centers that are using the scheduling function, many are using some other means for achieving accurate forecasts and for performance reporting.
In doing so, contact center managers are often creating more work for themselves by operating out of more than one application instead of relying on a robust workforce management software system that can seamlessly integrate each one to produce an efficient work environment. When the contact center is running efficiently, agents are more satisfied and the customer is more assured of a satisfying interaction.
When service deliverables are the only thing separating the company from the competition, a customer-centric focus must be the priority in the contact center. Considering the number of channels that these centers now have to manage beyond traditional phone calls, the demand is even greater for applications that can lead to proper management of the workforce.
By implementing and using an effective workforce management software solution, the contact center can drive a more efficient environment that will produce increased satisfaction rates both within the organization and with customers. As a result, the contact center can reduce agent attrition, foster customer loyalty and drive improved revenues overall.

Want to learn more about workforce management software? Then be sure to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. The papers are authored by industry leaders, who, in turn, receive qualified sales leads from interested parties. Check here for the latest in CRM information.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

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