Your relationship with your customers is really not that different from other relationships in your life. Sustaining customer happiness requires investment, intentionality, and a certain level of commitment. This all starts with effective operations and workforce management.
Imagine your friends were late to everything — and I mean everything. Sure, you let it go the first few times. But what about when you miss that special dinner reservation you’ve waited weeks for? Or when you’re 30 minutes late to the movie you’ve been dying to see — just because of their tardiness?
Eventually, it’s going to take a toll on your relationship.
It’s the same with your customers. They want you to be timely, effective, and committed to nurturing the relationship.
The Heartbeat of Successful Customer Relationships: Your Operations
Your contact center operations are the heartbeat of successful customer relationships. In fact, Salesforce recently surveyed 17,000 global customers and found that 91% of business buyers and 86% of all customers say the experience they receive from a company is equally as important as the products and surveys they receive.
When operations run smoothly, customers receive timely help, leading to higher satisfaction rates. But inefficiencies like long wait times or mismatched agent skills can sour experiences. Then you’ve harmed customer loyalty and brand perception.
Ideally, you’re shaping and boosting customer satisfaction through seamless operations. But seamless service doesn’t happen by chance. It requires workforce management.
The Fundamentals of Workforce Management
So, what exactly is workforce management?
In simple terms, workforce management (WFM) is a toolset that ensures you have the right people in the right place at the right time and with the right skills. Here are some fundamental features of workforce management.
As technology advances, as many as 81% of customers expect faster service levels than ever before. You need to be prepared for call volume spikes when customers want speedy resolutions. Forecasting can help predict these spikes by tracking call volumes, trends, and customer needs. With forecasting, you can proactively plan for the right number of agents at all times so customers don’t wait on hold for long.
Now that you have your forecasting data in hand, it’s time to put it to use. Workforce management lets you strategically plan agent schedules. It’s no secret that most contact center agents are on the verge of burnout. And overworking your contact center is a recipe for high turnover and low morale. For the best productivity, schedule agent shifts based on predicted demands and skill sets. This maximizes productivity while ensuring a balanced workload.
Workforce management helps you match customer needs to the best-fit agent. This allows customers to get the best possible service. By considering availability, expertise, and skills, you can enhance resolution rates and boost CSAT.
Wouldn’t it be great if everything went exactly as planned? Of course! But let’s be realistic. Your perfectly formulated contact center schedule can fall apart in a moment. And you need a way to prepare. Let’s say an agent gets sick mid-day or needs to unexpectedly pick up their child from school. Or what if your marketing team pushes a promotion and fails to tell you about it? It happens.
This is where intraday management comes in. Intraday management monitors the current day’s schedule and optimizes it accordingly.
It lets you make real-time adjustments to schedules and staffing, which then accommodates unexpected fluctuations and maintains operational efficiency throughout the day. When the unexpected happens, you can execute an intraday forecast and then tweak your schedules to cover your gaps.
Efficient contact center operations are key to the success of your contact center. Learn more about how to boost operational efficiency in our blog.
The Benefits of Adopting Workforce Management in Your Contact Center
Aside from keeping you more prepared day-to-day, (and likely less stressed), there are many other benefits of workforce management in a contact center. Here are a few of the essential ones.
Improved Service Quality
When workforce management is weak, agents aren’t assigned to interactions that allow them to best use their skills. As a result, customers experience long hold times and longer handle times waiting for effective help. WFM lets you match agent skills with customer inquiries to enhance service quality and speed up resolution times. This, in turn, boosts your entire customer experience.
Imagine for a moment that you don’t use forecasting. You’re fully staffed for an afternoon…and hardly any customers call in. Now, you’ve got a whole team of agents sitting around with nothing to do. You’re wasting their time — and company money — by having them there.
But with workforce management, you can streamline operations and properly staff your team. This reduces unnecessary labor costs and enhances resource allocation, saving significant costs.
Better Agent Experience and Engagement
Workforce management can help improve your agent experience and ensure agents are more engaged. Employees who are happy (i.e., not overworked or stressed) are generally more engaged. WFM tools help you identify key data to ensure agents aren’t stressed or overworked.
In fact, the data provided by WFM solutions lets you pinpoint exactly where your team needs to improve performance. You can engage agents by targeting their strengths and gathering essential data to support better feedback, goal setting, and training.
Want to learn more about how Broadvoice CCaaS streamlines your contact center operations? Chat with one of our consultants.