Workforce Management Featured Articles
Who is Responsible for Interacting with Customers via Social Channels?
Today, the "call center" is more than a bit of a misnomer. Once reserved entirely for telephone calls - even mail responses were processed somewhere else - today, the contact center is the main artery through which all customer communications should route, including social media. It's important to note that for many companies, this still isn't the case. Oftentimes, it's the marketing department's job to handle social media and the contact center is cut out of the process entirely. Unfortunately, customers today have expectations that any queries they make via social media will be answered...
More Mobile Offerings Can Give Banks a Leg Up
With mobile payment systems on the rise, some of which not even requiring a credit or debit card but rather handling balances completely internally, people who might have been bank customers at one point are likely starting to wonder why banks are even necessary anymore. That's bad news for banks, and a new study from Clarabridge offers some insight on how to prevent that particular fate from coming to pass...
Want to Make Workers Happy? Update Your Workforce's Technology
Contact centers are often clustered in geographic areas of high unemployment for a reason: a ready supply of workers. States with military bases are a big attraction because, it's reasoned, there will be a large group of military spouses looking for work. Companies often choose areas with low property values to keep their costs down. The problem happens when too many contact centers cluster in the same area: in order to attract workers, companies may offer an extra dollar an hour to "poach" from their competition. The reasoning is that since one contact center is much like another, workers will be willing to switch for an extra $40 per paycheck...
Are You Listening to Your Customers?
How scripted are your customer care agents expected to be on a given transaction? Your answer can have everything to do with the level of satisfaction your customers are experiencing. If agents have to be scripted at all times, it's likely your customers aren't being heard. If agents have the power to converse with customers in a way that they actually hear them, your outcomes are likely to be much better...
New Software Tools Help Improve Workplace Diversity
While "diversity" may be a controversial term in some political discussions, in the workplace, it's a proven winner. A Harvard Business School study found that workplace teams that include workers from different backgrounds and experiences are more likely to produce creative ideas and methods of solving problems...
Workforce Management Offers Significant Benefits to Government Agencies
By Tracey E. Schelmetic
Once upon a time, "workforce management software" was essentially synonymous with "payroll." Companies' payroll departments would use the solutions as a kind of computerized HR clock to determine how many hours employees had worked, and use this information as the basis for paychecks and overtime. Even today, the overlap between the two concepts is still very strong. It shouldn't be. Workforce management is so much more than payroll. This is especially true for state and local governments that are rushing to comply with incoming Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that will go into effect on December 1 of this year...
Apple Makes Big Moves Toward Pay Equity in Workforce Management
It might seem like a foregone conclusion that people doing the same job get the same pay, barring some of the standard reasons like merit raises, unusual skill sets or seniority. That's not the case, though, and many places are actively working toward producing an outcome where equal work merits equal pay, regardless of things like gender and race. Apple is one of these companies, and its new diversity report spells out what it's done so far...
Wise Guy Reports Study Illustrates Workforce Management Software Market to 2021
For those wondering what the market will look like in workforce management for the next few years, a new report from Wise Guy Reports is set to provide that insight over a wide scale of the market. There's a lot going on in this field, and the new report, "Global and Chinese Workforce Management Software Industry, 2011 - 2021 Market Research Report," should spell out the terms of this fundamentally changing field well...
Planning for a Workforce of Millennial Employees
If you run a contact center, chances are good you've already got some experience managing younger workers from the so-called "Millennial" generation. Even if you hadn't, you will shortly; statistics show that there are now more Americans of this younger generation than their parents, the Baby Boomers. They are now 25 percent of the American populace, and they are entering the workforce in record numbers as the Baby Boomers retire...
Workforce Management Market Expected to See Strong Growth
The variables to manage inside the typical contact center tend to focus on processes, key strategic service delivery goals and human management. The agent base is often touted as the most valuable asset within the customer service division, but how do you effectively drive key initiatives among of team of individuals with a variety of skill-sets, education and talents? The best answer is workforce management...
Take Your Workforce Management to the Next Level with Workforce Optimization
The individuals that are charged with caring for your customers have a lot to do throughout the day. At the same time, you have a lot of expectations when it comes to their performance. Do you want to manage these talented individuals through manual processes, or does it make more sense to leverage a workforce management solution that drives the desired results?..
Is it Multichannel, or is it Omnichannel?
"We're omnichannel. We have lots of channels."
In the customer support industry today, "omnichannel" is an important buzzword. In many quarters, it has replaced the older "multichannel" descriptive to mean a contact center that can handle customers who may call, email, text, use online customer support or even resort to the old-fashioned U.S. postal service. But do "omnichannel" and "multichannel" really mean the same thing?..
Why Your Workforce Management Strategy Needs to be Future Proof
Has any other generation gotten as much attention as millennials? The Baby Boomers sure did drive much of the conversation for years, but marketers don't seem to focus nearly as much attention on them now as they do the younger generation. It's driving budget changes, marketing campaigns and even human resource practices. The big picture is really all about workforce management and what this means for companies in the future...
More 'Big Data' Analytics Are Being Used for People-Related Processes
Many companies have been using analytics for years - even before the term "big data" became popular - but traditionally, data crunching to improve efficiency has been used largely on processes, not on people. But with the spectacular results from using analytics showing up in manufacturing, distribution, the customer experience and elsewhere, many companies are taking analytics solutions for human workforces more seriously...
Optimizing Workforce Management for Medical Contact Centers
Most contact centers are in the business of dealing with people, whether it's customers of retail goods, insurance or financial services customers, or business-to-business representatives. In medical contact centers, agents make it their business to deal with people about people: the transactions are often more personalized and urgent than in any other kind of support industry. Medical contact centers are often handling higher-stakes crises than support centers that handle retail or b-to-b interests. Emotions run high among callers, and complex matters may arise at any time of day...
4 Easy Ways to Drive Customer Experience
The ultimate goal is to achieve the improve customer experience that helps set you apart from the competition. Workforce management is a great tool to help in the process, but first, focus on these four areas to get going in the right direction...
Addressing the Most Common WFM-Related Challenges in the Contact Center
Beyond keeping track of average handle time, managers using modern workforce management can keep a careful eye on a number of other quality metrics. The real advantage is that they can do it live, as call center operations are unfolding...
Why Even Restaurants Need an Omnichannel Approach
This is a case of this particular restaurant using just one channel to service its customers: the traditional telephone. The restaurant owners, in this case very acclimated to the American culture, have done well on a single-channel approach to customer interactions. But in an era where the next generation won't accept anything solely traditional, a lack of digital integration and omnichannel experiences are limiting the restaurant's potential...
Why Killing the Spreadsheet is Key to Improving Visibility
Workforce management helps to streamline those activities that take considerable manual hours to complete. It no longer requires a significant upfront investment as the solution is available as a cloud-based solution. Plus, managers have the visibility they need to help empower staff to be flexible and focus on the customer experience. When these outcomes are improved, the organization can't help but benefit...
Call Center Agents Transition to Service Professionals
What agents will value, however, is more potential to excel in their jobs and benefit from their efforts. Employee engagement is much higher among employees who don't feel their jobs are dead ends, but instead learning opportunities and a way to climb the ranks to supervisors and managers, if they excel, or at least to gain experience that can be brought to another job. First, however, they need to be prepared to excel...
Streamlining Workforce Management Solutions to Save Time
If it's a goal for your organization to help your customer-facing employees spend more time with customers and less time interacting with outdated workforce management solutions, it may be time to look for a cloud-based solution with a strong mobile component...
5 Ways to Show You Are Appreciative of Your Employees
Showing an appreciation for your employees can go a long way in helping your company succeed. For starters, it can create more cohesiveness in the work environment and encourage employees to stay with your company longer. But certain gestures of appreciation have more lasting effects. And in the business world, it's best to tie these appreciative gestures or rewards with certain performance standards. That said, following are five ways you can demonstrate an appreciation for your employees and some of the benefits you can derive from it...
Government Agencies Benefit from Automated Workforce Management
It's a general rule that the larger the workforce is, the more complex managing it becomes. Employees often have competing needs, and trying to manage everyone fairly usually results in someone becoming disgruntled. Government agencies, no stranger to large workforces, are often still reliant upon manual workforce management systems, which is one of the many reasons they carry a strong reputation for inefficient people management...
Contact Center Show Season Offers Opportunities to Gain New Ideas
The good news is that it is contact center industry trade show season, and some of the latest and greatest contact center enablement technologies will be on display. While ICMI is finished, the next show to kick off will be Call Center Week 2016 in Las Vegas, which will be held at the Mirage Resort on June 27 - July 1. A number of contact center innovators will be participating, including workforce optimization solutions provider Monet Software, which will be at Booth 616...
Automation Was a Hot Topic at the Recent ICMI Event
At the recent ICMI Contact Center Demo and Conference in Long Beach, Calif., thousands of contact center industry professionals gathered to discuss what's new in the contact center industry. While there are many new technologies and ideas about the best way to support customers and offer a great customer experience, automated solutions were one of the biggest topics discussed...
Agent Performance: Why Cultural Change is a Must
In a recent conversation about unnecessary phrases, a friend pointed out how annoyed she gets when companies tout they have made a positive change. Her reasoning is that companies should only ever make positive changes - why would anyone in their right mind willingly make a negative change? Therefore, the positive word is unnecessary...
Don't Let Contact Center Rules Squash the Initiative of High Performing Employees
While every organization and industry is different, when it comes to high-performing employees, there are shared characteristics. High performing employees are generally classified as those who have their own systems for staying organized and knowledgeable; those who can take the initiative themselves to do a better job; those who listen to others for feedback; and those who are good at setting their own goals...
HR Tech Busts and Musts in 2016
HR is one of the fields that is undergoing a technological transformation. Businesses are being faced with a whole range of new employee-focused systems that are making all processes of the human resources management easy to manage. One such technology that has changed HR is the cloud-based HR technology. This technology has made the HR leaders to find themselves in a new position of responsibility. However, even with technology expected to make things better for the HR managers, it is by no means an all-encompassing solution to all the organizational HR issues. The following are "Musts" and "Busts" in 2016...
Understanding How the Workplace Communicates Today
The study authors emphasize that one size will never fit all. Depending on a particular use case or situation, and a company's needs - does communication need to be instant? One-to-one? Group-based? -- different solutions will need to be considered as they may prove more effective in distributing content and information to the important employee audience...
Top 10 Features You Should Consider In HR Software
But, choosing HR software can be a difficult task. There are lots of things you need to look out for. Below are the top ten features you should consider in HR software...
Replace Field Service WFM with Newer, Mobile-Focused Solutions
While the goal is ultimately to make better use of field service personnel's time, a great secondary goal includes improved customer satisfaction: by predicting more accurate times for house calls, companies can avoid the "sometime between noon and 6:00 pm" windows that customers hate so much. Even with schedule exceptions, the service organization can get back on track and ensure that customers aren't left behind...
Michael's Gets a Leg Up on Workforce Management
Considering, these days, how many laws there are around the use of employees, it must be a welcome development to have a tool specifically geared toward managing such a workforce. If the tool can help winnow down the HR department, meanwhile, that's a cost savings directly to the company. Being able to schedule help better as well improves the likelihood of a positive customer experience and thus improves the likelihood of return business...
Today's Workforce Optimization Enables More Personalized Coaching for Millennial Contact Center Employees
While everyone seems to have an opinion on today's younger members of the workforce - the so-called "millennial" generation, what's really important is that going forward, these workers will make up a significant portion of many companies' employees. For this reason alone, it's important that managers understand how to manage them properly...
HotSchedules, Agilysys Develop POS and Scheduling for Hospitality Market
Just as restaurants have used the Internet of Things to link devices in their own locations or multiple locations, hospitals and care centers can do the same. IT administrators can collect data about all the devices within a physical location to determine how they are used throughout a work day. When analyzed correctly, clients can make changes in their operations to save money and work more efficiently...
Bringing Workforce Management Out of the HR Department
As workforce management becomes more flexible (largely thanks to cloud-based solutions) and feature-rich, it can offer contact center companies in particular a way to build an integrated, omnichannel and collaborative work environment...
Workforce Management Will Play a Strong Role in the Contact Center of the Future
As the contact center of the future needs to become more flexible and cross time zones and the work becomes more demanding, many companies are meeting their omnichannel strategies by hiring a more educated and skilled profile of worker. For some organizations, this will mean reaching out to remote and home-based contact center professionals, particularly as remote working technologies improve and companies start trimming budgets by becoming spare with physical work premises. With remote workers, it's even more important to ensure they're parts of the overall contact center entity by using a collaborative and intelligent workforce management solution...
Remote Workforce Management Requires Robust Technology and Communications (But Not Too Much Communications)
Many companies have been slow to embrace telecommuting, even as they expand their efforts to increase efficiency and lower costs. It's human nature: managers are nervous that employees who aren't under their gaze aren't working. Providing workers with the opportunity to work from home feels like a "giveaway." But increasingly, there is evidence that telecommuting makes sense both from an economic standpoint and also a productivity one...
Performance Management Needs to Be Personalized, Transparent
The defining trend here is a desire for transparency. In fact, 79 percent of leaders and 69 percent of employees agree that making performance management more transparent to employees is both expected and necessary. This suggests that employees have a strong need for sharing information, according to David Smith, senior managing director of Accenture Strategy...
Monet Provides the Link between Social Customer Support and Workforce Management
The end result is more accurate forecasts and schedules for more efficient case management and faster case resolution, which leaves help desk and customer support employees free to help more customers with a frankly better quality of service, helping customers realize a better customer experience...
Consider Mentoring Programs to Help Integrate Different Generations of Workers
A mentoring program can yield a lot of benefits to workforce management. It can help more experienced workers transfer their skills to younger workers. In the long run, it's a great way to build continuity into the workforce and foster a "family" atmosphere that can lead to lower turnover and better employee engagement...
Outdated Quality Management Systems Have No Use
Businesses today are so focused on getting customers to become loyal, repeat customers that they sometimes forget to look back at the systems and solutions in place working to meet that goal. While putting a quality management system in place is a step in the right direction for contact centers, there is also a need to keep those systems current and working properly if call center management wants to succeed...
Poor Scheduling and Workforce Management Undermine Even the Best Agent Efforts
Finally, it's important to consider the merits of a good workforce management solution if your company relies on customer support personnel who are not all located under the same roof. Thanks to the cloud delivery model today, workforce management can tie all the employees of a contact center, regardless of where they are located, into a single well-oiled machine...
UK Contact Centers Run Decades Behind in Workforce Management Adoption
Workforce management solutions designed for the contact center help companies today achieve significant improvements, both in service quality and operational efficiency. They can help balance the needs of the customer support organization by ensuring sufficient human resources are available to properly address customer needs while at the same time ensuing that the company isn't wasting money on resources it doesn't require. It's not a new idea: companies have been engaging in workforce management manually, on paper and then on spreadsheets, for a very long time...
Wise Workforce Management Choices Reduce Learning Curve, Save Time & Money
Many companies are feeling pressure these days to improve the quality of their workforce optimization. They know - because the word "optimization" appears in it - that's it's something that helps a company use resources better. They've read case studies that show that workforce optimization (WFO) can yield very fast return on investment. But they may not be so certain exactly what's it's going to do for them...
UK Contact Centers Backslide in Customer Satisfaction, Far Behind in Workforce Management
While Americans may complain about the state of the customer support industry in the U.S. - loudly and regularly - it's important to remember that we, as a nation, have fairly high customer satisfaction rates. Operating under the principle that "it's always worse somewhere," it's worth taking a look at our British cousins...
Yesterday's Workforce Optimization Told You Where You Went Wrong. Today's Tells You When You Are Going Wrong
To work properly, of course, your workforce optimization solutions requires data, and a lot of it. Many of today's solutions have data and speech analytics capabilities that can give contact center managers unique insight into operations and ideas regarding how to improve. While previous iterations of workforce management solutions generated data, it came too late to help the contact center right in this moment, according to a recent blog post by Chuck Ciarlo, CEO of workforce optimization solutions provider Monet Software...
Study Highlights the Perils of Mushroom Management
Mushroom management is not new, but the world of work has changed and employees no longer are putting up with it. It isn't safe to entrust your livelihood to a company that doesn't necessarily have your best interests in mind, and not knowing the real-time performance of the company reduces an employee's ability to adapt if things start to go bad...
Gamifying Employee Engagement
Currently, one of the biggest issues organizations are dealing with is low levels of employee engagement. Bad employee engagement can lead to lower employee retention rates, poor work being produced and an overall unhappy workforce. Gallup reported that in 2015, 32 percent of U.S. employees were engaged in their jobs. Meaning the majority, 50.8 percent of employees were not engaged in their work...
Don't Assume Baby Boomer Customers Want Only Telephone Support
Customers over 50 may not be rushing to Snapchat to share customer experiences as quickly as younger Americans, but they are addicted to email and they're addicted to their smartphones, so expecting to reach you only by telephone is a mistake...
Your Quality Improvement Process Should Focus on the Positive for Great Company Culture
Once upon a time, companies used to pride themselves on the loyalty and staying power of their employees. It wasn't uncommon for young people to begin a job after high school and ultimately retire from the same company. For a number of reasons, this seldom happens anymore, nor is it always desirable for either workers or employer. But "staying power" is still a good thing. Taking on new workers is expensive and time-consuming, and new workers - particularly in customer-facing positions - are unlikely to be in a position to "wow" customers just yet...
To Achieve Optimal Contact Center Performance - Listen to Those on the Frontline
In the quest to deliver quality customer interactions, how much of your attention is spent on your agents? Chances are you do make investments in technology to support the proper interaction channels, measure performance and put incentives in place for improvements. These are all important and effective, but do they hit the workforce management targets you need to hit for success?..
Orange Named Global Top Employer
Top Employers Institute examines the global workforce to determine which employers stand above the rest. It wants to find the employers that treat their employees with respect and provide a professional environment that can harness their talents. In short, it tries to figure out: Where would you want to work?..
Millennial Workers Welcome Regular Guidance and Opportunities
In the contact center, consider pairing new, younger workers with more experienced workers for a mentoring relationship. It may bear more fruit than expected: while the older employee can communicate expectations and responsibilities, the younger workers may help older workers get into a more omnichannel and tech-savvy frame of mind...
Clarizen Showcases Winter 2015/2016 Product Release
The many technological solutions that are part of today's organizations help improve overall operations and processes, but they also increase the level of complexity. Managing and monitoring all of the systems requires another technology to ensure everything is working at optimal levels...
Intraday Management Helps Call Center Managers Make Proactive Schedule Changes in Real Time
In the contact center, even the very best schedule can go awry. Employees could show up late or leave early (or simply not show up at all). Power or Internet interruptions can put everyone behind, and even innocuous things like fire drills can render the schedule obsolete. A good schedule, however, can withstand unexpected occurrences. For companies using workforce management and scheduling solutions, this flexibility comes from the ability to engage in intraday management...
Trust Lies at the Core of Contact Center Quality Management
Perhaps one of the most under-discussed human traits in business today is trust. It was once the foundation of business - gentleman's agreements and handshake contracts being the norm of the nineteenth century - but today, we seem to operate in a business climate in which we believe everyone else is out to get us, and only our guarded paranoia is what can save us. While no one is recommending going back to handshake agreements when it comes to large purchases, there is a place for trust to return to the workplace, if possible. It's sorely needed...
Contact Center Agents Support Efforts to Measure Support by Quality and Not Quantity
Before you begin a quest for quantifying and qualifying the customer experience, start with your agents. Ask them what they believe makes a great customer support interaction, and let them share with you what they think the roadblocks to achieving this goal are. By de-emphasizing the "time" factor a little, you can easily boost the quality factor. Using technologies such as virtual hold can help space out contact center traffic in a way that allows agents to take a little extra time and be certain each customer is satisfied before he or she hangs up...
Too Many Contact Centers Falling Behind with Forecasting and Schedule Adherence
In recent years, the tasks of forecasting has become somewhat easier thanks to technology and new ideas for success. Companies are beginning to realize precisely how important a good forecast is to the success or failure of a contact center's efforts, and that it's closely tied to the overall customer experience...
For Guaranteed Business Success, Get to Know Your Employees
Still, the research team found that perceptions of inclusion and diversity were not among the top predictors of sustainable engagement. Instead, these perceptions had a strong and statistically significant impact on perceptions of leadership. At the same time, leadership was found to be a top predictor of engagement. When employees are well engaged, there is a direct correlation to better financial outcomes...
Using the Right Tools to Make the Most of Teleworking and Help the Pros Outweigh the Cons
It's rare when a business model that holds many benefits for ordinary workers offers the same benefits to employers. Flex-time, while popular with workers and a great tool to attract and keep non-traditional employees, often gives managers a headache. Telecommuting, or working from home through networked systems that allow the employee to do his or her job with the same ease as from an office, is a different animal: not only is it popular with workers and a boon to their productivity, it can save companies a great deal of money...
How Gamification Software and HR Are Integrating Today
Over the past few decades, some techniques and tools utilized by human resource personnel have changed or have been modified to embrace a shift in society's thoughts, ideas, and innovations concerning the best ways to engage people at work and improve their job satisfaction level...
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...
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