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!
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.
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.
How we work
Together with the client, we evaluate the current contact centre processes as well as the requirements and preferences for the new platform. We apply our years of experience to find the best match, and provide advice on the potential optimisation and automation of business operations, for example through the use of AI.
We naturally guarantee a successful implementation of the new solution, and ensure that all back-end systems are seamlessly (re)connected. After the deployment, we are at the service of our customers to offer advice and aftercare.
But we go one step further: time and time again, we push the boundaries of the chosen platform, and adapt it to the customer's specific business processes and needs. Our team has the business and technical expertise to achieve the maximum potential, even when it comes to an out-of-the-box solution. This is our way of ensuring that every customer makes optimal use of the capabilities of the chosen 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 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. To be able to guarantee the highest quality, we continuously invest in the knowledge, training and experience of our employees.