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What Are the Benefits of Workforce Optimization in the Call Center?


The Team at CallMiner

January 15, 2016

Businessman with briefcase and outstretched arms looking toward sky standing on boulders
Businessman with briefcase and outstretched arms looking toward sky standing on boulders

By definition, workforce optimization (WFO) is “a program suite that combines recording, quality management, and other call center technologies into one console to oversee call center performance. A WFO suite typically includes tools for workforce management, quality monitoring, liability recording, coaching and eLearning, performance management, surveying and speech analytics.”

There’s a lot of information contained in that one description – call monitoring, agent coaching, speech analytics, etc. – so let’s take some time to unpack the definition.

The following is a look at the benefits of WFO in the call center, as well as some of the best ways to use it to see improved results overall (agent performance, customer experiences, etc.):

Analyze Customer Interactions

With the focus increasingly on the customer experience, it’s becoming more important than ever for companies to prioritize the quality of interactions between agents and customers.  Research, in fact, shows 71% of customers would recommend a business to others following a positive experience.  Twenty-one percent, would, however, seek “revenge” (i.e., posting a negative review online or venting frustration on social media) after an unsatisfactory company interaction.

Among other benefits, WFO software monitors and analyzes customer interactions to improve the customer experience.  With this information in hand, call centers have unprecedented visibility into what customers want, which results in actionable insights organizations can use to put themselves ahead of the competition.

Discover Root Cause of Customer Behavior

In addition to understanding what customers want (e.g., help solving a problem, answers to pressing questions), it’s equally important to discern the reasons for their call.  By understanding customer pain points, priorities, etc., companies can proactively work to prevent customer churn and improve the customer experience overall.

WFO software gives companies the opportunity to discover the root cause of repeat customer contacts by analyzing past and current customer activities.  Speech analytics might, for example, uncover the reasons customer calls are being bounced from agent to agent (escalation attempts, insufficient agent training, etc.).

Address Agent Performance & Skills

While call monitoring and conversational 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.

Final Thoughts

Workforce optimization in the call center can lead to a whole host of positive outcomes, including improved agent performance and a better customer experience overall.  With WFO, organizations can analyze customer interactions, discover the root cause of customer behavior, and address agent skill sets.

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.

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