3 Keys to Workforce Optimization in the Call Center

wfo

When it comes to customer satisfaction, call center agents can be a real source of value for a company. Not only are they on the front lines interacting with existing and potential customers, but they also have a great deal of influence over the customer experience, which is critical in today’s customer-centric marketing landscape.

But the question is: How can call centers maximize agent engagement to make customers truly happy?

Gartner defines workforce optimization (WFO) as a “solution [that] integrates disparate contact center technologies—including contact center performance management, e-learning, interaction analytics, quality management and workforce management—which executes against a high-level framework encompassing strategic contact center planning; agent recruitment, deployment, monitoring, evaluation, improvement and motivation; and corporate accountability and contribution.”

Here’s our take on 3 keys to workforce optimization in the call center:

 

Invest in agents: While call monitoring and conversational (text and speech) analytics are big part of transforming call center performance management, WFO doesn’t begin and end with technology. In fact, a critical component of a WFO solution involves putting agents with the right training in the right places to enable the best customer experience.

It makes sense that happy agents would result in happy customers. But how can call centers find ways to elevate agent engagement so that they’re offering a better service experience to the customer? Examples include supporting the team by offering ongoing training opportunities and sharing performance insights and agent satisfaction metrics with staff to make sure agents feel both satisfied with their jobs and committed to their customers.

 

Capture customer interactions across multiple channels: The best multi-channel customer experiences are those that offer customers a seamless transition between channels. By capturing customer conversations and associated metadata from source communication systems, CallMiner Eureka allows call centers to analyze every conversation or interaction agents have with customers, whether it’s through recorded phone conversations (speech analytics), email, chat, social channels, or surveys.

A workforce management solution, a critical component of WFO, can help forecast and schedule properly for each different channel by identifying broken processes and improving employee performance across channels. When CallMiner announced its partnership with Enkata, the purpose was to offer a combined performance management solution that would provide Enkata’s global service operations with tools to improve the customer experience.

 

Use VoC Insights to Determine What Customers Want: According to an eDigital Research report, the majority of customers provide real-time feedback to call centers to improve the customer experience. Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch, claims “These results demonstrate that it is important to not only gather voice of the customer feedback and offer customers a platform to share their views and ideas, but also actively listen to what they have to say and strategically implement changes to put brands ahead of the rest of the competition.”

As noted above, speech analytics solutions implemented in the call center help organizations monitor and analyze customer interactions across channels (i.e., calls, chat, email, social, etc.). But they also deliver unprecedented visibility into what customers want, which results in actionable insights that organizations can use to improve the customer experience.

 

Final Thoughts

Workforce optimization, which includes both technology solutions and an investment in talent, ensures employees perform at peak efficiency and ultimately keeps customers happy. With WFO, organizations can use VoC insights to not only increase agent effectiveness, but also help build customer loyalty and competitive advantage and deliver an improved customer experience.

How have you implemented WFO in your call center? What tips or recommendations could you share? We’d love to hear insight and perspective in the comments below.

 

Image Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/skynesher