Monday, August 27, 2012

7 Reasons for Call Center Forecasting and Scheduling in the Cloud

Almost everyday, you can read analyst reports and magazine articles about the adoption of cloud-based solution in all areas of business, including call center forecasting and scheduling. Here are 7 reasons why companies move to the cloud:
  1. Easier to use: Cloud-based solutions are designed to be easy to use for fast adoption, without a lot of training. Think ROI!
  2. Lower investment: Traditional software requires a substantial upfront investment for software licenses, hardware and additional software. The cloud model eliminates that.
  3. Faster implementation: Have you experienced long and painful software implementation projects? Cloud-based software has changed this. Instant account creation and easy configuration and self-service makes it possible to roll-out and use solutions in weeks.
  4. Less maintenance: The IT team in your company has to make sure that the software is working, servers are running, do back-ups, etc. Again, with cloud, this is all done by the solution provider.
  5. Always newest version: Do you use an older software version simply because it is too expensive or too painful to upgrade? Typically, cloud solutions automatically deploy new features and versions. Customer can easily take advantage of new functionality.
  6. Access from anywhere: Do you have call centers at multiple locations and a pool of flexible home agents? Providing a consistent infrastructure is a challenge. Cloud computing delivers “software” over the Internet - it's easier to deploy, more consistent and easier to use and support.
  7. More flexibility and scalability: As you grow your call center and as your needs change, it is often easier to add functionality, capacity and additional modules using the cloud model.  
Bottom line: Lower cost, lower risk and faster adoption are convincing more and more call centers to "go cloud". To learn more, please watch a demo of cloud-based call center scheduling.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How Workforce Management Software and Call Recording Software work together

It’s common knowledge that workforce management software and call recording software are powerful tools for contact centers to improve quality, service levels and productivity. But today’s complex customer interactions require more than a set of disjoint call center tools. More and more call centers implement unified workforce optimization solutions, that enable them to connect all aspects of scheduling, skills, quality, metrics and compliance to better meet customer needs and deliver more effective customer service. Managers and supervisors can easily identify patterns and analyze metrics at various levels for training and quality assurance purposes and establish quality standards and best practices. For example, if they notice a potential issue, such as out-of-adherence they might get to the root cause by retrieving selected call recordings and then develop tailored training and coaching programs to address it. Our new call recording whitepaper will answer two key questions:
  • First, we will take a look at why call recording is essential for every call center
  • Second, we will discuss how call recording as part of a unified workforce optimization solution can deliver even greater benefits, allowing you to “connect the dots” and get the whole picture to quickly improve call center performance.
Download this whitepaper and learn why call recording software is a must-have for your call center and how its integration with cloud-based workforce management takes call center performance to a whole new level.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The advantages of real-time schedule adherence in your call center

Real-time schedule adherence functionality continuously monitors and records the real-time status of your staff to show which agents are on the phone and which ones are not, so you can quickly take corrective action to streamline workflow processes. Call center schedule adherence screens display when agents are available for calls and when they take their lunches and breaks based on predetermined schedules.
A manager can easily compare planned agent activity to actual activities throughout the day, and can see the real-time status of each agent against the planned activity. Intra-day management features provide real-time views of forecasted, actual, and predicted call volumes, handling times, and other key performance indicators. You get alerts when agents are out of adherence, enabling you to adjust schedules accordingly, begin live monitoring, or record calls for future training sessions. Here are some key capabilities:
  • Monitor agent status in real-time
  • Receive instant alerts for out-of-adherence states
  • View agent exceptions in real-time and approve or deny them in one-minute increments
  • Monitor and analyze key performance indicators and trends to reforecast, reschedule, and adjust staffing
  • Track and compare forecasted and actual center statistics schedule overtime or time off during high and low call volume situations
  • Evaluate adherence and take action to improve performance
A key component to managing adherence is to reduce shrinkage, which is the time for which agents are paid during times when they are not available to handle calls. Shrinkage can dramatically affect your center's ability to meet service levels. To learn more about this topic, please read the whitepaper about agent and schedule adherence.