Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What is unified workforce optimization for call centers?

Unified workforce optimization for call centers
In the last few weeks, we did several webinars about unified workforce optimization in the cloud. We talked about the need for a unified WFO solution and also demonstrated our new offering Monet WFO Live. We received tremendous interest and we would like to thank all who joined us. We are planning to do a few more webinars in January, please stay tuned. Here are some highlights from the webinar:
  • Most of the organizations have several different functions and technologies that they would ideally like to work together, so they can balance customer satisfaction and revenue, with the cost of customer service. Typically one group focuses on scheduling and deploying staff, and one focuses on recording and measuring performance. There are also people who analyze and investigate opportunities for change, closing skill gaps and establish goals to measure against.
  • As much as we may want these people to work together, today they are forced to make isolated decisions and often act independently because they have limited access to information outside of their area or function. They don’t have visibility into or it takes too long to get to key pieces of information, leaving them to make decisions too slowly and in silos.
  • We believe a large part of the problem is that they don’t have access to a unified integrated technology supporting these groups to help bring them together.  They need immediate access to information traditionally found in other areas and they need information automatically passed to them to eliminate slow, error-ridden manual processes.
  • With a unified WFO solution you get unique business integrations that can let your organization make faster, more informed decisions with a new level of visibility into workforce performance, customer service processes and customer intelligence across the enterprise.  You can quickly get to the right information to drive a new level of performance improvement.
  • Through these integrations users can drill to information traditionally found in other applications and information can be automatically passed between functions to eliminate manual processes.
  • In addition, you get a single workforce optimization framework that brings these functions together with features like a single graphical user interface and central administration. Having a single graphical user interface let’s people easily navigate in areas that they don’t spend a lot of time in. 
If you don't want to wait for the next webinar, you can read more about workforce optimization on our website or you can read an article about WFO in the Customer Interaction Magazine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Call center performance management metrics in real-time

Performance management is a critical part of managing call centers and is essential to help you align your people, processes and systems to your goals and objectives, such as customer satisfaction, cost control and revenue goals. However, many call centers lack the means to measure and track their key performance indicators (KPI) necessary to improve forecasting, staffing, scheduling and adherence in real-time. Only if you get alerts and can monitor performance in real-time, you can transform call center performance management from a reactive to a proactive approach. Tools such as scorecards, key performance indicators, real-time alerts, agent analytics, dashboards, and customizable reports deliver a constant stream of intelligence helping you take the right action to better meet your business goals now and in the future.
Call center metrics and performance management with real-time dashboards
With real-time performance management, you can get easy access to a unified view of key performance metrics at any time that allow you to quickly adjust parameters such as forecast, schedules and staffing, or automatically trigger other events. Metrics such as:
•    Adherence
•    Service levels
•    Answer and abandon metrics
•    Average handle time (AHT)
•    Average speed of answer (ASA)
•    Average talk time (ATT)
•    Forecast accuracy
•    Labor costs and staffing
•    Shrinkage and absenteeism

Systems automatically collect and present real-time and historical performance data at agent, group and center level. Key performance indicators, scheduling information and service level indicators can be distributed to call center employees through web-based consolidated reporting, giving them the information to do a better job. This will also rree up time for supervisors and managers to focus on working with agents, coaching, training and planning, instead of collecting data – all resulting in better service to your customers.

If you are interested in learning more about this, please watch our call center performance metrics demo video on our website.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What is call forecasting simulation?

Call forecasting is a key element of the workforce management process. The more accurate the forecast, the more efficient the schedule and better service level. WFM systems analyze the work history data that has been entered or received through ACD and PBX systems to calculate a forecast for future call volume, average handling time, and agent requirements for each 15-minute period of the day. The forecast can then be used to convert the anticipated call volume into the number of agents required for each time interval to meet service objectives.

So, how does call forecasting simulation work? You can develop "what if" scenarios to explore how a change in call volume or service level goals during a specific day or week would affect your center. Typically, a forecasting simulator all call types and routing policies when generating forecasts. For example, you can  simulate routing rules, agent skill assignments, and schedules by date range and see how that will impact the schedule and staffing requirements. In addition, you can build scenarios for budgeting and planning purposes. You can even use the system to produce center budgets by running a costing of all forecasted agent shifts and agent schedules. These comprehensive forecasting features help you evaluate current or future staff requirements and explore how a change in workload or operating goals during a particular day or week would affect your center.

Simulation can be based on a combination of previous events and what will likely occur in the future. The system provides regular intraday forecast updates, automatically calculating a new forecast based on what has already occurred to establish trends that will aid in proactive decision making. Simulations enables you to make better predictions and accurate, up-to-the-minute forecasts. This ensures that you are both consistently and proactively managing your contact center.

To learn more about call forecasting methods and simulation, please watch the video on our site.