Most contact centers today are researching — or have already implemented — a workforce optimization (WFO) solution. Satisfied with their call delivery infrastructures (PBXs, ACDs, etc.), contact centers of all shapes and sizes are now implementing software-centric workforce optimization solutions to tackle critical business issues, such as improving agent retention and effectiveness, increasing customer satisfaction and maximizing overall business performance and profitability. In fact, industry analyst Datamonitor expects global revenue of investment in workforce optimization technologies to exceed $1 billion by the end of 2006.
Workforce optimization goals vary enormously from one organization to the next. Factors such as the size of the contact center, business nature and infrastructure — not to mention the budget constraints that influence and frequently limit the scope of choice — make the purchase of expensive “one size fits all” suites of workforce optimization solutions impractical. Many organizations have been forced to do without, the alternative being to invest in applications for which they have no use and perform costly integrations or incur exorbitant professional services fees to implement the solutions they actually need.
A New Modular, Best-of-Breed Approach
Times have changed with the emergence of new, modular suites that consist of the six components implemented for workforce optimization: call recording, quality monitoring, workforce management, performance management, speech analytics and agent coaching. This modular approach gives organizations the freedom to build their ideal workforce optimization solution at their own pace. You can select the best-of-breed solutions you really need, and then add additional applications as you grow and evolve. By implementing workforce optimization solutions one step at a time, organizations can benefit from rapid implementation and outstanding, more easily measurable return on investment (ROI) — both of which make for more attractive and effective initial purchase proposals to your budget committee.
Laying The Groundwork
By now, most successful contact centers already rely on workforce management and call recording solutions. They are the fundamental building blocks of any workforce optimization solution. A workforce management solution enables companies to balance work volume and resources to achieve efficient operations and a desired quality of service. It offers call centers comprehensive scheduling, forecasting and planning functionality for complete enterprisewide, multi-site contact center workforce management. A call recording solution enables companies to capture a goldmine of customer intelligence, and also helps protect organizations from compliance and liability issues, while enabling them to monitor agent-customer interactions for quality assurance purposes.
Sadly, these essential technologies have, until recently, been severely limited in their effectiveness due to a general reluctance to invest in expensive integrations. There are significant benefits to be gained by implementing a workforce management and/or call recording solution designed to integrate seamlessly with an entire suite of workforce optimization solutions. For example, by integrating workforce management with real-time performance management and automated agent coaching solutions, companies can take advantage of real-time agent productivity tracking, multimedia agent training and agent performance reporting tools. In addition to optimizing agent scheduling, companies can improve agent productivity, effectiveness and accountability.
The Next Level of Workforce Optimization
Performance management, agent coaching and speech analytics applications are the latest additions to the workforce optimization family of solutions. These remarkable technologies have revolutionized the contact center. Performance management solutions enable contact centers to collect data and present real-time and historical performance information to agents, managers and executives within the call center environment. Agent coaching applications automatically intervene when agents are under-performing by delivering training content in the form of courses, educational tips, quizzes, training flashes, pre-shift announcements and bulletins.Managers can deliver multimedia coaching and training to agent desktops on a schedule- or rules-driven basis.With a speech analytics solution, organizations can extract business intelligence from their agent/customer call recordings. Speech recognition technologies mine conversations and identify call trends: a process that was too costly and time consuming to uncover using traditional, manual methods.
Step-by-Step: The Key To Success
Maybe your organization would benefit from implementing a workforce management or call recording solution only. Or, maybe agent coaching and performance management solutions would offer greater advantages. It depends upon the needs of your specific environment. The point is, as long as you purchase your solution or solutions of choice from an integrated suite of workforce optimization applications, you won’t have to worry about interoperability issues that would otherwise limit your options and seriously stunt your workforce optimization goals. CIS
Bob Webb serves as VP of Sales for Pipkins, Inc., (news – alert) a leading supplier of workforce management software and services to the contact center industry. Pipkins has partnered with Voice Print International and Syntora to develop Solution Made Easy, (news – alert) an integrated, modular suite of contact center solutions for call recording, quality monitoring, workforce management, performance management, speech analytics and agent coaching. Visit http://www.solutionmadeeasy.com or call 866-596-EASY for more information on Solution Made Easy, Your One Stop Workforce Optimization Shop.
Originally published on TMCnet.