WFM Academy – Contact Center for advanced managers


WFM is a customer-managed-method

Today’s business is connected mainly with … gaining customers: new and existing ones. Therefore, companies always work on better service levels, their customers satisfaction and loyalty. Software such as CRM, contact center and Workforce Management (WFM) should help to succeed in business.

Why does WFM play a vital role in the customer service satisfaction? How does it help to maximize return on investment? Here are some practical tips prepared by Comtrust, a provider of innovative and advanced contact center solutions on the Polish market.

Thirty years ago a price was the second main key factor for customers in making purchasing decisions. Ten years later a quality is. This means that customers are willing to pay more for a better product or service. Experienced managers know that the quality is a variable concept and they have to constantly work on raising standards. How does it work? In each company’s department there are a lot of ideas how to keep customers. The contact center department is this one which should perform it. The integration between contact center and CRM helps to meet customers’ expectations. But we cannot forget about the time each customer spends in contacting with the company and solving his problem during the first contact. To ensure the fast customer service by appropriate specialists and optimize costs we should invest in the right tool … WFM.

WFM ensures the proper service regardless when the customer contacting the company and how huge the intensity of calls is.

“The Forum Call Center Report on customer service standards in 2012, says that nowadays  the biggest problem is the staff turnover and its costs. To succeed, companies should provide adequate service levels to each customer while optimizing costs and productivity. WFM helps to improve the human resources management in all areas of business, especially those which affect the customer experience – says Piotr Pytlakowski, President Comtrust – a company offering innovative contact center solutions on the Polish market. “

Firstly – customer experience

WFM adjustssupply to demand-so that customersalwaysconnectwith the right agent in the right time (in accordance to theServiceLevel Agreement). Byaccuratelyforecasting interactions volumes across allcommunication channels and optimizing shifts plans, companies improvethe effectivenessand achievebetter service levels without theneed to add staff. Additionally, WFM enables to include allcommunication channels(phone, email, chat), as well as back-office. Eachof these sectionsis guided byother indicators. E.g. In theback-office there are fewercontacts andrandomness,but muchmoretime is spent onindividualtasks.

The WFMsystemhasa huge impact onall areasof the customer service, from long-term planningto the dailymonitoringand management of workand performance.

“Implementing WFM, companies reduce abandoned calls, call-back and redirect a customer from one to another specialist. WFM shortens waiting time in queues. Specific customer requests are always serviced by the competent person who has appropriate knowledge and abilities. With WFM companies are closer to customers – they build lasting relationships based on the quality, not only on kindness. The quality of products, services and communications are in contact center hands”- says Piotr Pytlakowski.

Secondly  – cost cut

WFM helps managers to monitor the customer service and respond to changes in it (related to unexpected events or new campaigns). Any new initiative in contact center, even a short sales or marketing project are applied into WFM. Thanks to WFM managers know exactly what resources and budgets will be required to complete new tasks and how to do them without neglecting the daily customer service.

WFM helps increase productivity both at the individual and organizational level through better reporting, management, and improve operational efficiency. With self-service and automation tools built in WFM managers spend less time on administrative matters, such as the management of working hours, shifts and leaves.

WFM provides valuable information which is used for better management of customer service and other non-phone and trainings activities such as formatting of agents specialization or weakness .

While planning schedules, managers should take into account three factors: the number of available agents, working hours and how much time they need to handle specific tasks. Are they enough to realize SLA?  “If you want to be more precise in forecasting regarding SLA, you cannot base only on schedules. – says Piotr Pytlakowski. You should include more indicators (KPIs). KPIs are different for each contact center. It is worth to investigate and determine what factors are relevant to your business type.” WFM changes the way of thinking and helps to see WFM as a management tool not only as … scheduling and to see the organization from a different, valuable perspective.

Third  – staff

Managers who meet agents’ needs better meet customers’ needs. Why?

With WFM agents can manage their working hours flexibly and adjust the working day to private life. And thanks to it … they achieve a higher level of job satisfaction. If working rules and information distributions are transparent and flexible, agents are more motivated,  involved to work and empowered to manage their own schedules. WFM minimizes complains regarding unfair handling and favouritism in agent scheduling.

Studies confirm that those factors reduce staff turnover. This means that the agents’ knowledge and expertise remain longer in the company, which improves service levels. By accurately forecasting interaction volumes and optimally planning shifts and agents schedules companies  improve their contact center’s effectiveness and achieving better service levels without adding staff. In addition, managers are able to know how many agents they need to assign in each shift for every scenario they can think of.

“The customer service quality depends largely on staff performance and WFM is a part of modern management. Our customers’ experience shows that nowadays it is very important to support agents in their work and find right work-life balance. Clear rules of operations and flexibility to change some elements help to create a friendly work environment. This has a direct impact on service levels and customer satisfaction. To succeed, you need the right person, at the right place, at the right time, with the right tools! So, you need the WFM system – sums up Piotr Pytlakowski. “

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