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NICE Puts the Agent into the Equation with Introduction of Adaptive WFO

NICE Systems

Presented By: NICE Systems

Many businesses have focused their time and resources on developing a better understanding of their customers: what they’re looking for, how they prefer to communicate, and how to most effectively meet their needs. But in the ongoing quest to improve customer engagement, most companies have often overlooked an equally critical element.  Who are the front line agents that represent their brand, what are their strengths and weaknesses, what makes them tick as individuals and how can knowing more about them as individuals be used to drive more responsive service?

Customer experience and data analytics specialists NICE hopes to fill in these gaps with the introduction of Adaptive WFO, a multifaceted solution designed to help to personalize the organization-employee relationship to spur better contact center performance. This transformative approach creates a workforce planning, management and engagement environment that adapts in real time to personalized agent profiles, or personas.

“The personas are generated based on advanced multi-channel analytics data garnered on agents such as CSAT scores, average handle time (AHT), first contact resolution (FCR) rates, tenure and past work experience, as well as new data created by applying predictive analytics to customer interactions to identify and categorize all observed behaviors,” said Matthew Storm, Head of Marketing for the Americas at NICE. “Having this information gives companies the capability to pinpoint agent behaviors, such as whether they’re strong salespeople, technical information specialists or diplomats able to deal with unhappy customers in crisis situations, whether they perform better in the morning or the evening, and what incentives genuinely motivate them.”

One application of the solution that Storm sees as particularly valuable for businesses is adaptive scheduling. “Intraday management is an ongoing challenge for many companies—who called in sick, who just didn’t show up, and if call spikes occur, do they have enough staff and the right people available to handle them? In most companies, the calculations and follow-up have had to be handled manually. The manager or supervisor has to assess how needs may have changed, then begin frantically calling or texting people to come in to handle the situation,” he said. “This can be quite problematical when most of the reps are millennials who put taking phone calls at the bottom of their chart of ways to be contacted. With Adaptive WFO, agents can put in quiet times and periods when they’re available and receive appropriate mobile alerts in an app asking for them to come in. So for example, a 2nd shift worker could receive an alert at 4:50 AM-- when they might be at the gym-- asking them to come in early. Supervisors will not only be able to identify the right people for the situation but be able to reach them automatically. In addition, when authorized, employees can do Your-Own-Device schedule swapping.”

This type of flexibility and insight reinforces NICE’s view that the employee is the heart of the workforce. Adaptive Workforce acknowledges schedule preferences, matches behavioral and performance metrics to determine the right people to handle specific interactions and makes it easy to bring them in at the right time.  The solution also provides businesses with the ability to select the right people for their workforce right from the get-go. “Adaptive recruiting will enable companies to better guide their own hiring process,” noted Storm. “Some companies might prefer candidates who do not have contact center experience, but have a college education or a certain number of years in the workforce or typing skills. They can set up a series of parameters that predict successful personas based on the specific competencies they select.”

The solution also empowers an adaptive training process that encompasses tailored onboarding and coaching to adjust the learning path for each employee. “Adaptive WFO allows companies to set up development tracks that can be customized to the individual,” said Storm. “Sharing expectations during onboarding contributes to a shorter learning curve by building the confidence of new hires. It also facilitates ramp-ups that could take weeks instead of months. Companies can also create personalized engagement plans to improve employee retention”.

The ultimate benefits of Adaptive WFO are to create a work environment where the contributions of individuals are understood and valued, decrease attrition rates by increasing employee engagement, and drive improved CSAT through tighter alignment between customer experience and agent performance.