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Workforce Management Solutions Streamline Contact Center Processes

 
May 22, 2009



Properly managing a contact center can be a challenge, to say the least. If a center has more than 50 seats and/or multiple locations, it can turn into a manager’s nightmare if he or she does not have the right tools to keep agents on track and processes running smoothly.


Traditionally, contact center mangers have relied on manual processes to coordinate the activities of agents. These processes made sense in an era where telephones were the only channel of communication and agents rarely wandered far from a set script when talking with customers.

But the contact center environment is constantly evolving and changing. Customers now interact with the contact center by way of self-service portals such as the website, IVR and instant messaging. Contact center agents may answer questions and assist customers via e-mail and Web chat. And with each of these additional channel options, specific service standards still have to be met.

So, how does the proactive contact center manager effectively manage agents and their performance? Through an automated workforce management solution that allows for all aspects of the operation of the center to be entered into a Web-based interface for easy access and control.

Today’s workforce management solutions allow managers to enter in the number of agents, their preferred work schedules, requested time off, scheduled training and anything else that pertains to scheduling. Managers then launch a schedule application that ensures proper coverage at all calling times. Agents can also access the application to request time off, schedule changes or training sessions.

While the scheduling benefits of a workforce management solution deliver significant value to the contact center, the solution can do so much more. Managers can also monitor agent performance and make notes on a particular agent who may need more coaching or other guidance to improve performance.
 
Managers also have the benefit of knowing how agents are using their time while on the company “time clock.” Are there particular agents who are consistently showing up late? Are there agents who spend too much time between calls? Are some agents taking lunch breaks that are longer than what is allowed?

These problems can be easily uncovered and addressed with the help of an automated workforce management system. Managers can set parameters so that all this information is captured and delivered in a standard report for better control over activities and performance.

While a variety of vendors offer workforce management solutions, Monet Software can deliver customized solutions that are designed to fit specific environments. The company also ensures that managers understand how to use the solution to maximize its value and application throughout the center. Such an approach ensures a solid and rapid return on investment and immediate and measurable improvements in the center.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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