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Don’t make business decisions by just flipping a coin: use data instead

We all want to work smarter. Workforce optimisation utilises innovative technology to allow contact centres to boost operational efficiency and customer experience. Here’s how it can make a real difference to your organisation.

Optimisation is part of everyday life

We make optimisation decisions constantly throughout the day. Do you take the quickest route or the scenic route? How do you plan your meals to use up ingredients and save costs? Optimisation is all about making the most effective decisions, whether that means saving time or money.

Normally, we make these choices instinctively. We don’t analyse every single decision we make. However, there’s a time and a place for taking a little longer to think about the best way to optimise a situation or experience. The mathematical discipline for optimisation is particularly complex. The basic principle is this: analyse how long it will take to determine an optimal solution compared to the time you’ll save in the long run. Then ask yourself ‘is it worth it?’ Why spend significant amounts of money or time thinking about solving a problem if you won’t make a profit in the end?

What does workforce optimisation mean?

Workforce optimisation applies the principles of optimisation to a workplace setting, using a set of software tools to optimise business performance. Whether you set out to maximise productivity, enhance customer experience, boost efficiency or improve call quality, workforce optimisation will help you to achieve these goals.

Of course, implementing workforce optimisation isn’t always easy. That’s why businesses turn to us to help them use data to think differently.

The benefits of workforce optimisation

Workforce optimisation allows your organisation to make data driven decisions, which:

  • Save money
  • Boost agent productivity
  • Increase conversion rates
  • Improve first call resolution
  • Enhance customer satisfaction

Using formal tools to effectively manage your workforce saves manual time and effort. Give your team the chance to focus on communicating with customers and optimising their own performance. Your employee retention rates will thank you for it.

Workforce management vs workforce optimisation

Workforce management is part of the workforce optimisation suite of tools. It specifically focusses on agent productivity, using mathematical optimisation to forecast contact volumes and create efficient work schedules.

In addition to workforce management capabilities, workforce optimisation also includes performance management, quality assurance, desktop, speech and text analytics, eLearning, customer feedback surveys and more. It’s a much larger suite of optimisation solutions, rather than focussing specifically on optimising staffing forecasts and schedules.

The importance of workforce management

Ensuring available agents are closely matched with incoming contact volumes can be a challenge. Many contact centres end up overstaffing to ensure consistently high levels of customer service. However, paying redundant staff members is an unnecessary business cost. Without workforce optimisation, the other option is keeping staff numbers low and risking poor customer service. The fewer staff working to help customers, the longer the waiting time. No contact centres want to leave their customers hanging, do they?

Workforce management helps to match available agents to forecasted contact volumes to help contact centres plan their staffing efficiently. It helps to ensure an organisation is not overstaffed whilst still delivering a great customer experience.

Another benefit is the ability to schedule agents by skill type, ensuring that the most appropriate and correctly-skilled agents are in place to communicate with customers. This helps to improve first call resolution, as customers are connected with the most suitable agent straightaway.

Using workforce optimisation to empower your agents

We all want to achieve our best when we go to work. Giving your agents the tools to do that will increase employee satisfaction and motivation.

Without workforce optimisation, you run the risk of overstaffing or understaffing. Whether your agents are left twiddling their thumbs or working flat out, they’ll feel under-valued and this could impact the quality of service they provide to customers. Use workforce optimisation to ensure your employees have a manageable, satisfying workload.

There’s also the opportunity to use optimisation tools to empower agents to change their own schedules, request annual leave, have visibility of their daily breaks and plan personal development time. Employees who are empowered to manage their own time and work flexibly are often more productive.

Is workforce optimisation right for your contact centre?

If you’re likely to achieve a high return on investment, the decision is easy. Research case studies and real-life examples of businesses that have invested in workforce optimisation. Compare contact centres that have implemented workforce optimisation, with those that have not. Speak to Babble’s experts to discuss the nitty gritty.

Contact centres of all shapes and sizes can benefit from workforce optimisation. It helps to strike the perfect balance between productivity and service, which is surely worth the investment.

Top tips to make the most of your workforce optimisation solution:

Review your quality management processes

Continuously reassess the effectiveness of your quality management programme. Business environments change, and you must react to that in order to keep improving agent performance.

Embed workforce optimisation functionality within your CRM

This will allow non-voice CRM interactions to be included in your quality and workforce management processes, creating a seamless agent experience. CRM integration enhances security and gives you access to the full customer interaction history, offering a 360 view of your agent’s activity.

Utilise its capabilities

Workforce optimisation isn’t just about removing the need for spreadsheets. Advanced forecasting tools handle skill groups, varying hours of operation and agents working remotely.

Take advantage of automated alerts

Increase administrative efficiency by setting up automated alerts to keep agents up to date with the latest schedule changes or overtime availability.

Build on your success

Don’t invest in workforce optimisation and simply let the tool stagnate. Use analytics to identify opportunities for improvement. When you have the stats to show how workforce optimisation has impacted your organisation, you’ll be able to determine specific ways to improve even further.

How much will my contact centre save by implementing workforce optimisation?

Let’s get down to the numbers. The Five9 Workforce Optimisation savings calculator is a great tool which allows you to check out how much your organisation could save through implementing workforce optimisation to transform customer experience.