4 Best Practices for Contact Center Workforce Management

Workforce Management (WFM) in the contact center means giving employees the jobs that best match their skillset while taking scheduling and timing into account. The main goal of WFM is to benefit contact center operations, including customer service. Ideally, contact center WFM will be fluid, allowing management to continually evolve techniques and consistently achieve excellent results.

1. Automate Shift Bidding

Tools are available to automate shift bidding, eliminating the confusion that comes with asking individual agents about schedule preferences. Self-service scheduling lets agents request preferred schedules and ask for time off. Automation also controls how much priority is given to tenured or senior agents so that shifts are assigned based on performance and quality scores. This works toward the goal of motivating agents to improve their performance. Additionally, contact centers can allow shift trading and also enable agents to work from home, particularly during the holidays.

2. Manage Vacant Workstations

With the number of varied shifts in a 4-hour contact center, it can be difficult to manage real estate and efficiently utilize workstations. Software  can provide capacity management in real-time. Forecasting tools and suggested seating plans show you how many seats are empty at a specific time and where they’re located.

3. Improve Social Media Intelligence to Reduce Agent Turnover

According to The North East Contact Center Forum, one of the main reasons why contact center agents leave their jobs is because they don’t receive enough coaching and feedback. Schedule regular mandatory training sessions, particularly for multi-channel instruction. Far too many businesses have a social media presence, yet lack the skills and knowledge to actually provide customer service across multiple channels. Contact center agents should be taught how to respond to social media mentions so that customers can get the answers they’re looking for. Acknowledging a customer’s presence online isn’t the same as providing customer service.

4. Track Unavailable Time

Tools that track unavailable time show where the agent’s time is spent aside from working directly with a customer or being involved in customer-related tasks, like wrap-up. While agents may have a wrap-up target to meet, they don’t always have to adhere to unavailable time targets. Contact centers can require agents to log out for non-call activities, then track those specific activities, since training and projects should be tracked differently than breaks.

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