Effective workforce management is crucial for the success of a business unit like a contact center, where there is a high degree of interaction between the workforce and customers. The ultimate goal is to efficiently handle customer interactions while maximizing productivity and optimizing costs.
With an increase in the trend of automation, particularly intelligent automation, a growing number of contact centers are embracing strategies that combine the human workforce and technology to achieve the best results. This blog offers insights into effective contact center workforce management and how automation can be leveraged.
The challenges for contact centers and the importance of workforce management
For any business unit, having the right workforce and resource tools, driven to achieve key business goals while working efficiently and productively, are the basics of success. However, contact centers face unique challenges when it comes to managing and allocating resources.
Firstly, the workload demands in a contact center are determined externally. Unlike conventional business units, where you have control over the objectives you are working towards and the workload you will need to place on the workforce to achieve those objectives, these objectives are determined externally in contact centers, depending on the customers with needs.
As a result, the workload also decreases or increases in accordance with the objectives and customer expectations. Usually, customers expect to be catered to at any hour of any day and dictate the workforce expectations. It means you must have the right resources ready to cater to customer requirements around the clock.
These challenges have driven many multi-channel contact centers to rely on workforce management to facilitate them in optimizing employee work schedules and ensuring consistency in customer service. Workforce management refers to the strategic alignment of employees and resources to business goals and objectives via tools that can help augment and automate processes like scheduling, forecasting call volume, performance management, and determining revenue targets. In simple words, it can help ensure that the right people with the requisite skills are employed in the right areas.
Automation in Contact Centers for Effective Workforce Management and its Benefits
Contact centers have a complex environment with leaders striving to balance changing staffing levels, customer engagement via multiple channels, hybrid work systems, and growing customer expectations while managing employee attrition. Hence contact centers need a viable workforce management system that can cope with the complexity of processes, improve employee relations and customer service and contain operational costs to have a positive financial impact.
The ultimate goal is to create a good fit between the estimated workload and the number of agents scheduled to work. It implies deploying the least number of paid labor hours without putting revenue prospects at risk and negatively affecting employee and customer satisfaction.
Automation in contact centers refers to using technological systems to perform repetitive tasks without requiring human intervention. It can be powered by intelligent automation or machine learning to help optimize time utilization and enable the staff to focus on more important tasks. As a result, contact centers may experience improvement in their performance metrics like first call resolution rate, time to respond, etc.
Here is how automation can be integrated into contact center processes for effective workforce management.
To increase employee engagement and improve communication
Workforce automation can enable aggregation of idle time for the agents to impart training and improve their skill set. Schedules can hence be updated automatically to eliminate inefficient time. Management can also leverage real-time automation to determine suitable times during agent shifts for delivering updates related to work, communicate system incidents, and delegate tasks.
To enable immediate responses
Workforce automation enables the processing of time-sensitive data in real-time to take automated immediate actions prompted by the actual conditions of the contact center while considering the business rules defined by the call center management.
Efficient employee scheduling and forecasting
Unlike conventional manual processes, automation can speed up the process of employee scheduling and forecasting with the least manual intervention needed. It can help the management balance workload among the workforce and redirect idle agents to some productive tasks, with little to no human intervention, resulting in optimized resource and time utilization.
Besides the obvious benefits of saving the contact center’s time and effort, automation can also help remove the instances of common errors associated with scheduling or forecasting.
Tips to effectively deploy automation in contact centers workforce management
While AI presents lucrative opportunities and convenient solutions, businesses must pay due attention to the process of incorporating it into their processes. For contact centers, it implies that if they want automation to enable them to provide answers instantly and decrease the number of queries, achieving this and avoiding damaging errors requires time and effort, as there must be a balance between automation and human touch.
Here are some things to keep in mind when switching to intelligent automation.
Build on the existing resources
You must start by supplementing your front-line resources with automation, i.e., integrating it into processes while easing the cognitive workload on the existing workforce.
Work with the right partner
When it comes to automation, most businesses do not have experienced in-house teams with the capability and capacity to ensure sustained development of the initiative over time. In such a case, finding the right partner with the requisite skill set, process development expertise, knowledge, experience, and a technology ecosystem is important.
If you are looking for a reliable and experienced partner to work with, contact qBotica today!
Take small steps
It may be tempting to overhaul the existing system and introduce automation in every aspect of workforce management, but it is important to take baby steps for successful integration and creating buy-in. For this purpose, consider testing each automation initiative around the primary customer service design and employee functions and focus on transformation through smart automation in multiple small steps.
The process can be long, but teams following these considerations can achieve better results than contact centers vying for instant overhaul.
Start your workforce management automation journey
When done right, automation in contact centers workforce management can help revolutionize the business processes, improve productivity, and streamline the customer experience by enabling the management to adapt to customers’ changing needs and helping your workforce dedicate their time and energy to more important tasks.
Automated workforce management can help optimize agent schedules, leading to better utilization of resources. Similarly, call recordings and analysis enable training and quality assurance, leading to improved customer experience.
Businesses that are able to achieve successful automation can reap significant rewards, reduce their operational costs, decrease attrition, and enhance customer experience. If you, too, want to start your automation journey today, call us at qBotica today to learn how our team of experts can help you leverage automation for improved workforce management.