Call Accounting Featured Article

Workforce Optimization Keeps Contact Center Costs Down

May 02, 2017

Contact centers are often labeled “cost centers,” and for good reason. They’re one of the most labor-intensive operations in the company, and if they’re not run properly, they can be an endless source of expense and frustration. Labor costs comprise between 67 and 75 percent of contact center operating budgets, and high turnover sends the costs even higher.

It makes sense, therefore, to start with labor when it’s time to look for resource optimization and cost savings. In the contact center, this means seeking modern and flexible workforce optimization solutions regardless of the size of your call center.

Workforce optimization (WFO) software is a software suite that combines recording, quality management (QM), workforce management and other contact center technologies into one “engine” that drives call center performance. Contact centers can use them to understand cost drivers and trends, identify opportunities as well as strengths and weaknesses with existing processes and products; and understand how customers perceive products and services.

“A key to providing quality customer care in a dynamic and changing business environment is the ability to schedule the right number of people at the right time and optimize their performance for an improved customer experience,” according to call accounting and workforce optimization solutions provider ISI Telemanagement Solutions Inc.

Scheduling, however, is only part of the equation. Once schedules are made based on forecasts, they can be easily communicated to workers, who can receive them on their desktops or mobile devices, and even apply for changes (swaps with other employees, for example). Managers can be certain the schedule is covered at a glance thanks to analytics based reporting, and companies can monitor for quality simultaneously through the use of call recording, another critical element of workforce optimization.

A good call recording solution will help companies gather a complete understanding of communications through compliance computer telephony (CT) integration with all the major communication platforms. The recording solution – which is cloud-based, allowing calls to be stored off-site – can record all desktop activity (and not just phone calls), delivering a 360-degree view of customer/agent interactions. In some cases, solutions offer special compliance for industry regulations (HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley, for example).

These easy to listen to and easy to search call recordings can then be used to monitor the quality of customer support being offered as well as agent performance. Managers can use the recordings to evaluate, rate, coach and even calibrate performance management standards, or build comprehensive agent training scenarios that can be delivered either in a classroom setting or on the desktop so agents can learn in their spare time. Many workforce optimization solutions today featured “gamified” interactions that make it more fun for agents to learn and do their jobs by earning points or “badges” and ascending levels, just as in a video game.

If your contact center is spending too much money to meet minimal standards, it’s time to spend some money. The best possible place to spend it is in the investment of a good workforce optimization solution that can help improve accountability, monitor quality, boost performance and increase both customer and employee engagement…all at the same time. 

Edited by Alicia Young

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