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Moving Workforce Planning from Manual Uncertainty to Digital Age Efficiency


Presented By: Genesys

Workforce management in the contact center has always sounded like a simple proposition: having the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time. Adhering to this formula means companies are not only able to meet customer expectations but empower agents to have some control over their schedules and accurately determine how well they are fulfilling the business’s most critical KPIs

But despite the straightforward definition, it’s an exceptionally complex process. Successful workforce management has always required the ability to examine every facet of contact center operation and make detailed forecasts that should not be done by instinct or by trying to ballpark customer demand  Yet even in this age of technology and a shift to omnichannel customer experience, in many environments WFM remains a mainly manual function with minimal planning for non-voice interactions.  According to recent ICMI research, intraday forecasting and schedule adjustments happen in 29% of contact centers. In 71% of those organizations, it’s a manual process, which puts the operations in the position of having to evaluate the return of intraday versus the effort involved in creating the forecast. A sobering number of contact centers still don’t even measure forecast accuracy.

Contact centers don’t just add unnecessarily to their workload by making manual changes to skill assignments throughout the day – they’re also making existing problems worse. The accuracy of future forecasts directly correlates to the integrity of the data that’s provided and when these changes aren’t tracked correctly, it can obfuscate the root cause data that’s needed to improve the accuracy of future forecasts. Trying to treat the symptoms as opposed to addressing the root causes, can do even greater long-term damage to an organizations ability to both maintain service levels and achieve key performance indicators.

As consumers increasingly demand timely service on a multitude of customer contact channels that need to be adequately supported, strategic use of technology can significantly improve workforce management processes. Too often, individual channels are managed in silos with many businesses still maintaining separate systems for routing interactions and tasks as well as those for workforce management. This adds complexity and more manual work for planning and operations teams. It can be a daunting task to just obtain relevant data from individual point solutions without having to try and make sense of it across channels.

There are now a variety of emerging solutions aimed at supporting employees tasked with handling complex customer interactions across multiple channels. These new technologies help companies meet the challenges of creating and maintaining a multi-skilled omnichannel workforce.

Having the right WFM solution in place enables accurate cross-channel planning and routing strategies that are based on real-time and historic information. These strategies allow for interactions and work to be distributed to the most appropriate, skilled and available agents, resulting in faster and more productive resolutions. A recent Genesys whitepaper notes that accurate omnichannel planning and routing can save 37 to 50 seconds per interaction--tangible results that can translate to a boost for the bottom line.

When implementing a workforce management system, the key factor to ensure is that all tools either integrate tightly into or are an actual component of the contact center platform. Such integrations can help reduce costs in a variety of ways, such as helping to eliminate undesired overtime and cutting the number of misrouted interactions and work items which often cause employee stress and contribute to turnover.

On Thursday, October 17, Ric Kosiba , Vice President of Workforce Systems for Genesys, who founded the contact center forecasting and planning software company Bay Bridge Decision Technologies that  was later acquired by Genesys, will present a complimentary CrmXchange webcast on “Workforce Planning in a Digital World.” He will address the difficult math problems entailed in planning for multi-skill, multi-site, and multi-channel contact centers, where each channel and each skill have different demand profiles and handle times vary by location. 

Kosiba will discuss how to most effectively deploy agents with the different efficiencies associated with each skill and channel and elaborate on each combination of skill, channel, and center location. He will also reveal how to apply the varying math models needed to ensure accurate staffing.

Register now for this in-depth planning workshop: those unable to attend live can download the webcast approximately 24 hours after it is completed