Workforce Management tools – indispensable for contact centre success


Until quite recently, workforce planning was primarily based on the number of employees needed to answer the expected number of customer interactions and meet a certain service level. In many cases, this was – at least partly – done manually. This was not only time-consuming but also involved a high risk of errors.

Predictability vs. flexibility

Nowadays, in addition to operational efficiency, the employee experience is also taken into consideration. Not only because this has a major impact on employee turnover (read: costs), but most definitely also on the customer experience. A satisfied employee has a proven positive effect on the customer. For many people, work-life balance is the most important aspect of their job, and they expect their employer to support them by creating work schedules that strike a balance between predictability and flexibility.

To achieve this, Planners must consider employee preferences, for example in terms of working hours and holidays. At the same time, they must be flexible enough to respond to ad hoc changes, such as unforeseen peaks in the contact centre due to a calamity, for example, or when an employee calls in sick.

Intelligent forecasting and scheduling

Considering all the different stakeholders – management, customer and employee – can be extremely difficult. An intelligent Workforce Management System offers the solution. It finds the right match between the expected volume of customer interactions across all channels, the agreed service levels, as well as employee preferences and contracts.

In addition, WFM tools increasingly use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to support Forecasters and Planners in their work. By constantly comparing various data sources, mathematical models and algorithms with the historical data of the contact centre, the variant that best matches reality at that moment can be selected. This makes forecasting and planning much more accurate, smarter and more efficient. It ensures an even load in the contact centre – great for customers as well as employees!

WFM app

In addition, it’s worth taking a look at the tasks that Planners could let go off. Which actions take up a lot of time and are often inconvenient? It’s usually sick notifications or other cancellations, change requests, and the hunt for additional employees in the event of cancellations or other unforeseen events.

A WFM smartphone app offers the solution here. It gives employees access to their work schedules and offers them the opportunity to call in sick (or recovered) via their smartphone, to list their availability for any extra hours, to change shifts with colleagues, to indicate that they will be late, and to apply for holiday. Planners immediately see the impact on the schedule, and – if necessary – can broadcast a message via the app to one or more teams to arrange replacement. Depending on the chosen settings, certain changes – such as change requests or holiday requests – can even be automatically assigned and adjusted in the schedule, so that the Planner no longer needs to be involved.

An app therefore has several advantages. It gives employees more autonomy with regard to their schedules and enables them to make changes and requests (also) outside working hours. In addition, it is a lot more efficient for Planners.

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About DDM

At DDM Consulting we believe that our customers benefit most from tailor-made advice, without preference for a particular product or specific supplier. That is why we offer a wide range of intelligent omnichannel contact centre solutions, delivered by renowned partners who are all specialists in their field. This approach makes us flexible in finding the solution that best suits our customers’ specific needs and ambitions.

We guarantee a successful implementation, ensure integration with all existing back-end systems, and take care of managing and maintaining the platform. Our clients come from a wide range of sectors, from major financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies, to telecom operators, healthcare institutions, government agencies, retail, and media. We are especially known for delivering customised solutions for corporate clients with complex structures, such as customer-specific integrations with back-end systems and the development of add-ons. Sometimes we even build a completely new product! That is how we ensure that the chosen contact centre solution exactly matches our customer’s wishes, needs and business processes.

We have grown into a team of about 30 contact centre experts and are mainly active in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.