How to Predict the Future using WFM

Posted: 9 May 2018

When running a call centre, you needn’t rely on a crystal ball to predict the future. There are many tools in place that can assist in making your centre more efficient and maintaining your customer service levels. Do you have a call centre with more than 20 call centre agents? If you answered yes, then we recommend you implement a Workforce Management (WFM) tool.

But what is WFM, we hear you say? According to TechTarget, “…WFM is an integrated set of processes that an institution uses to optimise the productivity of its employees”. In a call centre context, it is the fine balance of understaffed versus overstaffed.

If you are overstaffed, your operating costs will be high which will affect your profitability. If you are understaffed, your customers and staff will be dissatisfied.

Check out the below graphic to see what the Workforce Management cycle looks like.

Workforce Management Cycle

Figure: Workforce Management Cycle

Which WFM tool to choose?

Traditional WFM approaches use automatic call distributor (ACD) data, are hosted on Excel spreadsheets and utilise Erlang C calculations.

The information you receive may include incoming calls for a given period, average handling time (AHT), service levels, maximum occupancy, shrinkage and average patience.

Whilst these basic tools are useful for call centre managers, they are certainly not without limitation. There is no real-time visibility of adherence, accurate rostering can be difficult, especially if there are frequent changes, multi-channel functions are hard to manage, even basic reporting can be time consuming and you must be an Excel genius to work everything out.

The WFM Software Approach

WFM software are programs designed to help organisations manage staff scheduling.

With several  software options available, you should consider how it integrates with existing solutions like your cloud contact centre. This can ease the process and improve efficiency. ipSCAPE integrates with a WFM software solution called Agyle Time.
Implementation with Agyle Time or similar software may provide the following features:

  • Forecasting – call volumes are forecast based on historical data. Once set up, forecasts are constantly updated with real-time data, making it smarter the longer you use it
  • Smart scheduling & Rostering – easy to use reporting means you can see where your call volume spikes will be, take into account shrinkage and calculate actual staffing levels. Staff can be automatically scheduled and notified of shifts, as well as agent profile building
  • Vast reporting capability – useful reports include punctuality, schedule adherence, agent activity call volumes and call outcomes
  • Submitting of timesheets and exporting

Predicting the future has never been easier. Here’s why you should be implementing WFM software with your cloud contact centre:

  • More accurate forecasts, schedules, budgets and plans
  • Right people (with the right skills), in the right place, at the right time
  • Improved customer experience and service level agreement performance
  • Improved occupancy and lower payroll costs
  • Reduction in non-productive time
  • Ability to manage in real time (adherence)
  • Reduced administration costs (leave requests, agent availability, timesheets)
  • Enabling data driven business decisions with reporting insight
  • Happier, more engaged agents and less churn

If you would like to speak to a WFM expert, contact ipSCAPE today on 1300 477 227.