The traditional call center is transforming into a true contact center where customer interaction is not limited to just voice calls but traverses multiple communication channels including chat, emails, social media etc. and involves multiple work types. And with the contact center becoming more and more integrated with the overall enterprise strategy, the need for an efficient and adaptable workforce has gained focus like never before.
Any lacuna in the optimal functioning of the contact center, which is the front door to the organization’s value chain, has a trickledown effect on the overall efficiency, viability and profitability. Workforce Optimization (WFO) can be the key to reinventing the contact center and yield its true benefits.
Contact center WFO solutions provide a range of functional capabilities that help organizations to recruit, schedule, train, assess, motivate and reward agents in a more efficient and effective way. A strategic WFO partner can help manage and optimize demand and supply for workforce to keep the business running smoothly. As an operations tool, workforce management monitors agent performance and customer response and enhances the overall customer experience quality. Additionally, it also allows organizations to manage resources, forecast and plan staffing productively across channels.
A case in point is how a service provider developed a comprehensive customer service solution for a telecom services organization operating across the Caribbean, Central America, and Asia Pacific regions. The customer was able to reduce operational leakages, increase organizational productivity, and improve employee motivation.
As part of the WFO program the service provider was expected to redesign, streamline and provide consultation on the telco’s customer care operations to improve productivity; operational metrics to achieve cost-saving goals; operations, drawing on global experience in managing best-in-class customer service operations, proven consulting skills, standardized templates, and comprehensive WFO expertise.
After conducting a thorough gap analysis of the client’s processes, the service provider was able to identify opportunity areas in the process cycle spanning forecasting, planning, scheduling, real-time analysis, and reporting. A customized solution was implemented to create best-in-class processes and set up real-time analysis and reporting systems.
Additionally, the service provider also deployed its proven training competencies to train existing resources to improve workforce optimization and workforce management processes and capabilities.
A strategically built WFO solution can be a powerful means to build an organization where every resource functions at their productive best. It creates an enhanced customer experience, driven by cost effective operations, through strategic resource management. There are some key challenges that enterprises are today faced with:
A strategic approach will begin by determining direction and future functional requirements of the workforce through comprehensive planning and budgeting followed by a workforce supply and demand gap analysis. The WFO plan implemented after such detailed study will target operating model and structured communication of the workforce; implement channel/volume/deflection strategies to reduce gaps and surpluses; and implement tools and technologies best suited for your business needs.
When an Australian Telco needed to needed to improve its SLAs for its complex business operations across 3 contact centers in multiple global locations with 30 different processes and over 1200 Full Time Employees (FTEs), the service provider set up a WFO command center to ensure real time adherence and proactive planning and scheduling. The solution offered included administrative functionality support, proactive coverage checks, after hours/ overtime/ shift swap process support and skill-set change.
The operational impact of such a tactical workforce optimization program will result in not just cost reduction of up to 15% by targeting wastage, but also improve customer experience and loyalty by greater accessibility, reduced average handling time, reduced problem resolution turnaround, reduced hold time and abandonment rates by better forecast and scheduling.
In the final analysis, Workforce Optimization plays a pivotal role in addressing today’s enterprise challenges at one level and helps improve the contact center efficiency by empowering the agents at another level. A sound WFO strategy is therefore imperative for organizations and contact centers to enhance the customer experience.
– Improving Your Customer Strategy with Workforce Optimization
– Gartner report: “Embrace Contact Center Workforce Optimization to Drive Agent Cost Containment”, published on 29 February 2012 by Jim Davies, Research Director
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About Firstsource Firstsource (NSE: FSL, BSE: 532809, Reuters: FISO.BO, Bloomberg: FSOL@IN) is a global provider of customised BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) services to the Banking & Financial Services, Insurance, Telecommunications, Media and Publishing and Healthcare sectors. Its clients include FTSE 100, Fortune 500 and Nifty 50 companies. Firstsource has a “Right-shore” delivery model with operations in India, Ireland, Philippines, Sri Lanka, UK and USA.