Workforce Management Featured Articles
The Cloud Delivery Model Can Reduce Headaches Across the Contact Center
If your goal for this year is to reduce headaches, complexity and down-time in the contact center, it should be the year you approach the cloud to begin solving some of your biggest problems. The cloud model can provide contact centers large and small with all the advanced functionality they require, and administration and upkeep of the software becomes the best kind of problem there is: someone else's problem...
Contact Center Performance Reviews: All At Once, or Throughout the Year?
Let's face it: no one likes a job review. They're awkward, nerve-wracking and generally uncomfortable affairs, largely because they happen only once a year. Because raises and bonuses are often tied to a worker's performance, that once-a-year review - which may be based on your performance on a really bad day you had recently - there is a lot at stake...
reacHIRE Helps Stay-at-Home Moms Transition Back into the Workforce
When it comes to workforce management, most human resources execs are coming around to the fact that a more diverse workforce that includes women at all levels is a pillar of strength for today's modern enterprise. But so often, the pool of qualified women is constricted by the years that many spend underemployed or out of the workforce entirely in order to do what is arguably the greatest job of all: Raise their children...
CUSTOMER Magazine Gives Monet Software 2016 Product of the Year Award
As it applies in today's environment, Workforce Optimization (WFO) is used by organizations with a strategy focusing on increasing customer satisfaction, while at the same time introducing new levels of efficiency across the board. In the past this was a very labor intensive process afforded only to large enterprises that could afford the man power. However, today companies such as Monet Software provide WFO solutions for businesses of any size. And its Monet Live WFO solution was recognized with the 2016 CUSTOMER Magazine Product of the Year Award from TMC...
Mobile Workforce Management Should Be Part of Your Company's Mobility Strategy
Going forward, mobile workforce management can help eliminate some of the disadvantages of managing a team of remote workers, while fully embracing the benefits of the work-from-home (or work-from-anywhere) business model. Companies need to do in-depth research to ensure that the mobile workforce management solution they do invest in will make managing employees easier and not harder, and that any solution they choose will work with existing business processes...
The Right Fit for Workforce Management Software for the Contact Center
Finding an enterprise solution that meets your company's needs is a bit like dating. You might look around a bit, mingle, and even schedule a dinner with someone. Though that person might be well suited for someone else, he or she may not be right for you. It's not always like a disastrous date that's immediately obviously unsuitable. Some solutions might seem great at first, but over time, your needs and the product's strengths start to diverge...
Don't Neglect the Total Cost of New Hires
I'm a serial entrepreneur, which means I'm hyper busy (indeed, I'm writing this article from a plane, one of my prime opportunities for writing and reflection). Recently I recognized that I needed an assistant for one of my businesses, so I invested a fair amount of time and found a quality candidate in Asia that also met my budget...
Bersin by Deloitte Encourages HR Leaders to Focus on Bold, Inventive HR Strategies
The "Predictions for 2016: A Bold New World of Talent, Learning, Leadership and HR Technology Ahead," sees technology playing a more important role to successfully bring the entire workforce of an organization together to create a productive environment and culture...
Kronos and Google Pursue the SMB Cloud Workforce Management Market
Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) haven't fared that well when it comes to enterprise grade solutions, but all that is set to change with the recent development in information and communications technologies (ICT). The increased adoption of these solutions has changed the mindset of large software and hardware companies, who are now seeing SMBs as highly lucrative. Kronos and Google have come together to do just that, with a new software development partnership that will bring both of their products together seamlessly in the cloud so SMBs can access it with greater ease...
SF Gov Agency Goes Beyond Spreadsheets to Manage Complex Scheduling Environment
Monet WFM Live is a cloud-based management solution that delivers workforce management, call recording, quality assurance and performance management. Its customizability was particularly attractive for HSA...
Cloud Solutions Tailor Made to Help SMB Contact Center Succeed
Companies have a lot of choices to make today when it comes to enterprise solutions. They must choose a solution - and picking a partner vendor that will be there for them is one of the most important elements of this. They also need to choose a delivery model for that choice. Premises-based solutions in which the company must purchase both the hardware AND the software and then operate and update it to the best of their abilities was once the norm. In the last decade or so, they've had other options: either a hosted or cloud-based solution. Despite the proliferation of these delivery options, confusion still exists regarding the difference between hosted and cloud-based...
A Great Year for Monet Software and for Cloud Workforce Management in General
Cloud-based solutions such as those provided Monet are doing great things for the U.S. contact center industry. The reduction is costs for solutions is helping companies save enough money that they can bring call center jobs back to U.S. shores from places such as India or the Philippines, where quality and reliability are uncertain, at best...
2016 Workplace Trends Driven By Talent-First Approaches
When it comes to trends in the workplace for 2016, the year promises to be transformative in a number of ways. According to the Workforce Institute at Kronos, investment in talent, tools and retention will all mark a year where the Presidential Election will form an important backdrop...
Learning the Workforce Management and Scheduling Lessons from the Holiday Contact Center Rush
So the holidays are over, and your contact center is settling down into business as usual, right? Seasonal employees are packing up and ready to leave, customers have returned everything they don't want or don't need for exchanges or credits and have taken a vow of "no spending" at least until springtime. It's going to become quiet, and the holiday rush is nothing but a stressful memory...
A Goal for 2016: Eliminate Interdepartmental Disconnects and Blind Spots
The contact center, which is probably the most rigidly scheduled department in any company, is a different bird. Here, the workforce management manager is the one who builds the schedule and follows up with adherence. Often times, this puts the workforce management manager in conflict with the human resources department...
Applying Data Analytics to Worker Absence Trends
Companies today should be tracking the number of days lost to absences so they can compare historical data in the future; the reasons for absence and their duration; which departments or teams are losing the most days to absences; and individual employees' absence records. Beate O'Neil, head of wellness consulting at Punter Southall Health and Protection Consulting, told Barrett that companies should be careful, however, of creating too many categories for the reasons for absences...
Fluidity in Providing a Customer Experience Requires Fluidity in Workforce Management
While a few forward-thinking companies are doing amazing things with omnichannel customer support today, most companies are admittedly mired in the past. Contact centers are large and unwieldy, and many companies have been burned before by investments that cost them a lot of money and gained them very little value. As a result, they continue to operate as if it's 1999 with siloed voice channels, sluggish e-mail response time and hit-or-miss successes with newer channels such as mobile app or social media. It's not only about a lack of technology, it's about the way the contact centers are still managing their human resources...
Report Predicts Brisk Growth for Global Cloud-based Workforce Management Industry
One recent report concluded that the global workforce management market will grow from $4.8 billion in 2015 to $7.7 billion by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6 percent...
Modern Workforce Management Works for Employees As Much As It Works for Employers
When workers understand that workforce management is looking out for them as much as it's checking up on them, it becomes more of a tool for employee engagement. Build transparency into the mix by allowing workers to log in and view information relevant to them, including their schedules. Give them some autonomy to switch shifts with other workers, bid for vacation time and report an absence due to sickness early and from their mobile devices. When workers see that the solution is working for them, they will be less suspicious of it and more willing to embrace it...
PeopleMatter Releases New Product Suite
Businesses, no matter the field, almost universally want to get the most out of hiring decisions. That can be something of a tall order, so a variety of tools in the workforce management field have emerged to help offer value in the market. PeopleMatter recently brought out its 2015 Winter product release, and with that release offered a whole new value in the market...
Critical Distinctions Among Cloud, Hosted and On-Premise Contact Center Solutions
Cloud contact center solutions clearly offer numerous advantages in the way of cost, flexibility and maintenance. Another major factor is security, and while cloud offerings were previously perceived as insecure compared to on-premise solutions, that is no longer the case. Cloud providers typically specialize in securing their very specific offerings, and can also provide added assurances in the way of disaster recover and backup measures...
Kronos' Workforce Ready Suite Helps Companies Drive Employees' Productivity
Federal, state, union and company-specific policies and regulatory requirements can be configured in one of the suite's tools to ensure they are being adhered to at all times through automated tracking and enforcement. In addition to building efficiency and ensuring consistency, this helps companies minimize the risk of a lack of compliance with regulations that may carry hefty punishments...
The New Year Will Be a New Opportunity to Change Company Attitudes toward Contact Center Agents
Workforce management, like call center agents, shouldn't be considered "cost centers." These are the people who represent your company to your customers, and the software that enables them to be available when customers need it. Investing time, effort and money into your contact center workforce - and your workforce management solution - is the first step toward rebuilding a contact center on a strong foundation...
WFM: If Price Scares You Away, the Cost of Doing Nothing Should Make You Want to Stay
What is your motivation for investigating or investing in workforce management solutions? Are you trying to improve convenience? Have you seen demonstrated efficiency gains? Is there a bump in customer satisfaction as your service quality has improved? There's a number of common reasons why call centers invest in their workforce, including the impact on labor costs. If this hasn't been your focus in the past, let's take a look at why it's worth consideration today...
Don't Argue for the Contact Center - Justify it with Real-Time Data
Like it or not, the contact center is a must-have if you want to drive customer service, loyalty and sustainable revenue. That doesn't mean you need to be inefficient in operation. It simply means you need to be clear in the elements you're going to measure, including the cost of the workforce. Fortunately, you don't have to guess as workforce management solutions are proven to deliver value across the board...
How Resource Requests Made Me a Thankful PMO Manager
Thanksgiving time always gives me the chance to take a step back and look at all the things that I am grateful for. This year, I am especially thankful for resource requests. You laugh, but I'm serious. A few years ago, my job was crazy and, honestly, miserable...
Employee Engagement Has Less to Do With Employees and More to Do With Management Quality
Look for managers who employ a positive approach to managing workers. These are managers who are "people-oriented" and understand how to motivate workers in a positive way. Ensure they have the time to meet with individual employees regularly and build a formalized path to success for workers. When employees feel that their managers "have their back" and are actively trying to help them succeed, they will reward their employers with their best efforts...
Why Financial Institutions Can't Afford to Ignore Mobile
As the competition continues to intensify, call centers in this space must be able to meet the evolving communications demands and expectations of a changing marketplace. The potential channels for interaction are extensive and if these institutions truly want to engage with their target markets, they must be able to incorporate support for digital and mobile channels. The ability to interact with customers on the channels they prefer is critical; leveraging workforce management solutions to ensure it is done through organized methods, is essential...
Ensure Your Contact Center is Leveraging Real-Time Data with Analytics Capabilities
Increasingly, however, contact centers are realizing the value of the data they generate, and turning to technologies that can help put it to better use. Improved workforce management solutions, can help examine work patterns, and coupled with scheduling solutions, can make better use of agents' time, according to a recent blog post by Monet Software CEO Chuck Ciarlo...
4 Strategies to Quickly Boost Morale and Performance in the Call Center
Fortunately, this is a topic often visited upon by workforce management solutions provider, Monet Software. The company recently posted a blog with a few tips that just might help drive improved performance through refining and fine-tuning a few steps along the way. If you apply them as intended, you can help good agents become great agents and your overall performance soars...
What Makes a Great Contact Center Agent?
It's a question many companies would pay a lot for a definitive answer to: What makes some contact center agents so successful, cool under pressure and able to turn angry customers into loyal ones? Is it friendliness? Empathy? Great training? Good communication skills? How can it be sustained and/or spread to all agents in the contact center?..
Eliminating Negative Language from the Contact Center Vocabulary
Your agents might think, "What's the big deal? People know what we mean when we say it." The truth is that language can push a lot of buttons in our subconscious minds. Even if customers aren't actively registering that it's being suggested that they're causing a problem, the use of negative language can set the tone for a conversation, and even discourage customers from seeking assistance in the future...
Turn to Analytics to Get More Out of Workforce Management
Some haven't considered how much value is involved in connecting sales to accounting for smoother management of accounts payable and receivable, let alone the value of connecting sales to marketing. The value of connection is tough to underestimate, as it can produce some great results once every part of the organization has an idea of what everyone else is doing. It allows for better contribution and understanding of current conditions, keeping everyone moving toward the same goal...
If You Want to Please Customers, You Should Be Empowering Agents
Let's face it: the traditional image of the contact center doesn't exactly bring to mind ideas of empowered workers. Contact center workers are often poorly paid, poorly trained, and back out the door again before the manager can finish the training. Some contact centers experience turnover of 100 percent or more each year. For this reason, many companies don't really value their call center workers. But it's a bit of a Catch-22: how can workers who aren't valued by their employers ever be anything more than a transient warm body in a seat? If you don't respect, empower and value contact center workers, what possible reason do they have to give more than the bare minimum?..
Social Media Can Be the Answer to Your Workforce Management Headaches
It wasn't that long ago that social media sites were banned on work computers. Considered a time waster, IT quickly blocked the sites once they gained in popularity. And, while it's easy to lose yourself in a Facebook feed or searching Pinterest Boards, there's also an opportunity for connection. In the contact center today, workforce management is not about blocking social media access, but instead embracing it for interaction...
Is Digital Signage the Key to Employee Engagement?
We all want it, but it can be hard to find even in the best of times: employee engagement. It's what keeps businesses on track. Getting it can be difficult, but Hussey Seating may have found a solution in an unexpected place: digital signage...
The Essentials of Project-Centric Resource Execution for Improved Resource Management
Resource management should start with resource planning. Prioritizing and scheduling people to ensure they are working on the right projects at the right time is critical because it does not matter if you are executing well, unless you are executing on the right things well. Next, it is essential to look at project-centric resource execution...
Analytics and Workforce Optimization Can Combine to Create Customer Support-Boosting Synergy
One area where analytics can make a huge difference is the contact center. The customer support function succeeds or fails based on metrics, and analytics can offer real-time metrics and actionable insight that contact center managers can use today to both improve operations and make a difference in the quality of customer service being offered...
How's Your Call Center Scheduling Adherence?
When several members on your team are taking a few minutes here and a few minutes there on a regular basis, it appears as though you are understaffed to meet the demands of the call center. The obvious next move to fix that issue is to hire additional staff. You've now incurred more cost in the call center that is completely avoidable if employees simply adhere to the call center scheduling plan...
Should Call Center Management Use Technology for Training?
Making this investment in the agent base is something call center management cannot afford to miss. Given the role technology plays in the call center today, effectively managing training should be a given and not the exception. Management has access to real-time information that shows the best time to schedule training with a specific agent so as to avoid idle time and help them boost their capabilities in areas where they are lacking...
Top Tools for Hassle Free Employee Communication
The ability to know what is going on with your sales, in real time, can make a huge difference in your business. Here are a few tools to achieve that goal...
Kindness to Both Agents and Customers Goes a Long Way toward a Positive Customer Experience
In a recent blog post for Multi-Unit Franchising, John Tschohl, president of Service Quality Institute, emphasizes that practicing courtesy toward customers and workers can go a long way toward contact center excellence. When you're dreaming of ways to improve life for your customers, include ways to improve life for your customer support agents...
Is Your Workforce Management Solution Truly Cloud-Based?
Ensuring the workforce is available to handle the planned activities for the day is generally at the top of the priority list for a call center manager. This means proper forecasting has to be done to anticipate the call volume and schedule according to skillset. That call volume may be live calls, but in today's market, it may also mean web chat, social media interactions, emails and so much more. With so many variables at play, you need workforce management...
Tools and Approaches to Help Workers Feel More Valued and Boost Employee Engagement
Many companies today believe that the way to build morale among the workforce is to pay them more. While certainly an employee is unlikely to be able to cultivate a positive attitude toward work if he or she is underpaid, there is evidence that money is only a very small part of the picture...
Contact Center Use Growing in UK But Cost is an Issue
A recent study by ContactBabel found that there was a 4 percent increase in the number of contact centers this year, which now total roughly 5,840. This is up from 5,630 contact centers in 2014...
Use Performance Management to Praise, Not Punish
There is a strong belief in many contact centers that performance management technology is for the purpose of monitoring and adjusting individual agent performance and behavior. And while it's certainly the most reliable solution to keep track of how agents are doing, and whether they deserve a raise or a promotion, performance management is also a powerful tool to track how well the entire contact center is doing, and adjusting manpower or processes accordingly...
15 Tools To Help Increase Your Productivity
Let's go ahead and get it out there: while you're reading this article, you're probably also scanning your Twitter feed, scrolling through Instagram posts, and maybe even sneaking a look at Facebook every so often. It's okay to say it: the internet is a distracting place, and you're on your computer more often than you're not. Even on the job. Unless you don't have a computer. But if you don't have a computer, I'm not sure how you're reading this article in the first place...
Does Digital Really Improve the Customer Experience?
What do your customers want in their relationship with you? Some might jump immediately to quick and quality service, while others may get into more detail. The extent of the relationship often has a lot to do with the complexity of the products or services you offer. If the customer expects significant interaction, you may need a workforce management solution to ensure you can effectively stay on track...
The Cure for Agent Apathy: Better Technology and Better Training
What drives customers away from a business? Is it substandard products? Is it long wait times when they call for help? Is it underwhelming marketing efforts? A bad shipping or refunds policy? While all these things might play a role in reducing customer loyalty and engagement, there is evidence that one ill is at the root of customer defections from a company: a bad experience with a customer support representative...
Improving the Contact Center from Its Workforce Optimization Foundation Up
Success or failure in business today hinges on the customer experience far more than at any time in history. Customer loyalty is low, and companies need to repeatedly please their customers in order to retain them, according to a recent blog post by Chuck Ciarlo, CEO of workforce optimization (WFO) solutions provider Monet Software...
3 Ways to Maximize Your WFM Investment
For those who have ever worked in customer service, the phrase, "the customer is always right" can conjure up feelings of frustration. It's difficult to swallow your pride and apologize to the irate individual when you've actually done nothing wrong and they are being unreasonable. While that doesn't describe every customer encounter, it happens often enough to leave a mark. In workforce management, much of the focus is on how to avoid the situation in the first place...
Contact Center Agents Can Be Either Generalists or Specialists, but Workforce Management Must Be Adaptable
There are some age-old matters of opinion in the world: toilet paper roll over or under? Beatles or Rolling Stones? Do dogs or cats make better pets? In the contact center world, the age-old question goes something like this: is it better to cross-train agents to handle multiple skills and channels, or use dedicated pools of single-skill agents?..
Selecting a PPM Solution: Three Key Criteria
Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software will bring several benefits to any organization, regardless of size, industry sector, or maturity. PPM software will increase your visibility into the work your resources are executing, enable you to prioritize new work that is being requested, make your organization run more efficiently and ultimately increase the ROI of your projects, resources, and applications - resulting in greater business value. When choosing a solution and vendor, there are several criteria that should be evaluated, here are my top three:..
Have the 2015 Contact Center Predictions Come True?
So where did analysts get it right in their predictions? Mostly where it came to the use of big data analytics to drive efficiencies and improve processes, as well as in the switch from multichannel environments to complete "omnichannel" customer support...
Reducing Cloud Anxiety in the Contact Center
Data security - another area of concern - is also at least as secure as it would be a premises-based solution. While it's true that contact centers have an obligation to keep customer data secure, cloud providers - who often have far more robust security infrastructure in place than users of premises-based solutions - can assist customers by ensuring this data is kept safe by state-of-the-art security protocols...
Goodbye to Premise-based Contact Center Solutions Reformulated for the Cloud
With the explosive growth of the cloud contact center industry -- between 2008 and 2012, the cloud market grew by some 224 percent and shows no signs of slowing down - it would be an easy assumption to make that nearly all contact centers are operating in the cloud. While growth is impressive, this isn't true. According to research from DMG, by the end of 2015, only about 18 percent of contact center seats will be delivered by cloud-based contact center infrastructure providers. This means the industry has strong room to grow...
Workforce Management That's Prepared for the Unexpected
Every contact center engages in some sort of workforce management (so do many other enterprise operations). It might be rudimentary and "good enough" according to managers, and it might be cloud-based, omnichannel and come with all the bells and whistles. Whatever method your organization chooses, it's critical to ensure that your workforce optimization is robust enough to withstand not just regular day-to-day operations, but unexpected spikes in call volume, unplanned absences and disruptive events like a merger or acquisition...
What's Next for Workforce Management?
In the contact center, workforce management (WFM) has come a long way since its earliest days, which (for those of you youngsters) meant graph paper and Erlang-c calculations. Determining the right number of agents needed at the right times was both a science and an art, as many retired call center managers can attest. While spreadsheets and then workforce management software have supplanted more old-fashioned methods, this isn't to say that workforce management technology is standing still...
Ready to Add the Internet of Things Channels to the Contact Center Mix?
Is your contact center an integrated omnichannel wonder center that handles all customer communications, either inbound or inbound, regardless of communications channels? Do all customer support agents have a 360-degree view of the customer relationship, including self-service activities the customer engages in? Can your workers easily see a customer's history with the company in a single view on the desktop? Do you have the social media channel integrated onto the contact center platform and do your agents use it for both inbound and outbound social media communications?..
The Push to the Cloud Set to Turn Premise-Based Applications into Nostalgia
In about a decade, the transfer of knowledge to the cloud will be a distant memory. Young professional workers probably won't remember a time that they didn't work in the cloud, and they'll be accustomed to the flexibility and functionality cloud-based solutions will provide. In fact, most people will wonder why a switch from premise-based to cloud-based applications was such a big deal...
Can You Improve Workforce Management With One Little Word?
One of the most challenging exercises to complete is one in which you are asked to describe something in just one word. Most of us want access to several words, regardless of what it is we want to describe. The apple is more than red, it's juicy, healthy and bursting with flavor; the weather is sunny and breezy, with a hint of cut grass in the air and 75 degrees...
Getting the Most Out of Your Workforce Management Investment
Agents can easily input schedule and vacation requests directly into the system, eliminating the need to optimize a supervisor's time to do so. To ease the responsibility put on call center management, it's always a good idea to allow the system to manage holiday and shift swaps. It not only eliminates human error, it also allows managers to spend their time focused on other tasks. This is where it's important to keep in mind that the benefit you realize from the platform is completely dependent upon how it's used...
The Only Call Center Metrics That Counts Are the Ones that Make Your Customers Happier
Today, about 80 percent of contact centers collect some type of metrics, or operational telemetry about how their contact center works. Traditional metrics such as average handle time (AHT) and calls in queue are useful to help a company with its schedule and find the best areas for remedial training, but these metrics don't do much for customers. (And one has to worry about those 20 percent of contact centers that measure no metrics at all.)..
The Basics of Workforce Management
Knowing how to get the most from a workforce management solution is not always immediately evident, however. Monet Software, which makes the cloud-based workforce management solution, Monet WFM Live, recently outlined some of the basics in a recent blog post. These basics are worth emphasizing...
Better Training & Support Holds Key to Excellent WFM
Companies today want to improve the bottom line and are on a constant hunt for ways to remain successful. Management must stay on the cutting edge of the latest technologies and strategies to ensure they are meeting the needs of customers and employees...
Help Your Employees Cure the Summertime Blues
Summer's finally here. For many of us that means BBQs, beach parties, and campouts. But with 74 million children out of school, it can also mean expensive camps, guilt over too much Minecraft, and schedules so crazy that we want to tear our hair out...
Improving the Customer Experience Begins With Improving the Agent Experience
As customers' expectations have been on the rise, so too has the complexity of the organization and the number of communications channels customers can choose from. For this reason, wrote Monet Software CEO Chuck Ciarlo in a recent blog post, companies need to seriously think about expanding their support presence...
Building an Effective Strategy for Handling and Reducing Customer Complaints
It's not an easy task, and it takes a certain quality of person to remain upbeat even in the face of hostility and borderline abuse. There is, however, something to learn, even from the most difficult calls...
Key Considerations in Choosing Project Management Software
If you know anything about the average office employee, you know that they don't spend nearly as much time on task as they could. Indeed, a recent analysis found that most office workers spend less than half of their time focused on official tasks. The rest of the time is a split between useful (and useless) meetings, sorting through emails, dealing with interruptions, and other breaks in the office day. These are not numbers that make supervisors feel great about their employees' productivity...
Why You Need Workforce Management to Keep Your Good Agents
As workforce management solution provider, Monet Software highlighted in a recent blog post, there are benefits to paying attention to these two challenges. When you apply the right resources to keep your good employees and prevent burnout, the result is a better pool of quality agents overall. Everyone on your payroll will benefit from the intentional approach to support, quality interactions and positive feedback. In the end, employees are happy, content to stay put and deliver the quality experience your customers have come to expect...
The True Value of Workforce Management Systems
Is workforce management software really necessary? Yes, and a recent deployment of Monet Software's Workforce Optimization suite shows why...
Monet Software's Flurry of News Includes Salesforce Service Cloud Integration
Monet Software now offers integration with Salesforce Service Cloud. CEO Chuck Ciarlo shared the news with TMCnet at Call Center Week in Las Vegas...
This Call - or Email, or Chat, or Social Media Post - May be Monitored
Most people today are accustomed to having their calls to contact centers recorded. We know that companies use these calls to verify disputed transactions, train new agents or spot-check more experienced agents' skills, or to evaluate agents for raises or promotions (or demotions). But call recording is about more than agent evaluations. Today, many companies use call recordings in conjunction with data analytics so they can mine intelligence from the calls. Are customers mentioning competitors' names? Are they making similar complaints? Are they raising more issues than usual with shipping or returns problems? Analyzing call recordings can yield a whole new level of insight into operations...
Five Questions You Can Answer with Workforce Analytics
Workforce Analytics puts HR managers on the front lines of decision-making, and provides organizations with the facts and data they need to make strategic decisions about prioritization and investments in their employees...
Designing Contact Center Layout for Quality and Success
All over the world, a trip to any contact center will find a similar design or layout: rows of spare cubicles with low walls, carpeted floors, and aisles for managers to walk through. Not all contact centers are created equal, however: some turn out terrific customer support and others do little but antagonize customers all day. While the factors that determine whether a contact center will be high performing or low performing are varied and complex, there is some evidence that the layout of the contact center plays a significant role in how functional it is...
Top Reasons Workforce Management Solutions Should Include Speech Analytics
Has speech analytics become standard equipment within your contact center? While the adoption has not yet hit the mainstream like workforce management and call center scheduling solutions, it's likely just a matter of time. As a recent case study demonstrates, speech analytics can deliver valuable insights that could drastically improve outcomes...
U.S. Workforce Losing Job Security as Permanent Full-Time Jobs Become Scarcer
This isn't good news for the still-struggling American employment sector. Workers without job security cannot buy homes or automobiles, struggle to pay for rent and food, rely more heavily on state and federal aid and consume no luxuries. Essentially, American workers become less able to buy the products and services their employers' sell. With the idea of "a living wage" on the lips of many policymakers and politicians, data such as this will add ammunition to the arsenals of those who wish to see more stringent labor regulations, according to the WSJ...
5 Ways Workforce Management Can Improve Agent Performance
When we talk about the benefits of automation in workforce management, it's easy to assume that automation in everything is the right way to go. While promising, automation in all of your channels may not be the right fit for your agents, your industry or your customers. Develop a strategy around where you need to be at each level and only offer automation where it makes sense to all parties. When it's time for more complexity, bring a live agent into the mix...
Put an End to Customer Disasters with Workforce Management
To ensure the proper approach to customer interactions, call center management must implement proper training and quality monitoring. Agents should try to keep a customer, but there are scripts to follow and lines that should never be crossed. If all calls are recorded and monitored for performance, the agent going off on the customer is much less likely, especially if those calls are scored for performance and shared with the agent...
Quality Monitoring Becomes Complex for Multilingual Contact Centers
Most contact centers today have trouble finding the time to monitor agents in performance management programs as much as they would like. While many of today's solutions use speech technology to look for problematic calls, keywords, competitors names and other triggers, in many companies, true quality management comes down to a manager listening to calls monthly, semi-annually or annually and ticking off quality elements on a standardized form. Evaluations like these are used to determine pay raises or promotions, or to determine areas where agents might need extra training. Whether it's a formal or an informal process, it essentially comes down to managers listening...
Trends to Boost Workforce Management Investments
To that end, any technology investments have to be in platforms and applications that are easy to use and make sense to the user. If an agent has to use technology just to use technology, it won't be adopted or deliver the benefit you want. If they instead understand why it matters and it blends easily into the workflow, agents - who are more likely to be Gen X and millennials - will make it a part of their routine...
Rhythm Systems Launches My Work and People EnergyMap Tools
Rhythm Systems, a developer of enterprise productivity programs, recently announced the launch of two collaboration tools, My Work and People EnergyMap, that will work with the Rhythm Systems strategy execution software in order to help employees stay on task...
Taking the Guesswork Out of Contact Center Staffing
Imagine if instead of using a sophisticated algorithm to produce its search results, Google employed a few employees who had to take search requests manually and scour the Internet for the most relevant websites? Users would wait far longer for results and the ones they got would often be inaccurate or incomplete. So it's a good bet the company would not be worth $382.5 billion as it is today...
Keeping Costs in Check and Quality High in a Growing Contact Center Requires Workforce Management
Many contact centers today still schedule manually, or if they do use workforce management solutions, they're using software that is years (or decades) outdated. Newer workforce management solutions can pay for themselves quickly in the form of reduced headcounts, eliminating the need for overtime, and improved customer loyalty...
Improving Performance and Keeping Costs Contained with Workforce Management Technology
Finally, flexible scheduling - easily possible with a good workforce management solution but nearly impossible with spreadsheets or other manual methods - can help improve employee retention and boost satisfaction. This leads to lower turnover, which leads directly to lower costs and higher customer satisfaction...
Do You Track Metrics for Contact Center Convenience or Customer Experience Quality?
Contact centers today have a great deal of data, and most of them use at least some of it to track certain performance metrics. While this is wise, it's important for companies to be sure they're tracking metrics that measure customer service quality at least as often as they're tracking metrics to control costs. Sure, keeping average handle time (AHT) low is good for controlling expenses, but it's not always good for keeping customer satisfaction high. So it's probably time to examine the metrics you are tracking today: are they indicative of what customers want and need?..
Contact Center Training is Critical to Protect the Customer Base
When was the last time you called a customer service center and realized you knew more about their product than the agent on the phone? This is not an uncommon phenomenon when the call center focuses on little more than filling seats with warm bodies and workforce management is just a scheduling tool. If intensive training on products, services and quality customer care are not part of the onboarding process, the call center (and the company it supports) could be losing business...
The Fine Line between Personalizing the Customer Experience and Asking For Too Much Data
Essentially, when companies decide to collect data, they need to be mindful of customer's very justified wariness about what information they're willing to hand over. If it's relevant to the customer experience, customers will usually hand it over. If it's not, be prepared for some resistance...
Chat Finds Its Place in the Modern Contact Center
While the phone remains indispensable to the contact center - customer support facilities are, after all, set up to revolve around the telephone - Web chat is becoming the second most important channel to customer. While today's customer may use a variety of channels through which to get an answer - self-service, social media, online forums, FAQs, mobile apps and e-mail - the telephone and Web chat are now the two most critical media when a customer actually needs to communicate directly with a representative...
How Workforce Management Helps the Competitive Advantage
Workforce management applies today for those who truly care about the customer experience and want to put the competition out of mind for the consumer. It's all about designing workflow and schedules around what the customer needs. If this isn't top of mind, it could be for the quiet competitor ready to take your share...
Workforce Management Market Set to Explode
This expansion will also help in the development of new functionality and keeping costs under control. While companies will look to the cloud for cost-effective measures to drive better access to technology, that doesn't mean every contender will deliver better cost value. Decision makers will still have to do their homework and identify those providers best suited to meet their needs. In doing so, they're also more likely to improve the bottom line over all...
Manual Skilling Has Significant Negative Consequences for Contact Center
Part of the performance improvement comes from better call handling capacity, and the reduced chances of calls being lost, transferred or put on hold, which improves the quality of the customer experience. While many companies may not believe they are losing much productivity from manual skilling, even a small amount of manual work drives down productivity and call quality...
Allowing Younger Workforces to Engage with Workforce Management on Mobile Devices
Today, most organizations have rather one-size-fits-all policies when it comes to managing their workforce. It makes sense: tailoring a management policy to each individual worker would be difficult, costly and cumbersome. But it's worthwhile to remember that some workers are going to be more comfortable with workforce technologies than others. While their level of comfort isn't always predicted by their age, it's often true that younger workers are simply more comfortable with all manner of technology...
Will RPO Vendors Add Value to Workforce Management?
Contact centers throughout the world are using workforce management to accurately project volumes, schedule staff according to projections and skill-sets and manage exceptions on the fly. RPOs can fit right into this model when they can use analytics to demonstrate productivity, improved retention and the overall effect on sales. And while the practice is still early in the process, companies are paying more attention to tying talent acquisition to business measures. Some believe that RPOs that master this capability early will find a solid foothold in the contact center industry going forward...
The Healthcare Industry Succeeds Adopting the Best Practices of the Contact Center Industry
Customized inbound/outbound strategies can also be used to better ensure that patients are following their healthcare regimens and taking their medication. A call center approach can help reduce healthcare costs by doing simple tasks - blood pressure checks, or blood sugar monitoring - over the phone, in a live or even automated way. As the healthcare industry strives to improve the quality of care while keeping costs under control, there is a great deal the contact center industry has to teach it...
Is the Customer Experience More Important than the Cost of Workforce Management?
This is where a healthy shift in thinking could be beneficial for the contact center industry. Putting the customer experience first and financial challenges second could help drive a positive outcome in the end. This may appear to be backwards thinking, but consider the contact center that drives the quality customer experience. The center has more customers to engage with because they're doing it right. This drives revenue and keeps the cost of every call at a minimum as customers are happier...
Hitting KPIs in the Call Center Requires a Firm Foundation
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are commonly used in contact centers, but they mean different things to different people. Managers may seem them as a diagnostic tool, agents may see them as unfair and difficult-to-comply with rules, and executives may see them as an enabler (or barrier) to profitability...
The Benefits of Service Automation for Employee Onboarding
All companies strive to integrate new employees as quickly and seamlessly as possible, as a smooth onboarding process allows for greater productivity and overall cost efficiency. The sooner an employee is equipped with the devices, access, and information he or she needs, the sooner meaningful work can begin. Effective onboarding is also important because a company that fails to afford new hires an easy transition provides a poor first impression of corporate operations and imposes unnecessary delays and challenges, both of which can affect new hire retention rates...
Are Some Customers More Worthy of Loyalty Efforts Than Others?
In the world of business journalism, there is a lot of talk of customer loyalty today. There are tips regarding how to improve it, how to measure it, how to reward it and how to encourage workers to cultivate it. The problem is that customer loyalty works very different depending on the type of business, so a short article in Forbes is unlikely to help you turn your loyalty programs around very quickly...
Ready to Drive Better Performance in the Contact Center?
Today's contact centers also need quality monitoring if they want to compete in dynamic markets. Monitoring customer interactions is essential if great service is a priority and customer satisfaction is the goal. For a number of companies, this monitoring may be essential to ensure compliance with industry regulations. Others may be focused on agent training and matching the needs of the center with the skillsets of the agent base...
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