Workforce Management Featured Articles
Improving the Contact Center from Its Workforce Optimization Foundation Up
Success or failure in business today hinges on the customer experience far more than at any time in history. Customer loyalty is low, and companies need to repeatedly please their customers in order to retain them, according to a recent blog post by Chuck Ciarlo, CEO of workforce optimization (WFO) solutions provider Monet Software...
3 Ways to Maximize Your WFM Investment
For those who have ever worked in customer service, the phrase, "the customer is always right" can conjure up feelings of frustration. It's difficult to swallow your pride and apologize to the irate individual when you've actually done nothing wrong and they are being unreasonable. While that doesn't describe every customer encounter, it happens often enough to leave a mark. In workforce management, much of the focus is on how to avoid the situation in the first place...
Contact Center Agents Can Be Either Generalists or Specialists, but Workforce Management Must Be Adaptable
There are some age-old matters of opinion in the world: toilet paper roll over or under? Beatles or Rolling Stones? Do dogs or cats make better pets? In the contact center world, the age-old question goes something like this: is it better to cross-train agents to handle multiple skills and channels, or use dedicated pools of single-skill agents?..
Selecting a PPM Solution: Three Key Criteria
Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software will bring several benefits to any organization, regardless of size, industry sector, or maturity. PPM software will increase your visibility into the work your resources are executing, enable you to prioritize new work that is being requested, make your organization run more efficiently and ultimately increase the ROI of your projects, resources, and applications - resulting in greater business value. When choosing a solution and vendor, there are several criteria that should be evaluated, here are my top three:..
Have the 2015 Contact Center Predictions Come True?
So where did analysts get it right in their predictions? Mostly where it came to the use of big data analytics to drive efficiencies and improve processes, as well as in the switch from multichannel environments to complete "omnichannel" customer support...
Reducing Cloud Anxiety in the Contact Center
Data security - another area of concern - is also at least as secure as it would be a premises-based solution. While it's true that contact centers have an obligation to keep customer data secure, cloud providers - who often have far more robust security infrastructure in place than users of premises-based solutions - can assist customers by ensuring this data is kept safe by state-of-the-art security protocols...
Goodbye to Premise-based Contact Center Solutions Reformulated for the Cloud
With the explosive growth of the cloud contact center industry -- between 2008 and 2012, the cloud market grew by some 224 percent and shows no signs of slowing down - it would be an easy assumption to make that nearly all contact centers are operating in the cloud. While growth is impressive, this isn't true. According to research from DMG, by the end of 2015, only about 18 percent of contact center seats will be delivered by cloud-based contact center infrastructure providers. This means the industry has strong room to grow...
Workforce Management That's Prepared for the Unexpected
Every contact center engages in some sort of workforce management (so do many other enterprise operations). It might be rudimentary and "good enough" according to managers, and it might be cloud-based, omnichannel and come with all the bells and whistles. Whatever method your organization chooses, it's critical to ensure that your workforce optimization is robust enough to withstand not just regular day-to-day operations, but unexpected spikes in call volume, unplanned absences and disruptive events like a merger or acquisition...
What's Next for Workforce Management?
In the contact center, workforce management (WFM) has come a long way since its earliest days, which (for those of you youngsters) meant graph paper and Erlang-c calculations. Determining the right number of agents needed at the right times was both a science and an art, as many retired call center managers can attest. While spreadsheets and then workforce management software have supplanted more old-fashioned methods, this isn't to say that workforce management technology is standing still...
Ready to Add the Internet of Things Channels to the Contact Center Mix?
Is your contact center an integrated omnichannel wonder center that handles all customer communications, either inbound or inbound, regardless of communications channels? Do all customer support agents have a 360-degree view of the customer relationship, including self-service activities the customer engages in? Can your workers easily see a customer's history with the company in a single view on the desktop? Do you have the social media channel integrated onto the contact center platform and do your agents use it for both inbound and outbound social media communications?..
The Push to the Cloud Set to Turn Premise-Based Applications into Nostalgia
In about a decade, the transfer of knowledge to the cloud will be a distant memory. Young professional workers probably won't remember a time that they didn't work in the cloud, and they'll be accustomed to the flexibility and functionality cloud-based solutions will provide. In fact, most people will wonder why a switch from premise-based to cloud-based applications was such a big deal...
Can You Improve Workforce Management With One Little Word?
One of the most challenging exercises to complete is one in which you are asked to describe something in just one word. Most of us want access to several words, regardless of what it is we want to describe. The apple is more than red, it's juicy, healthy and bursting with flavor; the weather is sunny and breezy, with a hint of cut grass in the air and 75 degrees...
Getting the Most Out of Your Workforce Management Investment
Agents can easily input schedule and vacation requests directly into the system, eliminating the need to optimize a supervisor's time to do so. To ease the responsibility put on call center management, it's always a good idea to allow the system to manage holiday and shift swaps. It not only eliminates human error, it also allows managers to spend their time focused on other tasks. This is where it's important to keep in mind that the benefit you realize from the platform is completely dependent upon how it's used...
The Only Call Center Metrics That Counts Are the Ones that Make Your Customers Happier
Today, about 80 percent of contact centers collect some type of metrics, or operational telemetry about how their contact center works. Traditional metrics such as average handle time (AHT) and calls in queue are useful to help a company with its schedule and find the best areas for remedial training, but these metrics don't do much for customers. (And one has to worry about those 20 percent of contact centers that measure no metrics at all.)..
The Basics of Workforce Management
Knowing how to get the most from a workforce management solution is not always immediately evident, however. Monet Software, which makes the cloud-based workforce management solution, Monet WFM Live, recently outlined some of the basics in a recent blog post. These basics are worth emphasizing...
Better Training & Support Holds Key to Excellent WFM
Companies today want to improve the bottom line and are on a constant hunt for ways to remain successful. Management must stay on the cutting edge of the latest technologies and strategies to ensure they are meeting the needs of customers and employees...
Help Your Employees Cure the Summertime Blues
Summer's finally here. For many of us that means BBQs, beach parties, and campouts. But with 74 million children out of school, it can also mean expensive camps, guilt over too much Minecraft, and schedules so crazy that we want to tear our hair out...
Improving the Customer Experience Begins With Improving the Agent Experience
As customers' expectations have been on the rise, so too has the complexity of the organization and the number of communications channels customers can choose from. For this reason, wrote Monet Software CEO Chuck Ciarlo in a recent blog post, companies need to seriously think about expanding their support presence...
Building an Effective Strategy for Handling and Reducing Customer Complaints
It's not an easy task, and it takes a certain quality of person to remain upbeat even in the face of hostility and borderline abuse. There is, however, something to learn, even from the most difficult calls...
Key Considerations in Choosing Project Management Software
If you know anything about the average office employee, you know that they don't spend nearly as much time on task as they could. Indeed, a recent analysis found that most office workers spend less than half of their time focused on official tasks. The rest of the time is a split between useful (and useless) meetings, sorting through emails, dealing with interruptions, and other breaks in the office day. These are not numbers that make supervisors feel great about their employees' productivity...
Why You Need Workforce Management to Keep Your Good Agents
As workforce management solution provider, Monet Software highlighted in a recent blog post, there are benefits to paying attention to these two challenges. When you apply the right resources to keep your good employees and prevent burnout, the result is a better pool of quality agents overall. Everyone on your payroll will benefit from the intentional approach to support, quality interactions and positive feedback. In the end, employees are happy, content to stay put and deliver the quality experience your customers have come to expect...
The True Value of Workforce Management Systems
Is workforce management software really necessary? Yes, and a recent deployment of Monet Software's Workforce Optimization suite shows why...
Monet Software's Flurry of News Includes Salesforce Service Cloud Integration
Monet Software now offers integration with Salesforce Service Cloud. CEO Chuck Ciarlo shared the news with TMCnet at Call Center Week in Las Vegas...
This Call - or Email, or Chat, or Social Media Post - May be Monitored
Most people today are accustomed to having their calls to contact centers recorded. We know that companies use these calls to verify disputed transactions, train new agents or spot-check more experienced agents' skills, or to evaluate agents for raises or promotions (or demotions). But call recording is about more than agent evaluations. Today, many companies use call recordings in conjunction with data analytics so they can mine intelligence from the calls. Are customers mentioning competitors' names? Are they making similar complaints? Are they raising more issues than usual with shipping or returns problems? Analyzing call recordings can yield a whole new level of insight into operations...
Five Questions You Can Answer with Workforce Analytics
Workforce Analytics puts HR managers on the front lines of decision-making, and provides organizations with the facts and data they need to make strategic decisions about prioritization and investments in their employees...
Designing Contact Center Layout for Quality and Success
All over the world, a trip to any contact center will find a similar design or layout: rows of spare cubicles with low walls, carpeted floors, and aisles for managers to walk through. Not all contact centers are created equal, however: some turn out terrific customer support and others do little but antagonize customers all day. While the factors that determine whether a contact center will be high performing or low performing are varied and complex, there is some evidence that the layout of the contact center plays a significant role in how functional it is...
Top Reasons Workforce Management Solutions Should Include Speech Analytics
Has speech analytics become standard equipment within your contact center? While the adoption has not yet hit the mainstream like workforce management and call center scheduling solutions, it's likely just a matter of time. As a recent case study demonstrates, speech analytics can deliver valuable insights that could drastically improve outcomes...
U.S. Workforce Losing Job Security as Permanent Full-Time Jobs Become Scarcer
This isn't good news for the still-struggling American employment sector. Workers without job security cannot buy homes or automobiles, struggle to pay for rent and food, rely more heavily on state and federal aid and consume no luxuries. Essentially, American workers become less able to buy the products and services their employers' sell. With the idea of "a living wage" on the lips of many policymakers and politicians, data such as this will add ammunition to the arsenals of those who wish to see more stringent labor regulations, according to the WSJ...
5 Ways Workforce Management Can Improve Agent Performance
When we talk about the benefits of automation in workforce management, it's easy to assume that automation in everything is the right way to go. While promising, automation in all of your channels may not be the right fit for your agents, your industry or your customers. Develop a strategy around where you need to be at each level and only offer automation where it makes sense to all parties. When it's time for more complexity, bring a live agent into the mix...
Put an End to Customer Disasters with Workforce Management
To ensure the proper approach to customer interactions, call center management must implement proper training and quality monitoring. Agents should try to keep a customer, but there are scripts to follow and lines that should never be crossed. If all calls are recorded and monitored for performance, the agent going off on the customer is much less likely, especially if those calls are scored for performance and shared with the agent...
Quality Monitoring Becomes Complex for Multilingual Contact Centers
Most contact centers today have trouble finding the time to monitor agents in performance management programs as much as they would like. While many of today's solutions use speech technology to look for problematic calls, keywords, competitors names and other triggers, in many companies, true quality management comes down to a manager listening to calls monthly, semi-annually or annually and ticking off quality elements on a standardized form. Evaluations like these are used to determine pay raises or promotions, or to determine areas where agents might need extra training. Whether it's a formal or an informal process, it essentially comes down to managers listening...
Trends to Boost Workforce Management Investments
To that end, any technology investments have to be in platforms and applications that are easy to use and make sense to the user. If an agent has to use technology just to use technology, it won't be adopted or deliver the benefit you want. If they instead understand why it matters and it blends easily into the workflow, agents - who are more likely to be Gen X and millennials - will make it a part of their routine...
Rhythm Systems Launches My Work and People EnergyMap Tools
Rhythm Systems, a developer of enterprise productivity programs, recently announced the launch of two collaboration tools, My Work and People EnergyMap, that will work with the Rhythm Systems strategy execution software in order to help employees stay on task...
Taking the Guesswork Out of Contact Center Staffing
Imagine if instead of using a sophisticated algorithm to produce its search results, Google employed a few employees who had to take search requests manually and scour the Internet for the most relevant websites? Users would wait far longer for results and the ones they got would often be inaccurate or incomplete. So it's a good bet the company would not be worth $382.5 billion as it is today...
Keeping Costs in Check and Quality High in a Growing Contact Center Requires Workforce Management
Many contact centers today still schedule manually, or if they do use workforce management solutions, they're using software that is years (or decades) outdated. Newer workforce management solutions can pay for themselves quickly in the form of reduced headcounts, eliminating the need for overtime, and improved customer loyalty...
Improving Performance and Keeping Costs Contained with Workforce Management Technology
Finally, flexible scheduling - easily possible with a good workforce management solution but nearly impossible with spreadsheets or other manual methods - can help improve employee retention and boost satisfaction. This leads to lower turnover, which leads directly to lower costs and higher customer satisfaction...
Do You Track Metrics for Contact Center Convenience or Customer Experience Quality?
Contact centers today have a great deal of data, and most of them use at least some of it to track certain performance metrics. While this is wise, it's important for companies to be sure they're tracking metrics that measure customer service quality at least as often as they're tracking metrics to control costs. Sure, keeping average handle time (AHT) low is good for controlling expenses, but it's not always good for keeping customer satisfaction high. So it's probably time to examine the metrics you are tracking today: are they indicative of what customers want and need?..
Contact Center Training is Critical to Protect the Customer Base
When was the last time you called a customer service center and realized you knew more about their product than the agent on the phone? This is not an uncommon phenomenon when the call center focuses on little more than filling seats with warm bodies and workforce management is just a scheduling tool. If intensive training on products, services and quality customer care are not part of the onboarding process, the call center (and the company it supports) could be losing business...
The Fine Line between Personalizing the Customer Experience and Asking For Too Much Data
Essentially, when companies decide to collect data, they need to be mindful of customer's very justified wariness about what information they're willing to hand over. If it's relevant to the customer experience, customers will usually hand it over. If it's not, be prepared for some resistance...
Chat Finds Its Place in the Modern Contact Center
While the phone remains indispensable to the contact center - customer support facilities are, after all, set up to revolve around the telephone - Web chat is becoming the second most important channel to customer. While today's customer may use a variety of channels through which to get an answer - self-service, social media, online forums, FAQs, mobile apps and e-mail - the telephone and Web chat are now the two most critical media when a customer actually needs to communicate directly with a representative...
How Workforce Management Helps the Competitive Advantage
Workforce management applies today for those who truly care about the customer experience and want to put the competition out of mind for the consumer. It's all about designing workflow and schedules around what the customer needs. If this isn't top of mind, it could be for the quiet competitor ready to take your share...
Workforce Management Market Set to Explode
This expansion will also help in the development of new functionality and keeping costs under control. While companies will look to the cloud for cost-effective measures to drive better access to technology, that doesn't mean every contender will deliver better cost value. Decision makers will still have to do their homework and identify those providers best suited to meet their needs. In doing so, they're also more likely to improve the bottom line over all...
Manual Skilling Has Significant Negative Consequences for Contact Center
Part of the performance improvement comes from better call handling capacity, and the reduced chances of calls being lost, transferred or put on hold, which improves the quality of the customer experience. While many companies may not believe they are losing much productivity from manual skilling, even a small amount of manual work drives down productivity and call quality...
Allowing Younger Workforces to Engage with Workforce Management on Mobile Devices
Today, most organizations have rather one-size-fits-all policies when it comes to managing their workforce. It makes sense: tailoring a management policy to each individual worker would be difficult, costly and cumbersome. But it's worthwhile to remember that some workers are going to be more comfortable with workforce technologies than others. While their level of comfort isn't always predicted by their age, it's often true that younger workers are simply more comfortable with all manner of technology...
Will RPO Vendors Add Value to Workforce Management?
Contact centers throughout the world are using workforce management to accurately project volumes, schedule staff according to projections and skill-sets and manage exceptions on the fly. RPOs can fit right into this model when they can use analytics to demonstrate productivity, improved retention and the overall effect on sales. And while the practice is still early in the process, companies are paying more attention to tying talent acquisition to business measures. Some believe that RPOs that master this capability early will find a solid foothold in the contact center industry going forward...
The Healthcare Industry Succeeds Adopting the Best Practices of the Contact Center Industry
Customized inbound/outbound strategies can also be used to better ensure that patients are following their healthcare regimens and taking their medication. A call center approach can help reduce healthcare costs by doing simple tasks - blood pressure checks, or blood sugar monitoring - over the phone, in a live or even automated way. As the healthcare industry strives to improve the quality of care while keeping costs under control, there is a great deal the contact center industry has to teach it...
Is the Customer Experience More Important than the Cost of Workforce Management?
This is where a healthy shift in thinking could be beneficial for the contact center industry. Putting the customer experience first and financial challenges second could help drive a positive outcome in the end. This may appear to be backwards thinking, but consider the contact center that drives the quality customer experience. The center has more customers to engage with because they're doing it right. This drives revenue and keeps the cost of every call at a minimum as customers are happier...
Hitting KPIs in the Call Center Requires a Firm Foundation
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are commonly used in contact centers, but they mean different things to different people. Managers may seem them as a diagnostic tool, agents may see them as unfair and difficult-to-comply with rules, and executives may see them as an enabler (or barrier) to profitability...
The Benefits of Service Automation for Employee Onboarding
All companies strive to integrate new employees as quickly and seamlessly as possible, as a smooth onboarding process allows for greater productivity and overall cost efficiency. The sooner an employee is equipped with the devices, access, and information he or she needs, the sooner meaningful work can begin. Effective onboarding is also important because a company that fails to afford new hires an easy transition provides a poor first impression of corporate operations and imposes unnecessary delays and challenges, both of which can affect new hire retention rates...
Are Some Customers More Worthy of Loyalty Efforts Than Others?
In the world of business journalism, there is a lot of talk of customer loyalty today. There are tips regarding how to improve it, how to measure it, how to reward it and how to encourage workers to cultivate it. The problem is that customer loyalty works very different depending on the type of business, so a short article in Forbes is unlikely to help you turn your loyalty programs around very quickly...
Ready to Drive Better Performance in the Contact Center?
Today's contact centers also need quality monitoring if they want to compete in dynamic markets. Monitoring customer interactions is essential if great service is a priority and customer satisfaction is the goal. For a number of companies, this monitoring may be essential to ensure compliance with industry regulations. Others may be focused on agent training and matching the needs of the center with the skillsets of the agent base...
Taking Real Action to Improve the Quality of Customer Service
For all the efforts companies today go through to try and improve the customer experience, there is evidence that's it's not working very well. Customer complaints are increasing, and not decreasing. Part of the reason for this may be the attitude that many companies still have when it comes to customer service: it's something to be suffered rather than mastered...
Steps to Improve Interactions with an Angry Customer
The angry customer - it's the call that most call center agents don't want to receive, yet most will at some point in their career. It's up to call center management to properly train agents on how to handle the angry caller and turn an uncomfortable interaction into one that ends with satisfaction - and not the kind of satisfaction that comes from telling off a customer. It's workforce management at its finest when agent can manage the angry conversation into one that ends well...
Meeting the Challenges Ahead for the Contact Center
While contact center managers are obliged to keep an eye on what's happening in a company's customer support operations today, a good manager also needs to ensure the contact center is prepared for what's likely to come along tomorrow. While no one has a crystal ball, there are trends that should be watched carefully throughout the year...
Why Speech Analytics is Good for Workforce Management
To be competitive today, companies need to invest in solutions that allow them to make use of data to drive outcomes. For the call center environment, every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to capture information and turn it into business intelligence. The way the customer answers the phone, the channels they prefer to use, their response to a certain part of the script - all of these things matter in the overarching focus of customer interactions. If you're not capturing this information, you're not securing your competitive advantage...
The New Face of Workforce Management for 2015
A third critical benefit that modern workforce management will provide is the ability to run complex analytics on workforce management processes in order to spot trends, correct problems before they occur and make better use of existing assets...
Can Smart Simplicity Help Improve Workforce Management?
How do you drive the overall effectiveness of your workforce? Do you implement employee engagement strategies on a regular basis or do you integrate workforce management solutions with your call center software? If you're following the latest thought processes on quality customer interactions, you know that engagement is key and getting rid of busy work, meetings and paperwork may just be what you need to drive optimal results...
4 Ways to Improve Workforce Management Outcomes
There are a number of challenges that can exist within the contact center space. It's not uncommon for turnover to be high, the pressure to cater to customer demands to be intense and the variables involved to properly staff the center extensive. From a workforce management standpoint, it's all about finding the right solution to support the proven processes you already have in place..
2015 Will Bring New Demands to Workforce Management
The American workforce is changing, as is the global workforce. Hours are becoming more flexible, and the barriers between work and home life are disappearing thanks to mobile devices. New regulations on healthcare are coming into play, and minimum wages are on the rise many places (and not just in the U.S.). As the workforce changes, so too must the solutions and processes used to manage employees, and that includes workforce management. This necessity will present challenges to many, if not most, American companies going forward...
Build Rewards and Incentives into Call Center Performance with Workforce Management
The rewards and incentives can be in the form of money, recognition ("employee of the month" and a photo on the wall), non-monetary rewards (a primo parking spot close to the building) or first pick of vacation time. (Workforce management solutions can help keep track of where agents should be in the priority list for rewards based on performance.)..
How Workforce Management Can Help Improve FCR
How often are customer issues resolved on the first call in your contact center? First call resolution (FCR) is often a topic of importance as the higher the number of calls resolved on the first contact, the lower the cost of care per customer. It also points to the use of effective strategies and proven workforce management...
The Restaurant Industry and the Contact Center Industry Have Lessons for One Another
In the restaurant industry, like in the contact center, managers, supervisors and other non entry-level positions are often filled by people who started on the bottom rung. These individuals are often those who showed an uncommon level of persistence and determination, and were therefore promoted out of the ranks. To try and recruit and nurture more workers who show this kind of discipline, it's worth it for contact center managers to take some advice from the restaurant industry...
Workforce Management Success Depends on Listening
The point is, your employees have a lot to say that delivers value to your processes. It's important to not only give them a voice, but also truly listen to what they have to say and incorporate it into the way you do business. When this happens, you demonstrate that you value their input and they are an important part of the team...
Three Ways to Improve Employee Productivity
Nothing psychologists do is actually mind-blowing; what they teach and help with is stuff all of us know on some level. But psychologists help us actually live and recognize these basic things we know, which is why they are so useful. They have the tools and they know what is most important...
Don't Trust Your Workforce Management to the Fake Cloud
Have you ever encountered a fake cloud solution? In a world of countless hosted offerings, two solutions offered by two different providers can look absolutely the same, yet one is a fake cloud offering. It may not seem like a big deal if everything appears equal, but when it comes time for updates, configuration changes or scaling, the fake solution tends to take on all the characteristics of the on-premise solution...
Cloud-based Workforce Management Expands Call Center Labor Options and Reduces Costs
Once the initial "future shock" of the idea has worn off, companies may find that building a partly "virtual" contact center offers a host of benefits to employees, customers and the organization as a whole. More experienced and skilled employees lead to better quality customer support, better customer relationships and increased revenue. Happier employees - those whose needs can be better accommodate by a call center schedule - stay employed longer, leading to better retention and reduced labor and hiring costs...
Why You Need the Omnichannel Experience in Your Customer Care Center
The important point here is that customer expectations continue to intensify, putting more pressure on your customer service teams to deliver quality interactions across multiple channels and devices. Take the time to understand what your customers need and design strategies that allow you to support these needs. The outcome is likely an omnichannel experience and one that will set you apart from the competition...
SPLICE Software Discusses How Gamification Strengthens the Workforce
People use their computers and mobile devices for all kinds of purposes these days-and that includes playing games. So how can companies take technologies that are used so heavily for gaming by some, and for conducting business by others, and merge the two in a way that fosters increased employee engagement and performance?..
Companies of All Sizes See the Benefits of Workforce Management in the Cloud
While companies of all sizes and in all industries are taking advantage of cloud-based solutions today, the call center has seen some of the most startling benefits from this model of solution delivery. There is good reason for this: today, many contact centers are operating multiple locations (or even using home-based agents) and often need to scale up and down according to seasonal variances in call volume. This makes the contact center ideally suited for cloud-based solutions, particularly when it comes to workforce management...
3 Methods to Help Your Agents Manage Customer Service Situations
Finally, there's the ELI5 technique - keeping it simple. Companies can often get lost in the brand message and forget that their customers don't live, eat and breath their jargon every day. If instructions are too complicated, the customer can get frustrated. Write manuals and instructions as if you're explaining it to a five year old by keeping it simple. That doesn't mean you treat your customers like children; it's simply a reminder that they need more information simplified that you do...
Workforce Management in Huge Demand in Healthcare
Agents may be used to call and remind clients to take medication, follow-up on appointments, check in to answer questions and more. When patients or caregivers fully understand care that should be delivered after the fact, patients are more likely to recover as planned. Ensuring the delivery of this information and making agents available when calls are at their peak are dependent upon quality workforce management solutions...
Call Centers Can Greet a Better New Year by Revamping Workforce Management
Most businesses begin a new year looking for a way to reform operations, improve efficiencies and save money. There are a nearly endless number of paths to this goal - some, like mass layoffs, more destructive for the long-term than others. For companies looking to help the bottom line and improve the business for the long-term, however, it simply makes sense to do some tuning of the company's workforce management processes...
The Customer Experience Needs to be Primary Focus in Workforce Management
The competitive landscape - it's something the business leader has to assess when going into business and on an ongoing basis. You have to know what your competition is doing and stay abreast of the latest innovations so you don't get left behind. But does having the latest and greatest mean you'll stay ahead of the competition?..
Can You Schedule 'Empathy' as a Call Center Skill?
When it comes to managing a call center workforce, what's good for the call center and its employees often isn't the same as what's good for the customers. Too many contact center build schedules and forecasts are based on the convenience of the company and not the best interests of customers. This is often where the huge disconnect occurs between the quality of customer support companies think they're offering and what their customers say they are offering...
Why Automation is Better for Call Center Scheduling Efficiency
There are a number of metrics that call center management examine in assessing the performance of the customer service division. Criteria like number of abandoned calls, number of calls per hour, absenteeism, schedule adherence, First Call Resolution, call escalation and so much more are examined on a regular basis. If you don't have the right agents in the right place at the right time, however, these metrics may not matter...
Is Your Quality Monitoring Process Working for the Contact Center or Its Customers?
The end of one year and the start of a next, represent a new opportunity for every contact center. There are few organizations today who can say their customer service is perfect (and if they are, they're likely deluding themselves). Every company could stand to sit down and find a way to review and improve its existing procedures. This is especially true of its quality monitoring...
Learn Why Agent Visibility is Critical to Contact Center Performance
Performance in the contact center is a measure often top of mind for call center management. To get a first-hand look at how one solution is enabling call center management to implement workforce optimization to improve performance, make time for Monet Software's webinar, How to Gain More Insights into the Performance of Your Contact Center...
Taking Control of the Customer Experience with Workforce Management
Whatever business a company engages in, its business with a potential customer starts at the first point of contact. This could be in person at a retail outlet, on the telephone in a contact center or via social media. Regardless of the channel, there is an opportunity there to make and keep a customer, or to drive a potential customer away, depending on how the contact is handled...
How a Story Can Impact Your Workforce Management
Second, do your employees understand how the company got started? There was some reason, some passion that led the founder to take the risk in the first place and create an environment where they get to come every day. Share that story with them on a regular basis, make it part of your values and ensure they understand why it still matters today. If you make it part of your ongoing story, your employees will own it...
Why Workforce Management Solutions Should Include Speech Analytics
The point is that solutions are available that allow you to dig deep into these interactions so you can effectively measure the experience against the outcomes. There are always opportunities to improve agent performance and the customer experience. If you're not doing that now, you're missing out on key opportunities to improve the bottom line...
The Most Critical Support Pillars of Customer Engagement and Loyalty
There are those who say customer loyalty is dead today. This isn't true. It's just that customers have changed the criteria for their loyalty: instead of basing it on a company's products or services, they instead base their loyalty on how a company treats them as a customer. Offer indifferent service, and you'll find that you have indifferent customers...
Call Centers Find That 'Quiet Rooms' Improve Employee Engagement
Results of the quiet room experiments were very encouraging. Companies using them reported fewer escalated calls to supervisors due to stressed out agents, lower employee absences due to stress-related health issues and emotional burn-out and fewer complaints of rude agents. It's a small price to pay for such vast improvements to the quality of customer support and the boost to employee engagement...
Do You Know Your Customer Effort Score?
The other, customer effort score (CES), assesses the amount of effort that a customer had to spend in order to resolve an issue. While not as direct as NPS, CES nonetheless is a clear indicator of how a contact center is performing-and where NPS will be heading in the near future, since businesses that make consumers work for resolutions to their problems is not often a business that develops brand advocates...
Monet WFO Live Receives Accolades for Exceptional Customer Experience
Monet WFO Live relies on the cloud to bring quality monitoring, desktop and speech, and performance management to the managers who need these tools the most...
More Large Enterprises Starting to 'Get' the Benefits of the Cloud
It seems that larger enterprises are getting the message about the benefits of the cloud and the lack of risk. Research from Gartner predicts that 50 percent of large companies will have hybrid cloud deployments in place by 2017...
'Quality' Should Be Defined by Customers, Not Contact Centers
This principle, in turn, can boost critical employee engagement, which will lead directly to improvement of the customer experience. Whichever path you choose, according to Ciarlo (and he recommends using a straightforward way to score calls to determine quality), it's important to not settle for the lowest possible level of quality that allows you to stay in operation...
Workforce Recovery After Downturn Brings Familiar Problems
Depending on what reports you pay attention to, you may or may not see that the hiring slump that faced a lot of businesses is on the up and up. Some companies are recovering from the economic downturn, but the vision for growth has changed quite a bit in the last two years, at least according to PwC...
Dealing with an Aging Workforce
Adjusting for an older workforce does not just mean collecting data, however; it also means putting into place education programs through HR, and leveraging older workers as a competitive advantage...
Why Third Party Workforce Management Makes Sense
How do you manage those who are responsible for helping you achieve your goals? In the contact center, it's not uncommon to have workforce management goals in place, yet lack the tools and strategy necessary to achieve those goals. You still have to forecast, schedule, manage exceptions, motivate team members…the list goes on and on...
Company (and Agent) Effort Are Critical to Customer's Perception of a Positive Experience
We talk a lot about customer satisfaction today: how to achieve it, how to measure it, how to improve it and even how to report on it. What's less discussed are the factors that customers use to measure a great experience. What, precisely, is it that makes an interaction great? Is it the speed of the transaction? Is it the ease of the transaction? Is it the end result? Is it the agent's attitude?..
Coming & Goings: Nintex Announces Two Appointments to Board of Directors
Nintex, a company that provides workflow automation solutions, recently announced that Steve Largent and Brian V. Turner have joined the company's board of directors...
How to Keep Quality Employees
If you had to examine your current call center and point to the biggest drains on resources, would turnover make the list? It's not uncommon for call center management to highlight turnover as a key problem to maintaining productivity and controlling costs. It's expensive to train an agent who leaves a short time later for greener pastures. How can you leverage your workforce management tools and internal assets to reduce this impact?..
Smartsheet Work Management Seeks to Show How Businesses Operate
There is a lot of focus on business technologies that can improve employee collaboration. One segment of that technology that is rarely discussed, however, is the visual side of things. How exactly does one, as a manager or project coordinator, see collaboration taking shape?..
Modern Workforce Management Helps Predict the Future - Sort Of
Forecasting is a science, and it will never be right all the time. (Witness the weather forecast.) The trick is to use a mix of past behavior - one of the best indicators for future happenings - and a mix of other variables that are likely to affect future behavior. In the contact center, it's often the job of the workforce management solution to forecast call volume. Many companies still do workforce management manually, on spreadsheets and using mathematical formulas, and the forecasting capabilities of these methods are limited, according to a recent blog post by Monet Software CEO Chuck Ciarlo. A modern workforce management solution can bring to bear elements humans simply can't account for...
The Cost of Poor Customer Satisfaction
Most companies today strive to offer excellence in customer service. They may have it on a goals list, and they may discuss the idea at every meeting. Where many companies fail, however, is in the implementation side. Their operation may be too troubled with disinterested, poorly trained agents, or their infrastructure may not be able to accommodate multichannel customer support. Their databases may be old or unavailable. Agents may be scripted too rigorously and are unable to use their initiative to solve real problems. Whatever the reason, true customer satisfaction is out of reach for many companies...
Workforce Management is a Must, But Should it Come From the Cloud?
The amount of information available in the market that supports the benefits of the workforce management solution makes it an easy sell for those in the C-suite. The next decision to be made is whether it's better to implement the in-house solution or turn to one offered in the cloud. When making such a decision, it's important to consider implementation...
Young Call Center Workers Encouraged To Finish Studies
When it comes to the call center workforce, completing studies is key to continued success. While that may seem like an obvious statement, the trend in the BPO industry and for the call center workforce in general is that it is typically comprised of young employees who have yet to complete their higher education degrees. According to the Department of Education-Cordillera in the Philippines, the value of completing formal education is immeasurable...
Call Centers Restrict Their Potential with Manual Workforce Management Processes
We like to think that the contact center is a pretty automated place. After all, software solutions to make customers' (and agents') lives easier have been around for decades. So most customer-facing organizations are using them, right?..
Survey Measures Workplace Distractions
As long as people still work, they'll always find ways to avoid actually doing their work. The Human Capital Institute (HCI) has released another version of its quarterly "Talent Pulse" eBook detailing how companies can get around all of the distractions the modern workplace offers...
Can Middle Managers Prove an Innovation Gold Mine?
While the middle manager of today's office is commonly regarded as something of a slow-witted villain drunk on his or her own inflated sense of self-importance-consider the characters from "Office Space," "Demoted," or "Dilbert" for all that's needed on the perception of middle manager-middle managers are often found quietly serving an unsung tactical liaison role between the strategic planning of upper management and the operational level of the everyday employee. Given that somewhere around 7.6 percent of the United States' workforce qualifies as middle management, it's worth considering how to get more out of this group. Indeed, some are looking to the middle manager as the next great center of innovation in business...
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