Workforce Management (WFM) software got its start in contact centers and is also used in other service businesses that employ a large number of hourly wage workers. The main goal of WFM is to view business metrics that will help contact centers schedule the right number of agents needed.
WFM software is crucial to the productivity of contact centers. It allows managers to forecast transaction volume and schedule the right number of agents while accounting for breaks, training, vacations and absences. Certain types of advanced software become customized to the specific call center. The software will learn the contact center’s characteristics, then produce personalized forecasts based on history and other criteria.
WFM and Employee Satisfaction
Workforces that are overworked and underused, and systems that are inflexible, often result in high employee turnover. Businesses need a better way of managing employee schedules. Some WFM software let employees manage their own schedules, especially as a reward for excellent performance, which improves agent satisfaction. Agents shouldn’t just be hired, but also empowered to do their jobs well.
4 Primary Functions of WFM Software
Overall, WFM systems help to reduce idle time, improve efficiency and limit absenteeism. They also improve agent adherence to guidelines and increase customer satisfaction, because only agents with appropriate skill sets are handling inquiries. Aside from time and attendance reporting, these are four main functions of WFM software.
1. Data Collection: Capturing and reporting detailed time and work data. Customer requirements will undoubtedly change and customer demand must be forecasted. Management can make budget predictions based on forecasts.
2. Labor Scheduling: Managing the skill sets of employees and taking compliance requirements into consideration. Trial schedules allow management to test out various schedules and then choose the ones that work best.
3. Leave Management: Contact center scheduling is a complicated juggling act. WFM helps with processing requests for paid time off. It also gathers information about staffing and liability consequences.
4. Task Management: Gathering detailed information regarding labor management requirements. Contact centers need a way to forecast the volume of various contact methods, from phone calls and live chat to social media contact. Special event management can also be planned for, such as when there’s a product recall or a marketing campaign launch.
Streamlining the Hiring Process
After schedules are forecasted, implemented and tracked, management needs to focus on efficiency. Agent abilities and use of time should be evaluated; the needs of the contact center should be taken into consideration, too. When managers have a good view of what skill sets the contact center needs, they’ll know the type of candidates they’re looking to hire. In this way, management can do the best with their current staff while planning for even more outstanding performance in the future.
Contact center work is complex and sophisticated, requiring the same grade of scheduling software instead of relying on antiquated, manual systems.