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Managing a contact center is hard. With high attrition rates, a fast-paced environment, unhappy customers, and complex technology, contact centers face rising turnover rates and mounting performance hurdles. Not to mention, agents now report some of the highest levels of stress in any industry. Some 60% say they’ve experienced work-related stress. It’s time for a change.

Workforce optimization processes and software can help. In fact, according to the Aberdeen Group, companies that use workforce optimization software are 60% more likely to capture key customer insights that empower agents to work smarter and more productively.

How to Use Workforce Optimization in Your Contact Center

The success of your contact center depends on the quality of your agents. In fact, as many as 93% of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.

Workforce optimization is more than a single software. It’s an ecosystem of tools for things like data collection, speech analytics, gamification, scheduling adherence, CSAT surveys, and coaching platforms. By combining these resources, you can improve agent training, track your service quality, and use analytics to get into the nitty gritty of your performance.

Want to learn more about adding workforce management to your contact center? Check out our blog.

Understanding the Difference Between Workforce Management and Workforce Optimization

WFM, WFO — all these acronyms can be tough to keep track of. Though they are often used interchangeably, workforce management (WFM) and workforce optimization (WFO) are distinct concepts. Let’s see if we can simplify it.

WFM supports your day-to-day resource management, performance data collection, and workforce scheduling. It looks at the operational aspects of managing a team: forecasting call volumes, scheduling agents, tracking attendance, and monitoring staff levels. It doesn’t include learning or development tools like WFO tools often do. Workforce management is focused on daily operations.

Workforce optimization, on the other hand, has a broader scope and purpose. It’s a combination of strategies and tools aimed at optimizing workforce performance. WFO seeks to enhance the agent and customer experience. It drives overall business success by tracking quality, compliance, performance management, and training and coaching.

5 Ways Workforce Optimization Can Help Your Contact Center

With workforce optimization, you can meet (and exceed) customer expectations without burning out your agents. Here are five benefits of workforce optimization for your contact center.

1. Enhance Employee Productivity

When employees have the right skills and knowledge, they’re more likely to excel in their roles. With WFO, you can enhance employee productivity without cutting into your day-to-day tasks. Use past customer interactions as learning tools or send eLearning coaching assignments to agents to focus on specific skills. By combining intelligent call routing, streamlined workflows, automation, and comprehensive training, workforce optimization lets you support the growth and productivity of your agents.

2. Improve the Customer Experience

Businesses can boost revenue by 4-8% when they focus on customer service. With WFO, give agents immediate and specific feedback and use scorecards or call recordings to support high-quality interactions. With speech analytics tools, you can track sentiment and locate areas for personalized customer care.

3. Reduce Costs and Optimize Resources

I’ve been training for my first half marathon. As a result, I’m more focused on my overall health than ever before so I can enhance my performance. So, besides running a lot each week, I’m more conscious of my sleeping schedule. I’m aware of what food I’m eating. And I’m generally listening to what my body needs. It’s kind of the same with workforce optimization. By optimizing performance, your entire contact center gets healthier and cuts out waste.

WFO helps you hone your staffing levels, streamline processes, and fine-tune resource allocation. As your agents use their strengths and improve their performance, your budget falls into place so you’re not wasting resources. With better quality management, you reduce the risks and costs incurred from compliance slip-ups.

4. Make Decisions Based on Data

How can you know if your efforts are making a difference if you aren’t using data? Data analytics and KPIs ensure your team performs their best and meets customer expectations. Workforce optimization helps you make more informed decisions so you’re not shooting in the dark.

Maybe you need to hire a few more agents to round out the team. Or perhaps identify learning opportunities for agents. You can find out who can take on more responsibility, who needs better support, and where processes are clunky. With this unified data, you can make decisions based on facts — not intuition.

5. Improve Quality Assurance

Service quality trumps the quantity of customers you talk to in a day. One report found that a third of all consumers think that solving problems in a single interaction is the most important aspect of good customer service.

With clear insight into performance using analytics, as a manager, you have a perfect view of knowledge gaps, slow processes, and customer needs. You can use call recordings to identify scenarios to role-play as a team. And then, send agents automated feedback and coaching tips to help guide them through an interaction. Over time, your service quality will rise as your agents improve their performance.

Ready to boost your contact center’s efficiency? Schedule a demo with one of our team members.

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