The Future of Workforce Management: 5 Reasons to Reimagine Your WFM Transitioning

The New Breed of Workforce Management

Workforce management (WFM) has been around in contact centers for decades. On the surface, solutions may look the same: Predict how many customer interactions you’ll need to complete, and then schedule the appropriate number of employees.

But dig a bit deeper, and you’ll find differences in the ways today’s WFM solutions are addressing the ever-evolving changes in today’s workplace and employee expectations.

These differences and the flexibility of WFM solutions are even more important as companies navigate such drastic changes as the sudden transition to work-from-home because of Covid-19 and now the return-to-office movement.

These changes demand a new breed of WFM unlike any we’ve ever seen:

  1. Workplace Flexibility
  2. Cloud Without Compromise
  3. Modern Tools
  4. A New World of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  5. WFM in the Enterprise
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Does Your Contact Center Meet Today’s Flexibility Demands?

Your contact center agents are literally the face and voice of your organization. But retaining and managing a high-quality staff is more challenging than ever. Today’s contact center employees demand flexible schedules, meaningful work and telework options. And with the current job market, you will lose talented agents if you cannot accommodate these needs.

We get it. Life happens. That’s why you need workforce management software that provides the flexibility your employees demand to balance their work responsibilities with the rest of their busy lives. This includes:

  • Flexible Time Off Requests – Enable employees to request time off and make-up time in a single request, so they can make up missed time rather than being marked late.
  • Task Switching – Change up the tasks agents are working on, so they get a break from having to just work on the phone all day.
  • Shift Swaps – Allow employees with schedule conflicts to trade shifts with a coworker, to simplify schedule changes and increase workplace flexibility.
  • Mobile Apps – Enable employees to manage their schedules on the go—after all, scheduling flexibility doesn’t help much if they need to be tied to their desktops to make changes.
  • Staggered Start Times and Zoning – Due to social distancing rules, scheduling will need to factor in staggered start/break/lunch times, as well as zoning to ensure adequate distance is keep in hallways, elevators, and cubicles.
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Cloud Workforce Management Without Compromise

Did you know that by 2023, at least 95% of new WFM application sales will leverage cloud-based deployment models? Leading organizations demand agility and the pace of innovation that the cloud provides. Chances are, you’re at least considering the cloud for your WFM solution already.

While the benefits of cloud-based deployments are numerous, it’s critical to examine your choice carefully. Some cloud-based WFM solutions are stripped- down versions of their on-premises counterparts. Moving to the cloud should never mean sacrificing the features you depend on.

Another painful compromise in moving to the cloud revolves around the ACD. In many contact centers, the move to the cloud starts with moving your ACD. But there is a concerning trend of ACD vendors linking their call routing and queuing application to a single WFM tool.

WFM is a critical capability to meet your goals around both cost and customer experience. You should have the flexibility to choose a cloud-based product that fits all of your business needs.

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Modern WFM Tools for a Modern World

Walking into a contact center can feel like going back in time. Outdated, difficult-to-use applications look nothing like the modern apps we use in our daily lives. Creating forecasts and managing employee scheduling is a tough enough job without having to fight with inadequate tools.

Modern WFM applications should make common tasks more efficient for WFM managers, so they can spend less time building and modifying schedules. And an easy-to-use system means less time needed to train new users.

It’s also necessary to make employee scheduling easier for your employees and supervisors. Today’s employees want mobile apps to quickly check and change their schedules, request time off, bid for and swap shifts, and more.

Similarly, supervisors should be able to manage incoming time off requests from their mobile device as well. This flexibility and agility on the go is critical for how today’s employees want to work.

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The New World of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Enhances WFM

You’ve probably heard a lot about artificial intelligence (AI) lately. AI adoption in organizations has tripled in the past year, and AI is a top priority for CIOs. AI is starting to make its way into the world of WFM tools. When used effectively, AI can improve both efficiency and accuracy for workforce managers.

How does it work?

Historically, contact center managers have used a variety of algorithms to predict staffing. With AI, you can automatically run through a series of intelligent equations to select the best model built on your actual experience in years past.

How many calls and chat sessions did your contact center handle during the holidays? Where were the peaks and valleys? How many employees took vacation time? How many called in sick? Who is available now, what skills do they have and what channels do they work in? AI can take all these factors into account in building an optimal schedule.

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WFM in the Enterprise That Adapts and Grows with You

Did you know that only 14% of back offices have fully automated tracking of work against SLAs? This means that you likely have a huge blind spot when it comes to efficiently managing work within your organization.

The benefits you already get with WFM can grow dramatically as you expand to the back office. You can gain a single view into all the employees who impact the customer experience, including their respective skills and availability to handle workload. And you can use that insight to deploy available, cross-trained staff in different departments when the need arises.

As you grow, be sure to manage work efficiently across your entire enterprise, not just your contact center.

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It’s Time to Reimagine WFM

Whether your contact center is big or small, effectively managing your workforce is a huge challenge. To customers, your agents are your organization, and their effectiveness will directly impact the customer experience you deliver.

But the rising expectations of both customers and employees, as well as the unprecedented changes caused by Covid-19, have made the task of forecasting and scheduling your workforce exponentially harder.

Aligning all of these needs is a daily headache. Why does it have to be so complicated?

Now, it doesn’t.

Solutions such as Verint Workforce Management offer functionality to help you meet the needs of the evolving workforce.

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Workforce Management Automated Workflows

As pandemic restrictions are eased, many organizations are gradually bringing contact center agents back to the office.

To do this safely, you must now incorporate new regulations around safe distancing, health checks, desk hygiene, and more, while still providing the high level of service your customers demand.

Verint Workforce Management provides the automated workflows to allow organizations to meet these new challenges at their own pace.

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