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Customers expect quick, effective, and authentic experiences across every touchpoint. In fact, 31% of them report higher service expectations than they had last year. That’s an increase of 11% year-over-year. Contact centers need to up their game if they want to compete in a competitive CX landscape. Now’s the time to improve technology, processes, and strategies to support operational efficiency.

How? Contact center workforce optimization.

Contact center workforce optimization (WFO) can help you streamline your workforce and improve performance. This means your contact center can operate at its best.

The whole WFO ecosystem is multi-faceted. It includes workforce management, call recording, automated quality management, performance management, analytics, etc. To help distill it, let’s see how it can fit into your day-to-day operations.

The Role of Workforce Optimization in Contact Centers

Contact center workforce optimization splits into three buckets: workforce management, contact center data analytics, and training and development. Together, they help you cultivate a top-notch team.

Understanding Workforce Management (WFM)

It’s easy to mix up WFM and WFO, but there are a few key differences. WFM is a subset of processes that fit into broader workforce optimization. Workforce management helps you balance your staff and your contact center’s workload. With tools like forecasting, scheduling, adherence, and performance measurement, WFM helps ensure customers get fast and effective service.

A Look at Contact Center Data Analytics

Data is always flowing into your contact center. Analytics help you organize and piece together the macro data puzzle to gain insight into your operations. With analytics, you can improve agent training and see where gaps exist to bolster your experience.

Check out our blog post for a more in-depth look at contact center data analytics.

Breaking Down Training and Development

Contact center workforce optimization looks to optimize your workforce (I know, duh). And how can you improve quality, productivity, and performance without agent training and development? Spoiler alert: you can’t. And the truth is — your agents want it! Over half of workers say they need more opportunities to develop their skills. Workforce optimization can help you create and deliver training modules. It can integrate coaching into your workflows. And it can access essential data you need to identify areas for agent development.

Want to learn more about workforce optimization? Check out our blog.

The Benefits of Contact Center Workforce Optimization

Contact center workforce optimization is worth the investment. Below are some of the main benefits.

Improved Efficiency and Productivity

Contact center workforce optimization helps you manage and focus your operations in a unified platform. Plus it gives insights into improving your efficiency. With WFO, you can forecast staffing needs and optimize scheduling so you have the right number of agents — and the right skill sets — at all times. Then, you can train your team to deliver high-quality service.

Enhanced Employee Engagement

Ongoing training supports a more engaged workforce. It also empowers agents to hit their goals and succeed in every interaction. This kind of investment in their growth will help them stay engaged (pinky promise!). WFO solutions give you the tools to track agent performance and customer interactions. This lets you identify areas of improvement and provide targeted coaching and training to enhance quality and motivate agents.

Cost Savings

When you’re more efficient, you save money. By optimizing staffing levels and increasing efficiency, you reduce operating costs. As you do this, you also improve the quality of your service. It’s a win all around.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

Better quality service leads to more satisfied customers. Contact center workforce optimization ensures your agents have what they need to help customers. It can route customers to the best possible agent, which optimizes your performance every day. With ongoing improvement like that, you’ll inevitably see higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Want to learn more about how you can boost CSAT scores? Check out this blog post.

Best Strategies for Improving Productivity and Efficiency with WFO

Now it’s time to put WFO into action. Here are a few strategies for using WFO to improve productivity and efficiency in your contact center.

Erase Gaps with Analytics and Forecasting

With scheduling, forecasting, and data analytics, locate (and then eliminate) gaps in your schedules, processes, and services. No need to try and imagine what the coming weeks will hold. WFO does it for you so you can better serve customers in the days ahead.

Empower Agents with Skills-Based Routing and Performance Management

Use WFO tools to empower agents and provide them with tools and resources to resolve customer inquiries. Using skills-based routing, tracking KPIs, and improving workflows sets agents up to thrive in their daily work. Then, you can use performance management tools to support agents in real time, preventing escalations and hiccups.

Reduce Wasted Time with Attendance Tracking

Every second counts in a contact center. There’s really not much room for long bathroom breaks or skimming Instagram. Keep agents more accountable and maximize your scheduling with WFO. These tools can also help agents keep their scheduled breaks and make sure your contact center is sufficiently staffed 24/7.

What to Look for in Contact Center Workforce Optimization Solutions

Overwhelmed by the number of WFO solutions available? Start your wish list with these essential features. Below are the must-haves for contact center workforce optimization solutions.

A Unified Platform with Integration Capabilities

WFO works best in a unified CX platform that integrates with your existing infrastructure. Find a solution that integrates with your CRM, communications platforms, and WFM tools.

Support for Coaching and Training

A WFO solution should support learning and development. Find a WFO tool that offers training and eLearning programs. Look for call recordings, monitoring, and performance reports that facilitate agent learning.

Advanced Analytics

Look for WFO solutions that offer advanced analytics capabilities. This includes real-time monitoring, trend analysis, predictive modeling, and speech analytics. These tools don’t just give you data but also provide actionable insights for continuous improvement.

Ease of Use

Software that’s hard to use won’t get used. Period. Find an intuitive and easy-to-use platform for agents, supervisors, and administrators. This minimizes training and onboarding time and maximizes productivity.

Learn more about Broadvoice by contacting one of our team members.

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