The contact centers of today represent a completely different business than the traditional call centers of yesterday. Contact center agents no longer operate as telephone operators, but are skilled customer service representatives that must not only deliver an optimal experience for the customer; they must also manage multiple applications in a dynamic environment in order to meet pre-set goals that contribute to the overall strategy.
In order to support an environment where job roles are becoming more specialized, agents manage a myriad of integrated and disparate applications and multiple channels are being used to serve customers, contact centers are increasingly turning to workforce management systems. With this trend comes the emergence of forecasting, scheduling and real-time management expertise.
Accurate forecasting is essential to the success of the contact center. Unlike traditional methods that could predict standard call campaigns, the forecasting tools of today must be able to predict the volume of interactions not just with live agents, but also with different channels within the contact center.
Such an approach ensures that those customers utilizing self-service channels that must access a live agent will find one available and skilled in the area necessary to help the customer. Robust workforce management systems provide this capability, allowing for the complete integration of forecasting, scheduling and real-time management.
By turning to the technology available in a workforce management system, the contact center is able to automate key processes. This automation enables management to designate specialization in scheduling to ensure the right person is on the right application or phone system at the right time. In doing so, the company not only improves first call resolution, it improves the overall efficiency and productivity of the center.
Perhaps one of the more overlooked benefits of workforce management systems is the ability to manage contact center systems in real-time. As the global economy has become more mobile and consumer technologies have made information available from any time and any where, the demand for real-time data is consistently growing, driving the demand within the global contact center industry. If a company is unable to deliver information to a customer in real-time, there is a risk of losing that customer.
Those contact centers that are setting Best in Class benchmarks are those that are able to identify areas of opportunity within the contact center and selecting a robust workforce management system to help drive strategic initiatives. Companies such as Monet Software can deliver the consultation expertise necessary to select the right workforce management system to drive optimal contact center performance.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Michelle Robart