Showing posts with label workforce optimization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label workforce optimization. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How Contact Centers in the Healthcare Industry Benefit from Workforce Optimization

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a source of excitement, confusion and frustration – and not just for doctors and patients.

Contact centers that service the health care and health insurance industries have been inundated with calls about the new guidelines – some asking questions, some looking to sign up.

According to one article, between 7,000 and 9,000 new customer service agents were hired just to handle phone and Web chat traffic for the exchanges run by the federal government. That is a heavy burden to place on contact centers, but one that can be managed with Workforce Optimization (WFO) software.

With WFO, contact centers could more accurately forecast and plan personnel needs by running “What If” scenarios and analyzing the results. WFO can also provide assurance to contact center managers (through call monitoring) that all calls are being handled in compliance with federal regulations and policies, which is a critical concern when dealing with a person’s health care history.

Monet CEO Chuck Ciarlo wrote an article on this topic that appears in the current edition of Call Center Times.

And for those contact centers that stumbled out of the gate in dealing with the public response to “Obamacare,” it is never too late to get equipped with the right technology and the best delivery option to provide a better degree of customer service.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Webinar: Cloud-based Workforce Optimization in Action

You've probably heard how Monet's cloud-based WFO can help gain more insights and improve the performance and service quality of your contact center. But have you taken the time to see Monet in action? Please join our webinar on Thursday, September 18 to learn how Monet can help your team with:

Workforce Management: Create more accurate forecasts and schedules, increase agent adherence and easily manage exceptions throughout the day.

Quality Monitoring: Monitor customer interactions to consistently deliver great service and improve customer satisfaction.

Performance Management: Easily track, analyze and manage agent, group and center performance to optimize customer service.

We are offering 2 different webinar times for your convenience.
Register now to reserve your spot. We hope to see you.

Monday, August 11, 2014

How effective is your call center forecasting and scheduling process?

Forecasting and scheduling are vital components in the success of every call center management. Achieving consistent results requires a little art and a little science, but is impossible without concrete data.

For decades, that data was gathered through spreadsheets, and would take hours to compile. Even then, the results were not always accurate, or flexible enough to accommodate last minute changes or other staffing issues.

An automated workforce management (WFM) and optimization (WFO) solution can help you to implement Best Practices. You can easily improve forecast accuracy and in turn, optimize schedule assignment, making sure all the necessary resources are always in place. An integrated WFO solution allows a manager to check KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) against historical data. In a typical call center a manager will ask such questions as:

“When I see that my agents’ Average Talk Time has exceeded the target, does this result in more abandons and a poor service level?”

“If a longer talk time is causing more abandons, are there agents that are still able meet all of their quality monitoring goals while keeping a low talk time?”

By analyzing data in an integrated WFO tool, a manager can then reference what processes allowed some agents to have a lower talk time while meeting their quality targets, and then train the rest of the workforce using these processes.  At that point, a lower Average Talk Time goal may be set for the entire center, resulting in happier customers getting their calls answered more quickly and less overall abandons.

“Call Center Forecasting and Scheduling: Best Practices” details how WFO improves the likelihood of creating reliable forecasts and accurate schedules. There are also sections on how WFM impacts agent productivity, and which criteria are most important when selecting a WFM solution.

Click here to download Call Center Forecasting and Scheduling: Best Practices.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Monet WFO Live Receives Product of the Year Award 2014

When people in the communications and technology industries need to know what’s happening, they turn to TMC.net, a reliable source of news and information with a readership in the millions. So when these experts name their Product of the Year, it’s an opinion that carries a lot of weight.
For 2014, TMC’s Product of the Year is ours. Monet WFO Live, our cloud-based call center workforce optimization solution, was chosen for this distinction by TMC’s flagship publication, Customer magazine. 

"On behalf of both TMC and Customer magazine, it is my pleasure to honor Monet Software with a 2014 Product of the Year Award," said the company’s CEO, Rich Tehrani. "Its workforce optimization solution Monet WFO Live has proven deserving of this elite status and I look forward to continued innovation from Monet Software in 2014 and beyond."

Those who have tried Monet WFO Live already know how it earned this reputation for excellence. It delivers a unified workforce optimization suite that transforms call center management from a reactive to a pro-active approach. Customers can create accurate forecasts, efficient schedules, record and monitor calls for quality, training and compliance purpose, and track cross-functional performance metrics, all with one integrated cloud-based platform.

Read more about TMC’s Product of the Year winners in the January/February issue of Customer magazine, or read the press release for more details.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Unified Workforce Optimization in the Cloud

Any kind of business is more successful when all of its divisions and employees are working together toward the same goal.

With larger companies, including call centers, this can be easier said than done. Different divisions have different priorities, and while all of them may be similar in conception (better customer service, improved efficiency, lower costs, etc.), these efforts can always be improved (and can occasionally be hindered) by the data and employee input from other parts of the organization.

This is particularly true of workforce optimization at a contact center. Such businesses are comprised of managers devoted to forecasting and scheduling, executives who review recorded and monitored calls to gauge customer service, and others who set goals for the organization based on agent and customer feedback.

Rather than take a siloed approach, where each system works independently without reciprocal operation with other divisions, WFO can provide easy access to cross-functional data that helps align teams, so they can work more effectively on common objectives. And access is immediate regardless of employee location, just one of the many benefits of a cloud delivery system.

With the centralized administration provided by unified WFO, there is no need to devote additional time and budgeting to costly integration projects, which can be effective but may not be scheduled more than once a month, if that. The fully integrated workforce optimization framework automatically delivers important call center insights, metrics and alerts on an ongoing basis. Now managers can make more informed decisions and react more quickly to internal or external trends. Result? A more optimized call center performance. We invite you to watch this fun contact center video that shows how supervisor Mary switched from spreadsheets to a unified workforce optimization solution.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Call Center Management Tips: Can you answer these questions?

Key performance indicators provide a snapshot into how a call center is functioning. They deliver numbers that denote whether customer service is outstanding, acceptable, or in need of improvement.

However, sometimes the numbers create new questions just as they answer older ones. Many call center managers have found themselves wondering:

“When I see that my agents’ Average Talk Time has exceeded the target, does this result in more abandons and a poor service level?”

or

“If a longer talk time is causing more abandons, are there agents that are still able to meet all of their quality monitoring goals while keeping a low talk time?”

Fortunately, it’s easier to find the answers with an integrated workforce optimization (WFO) solution. Now managers can check these KPIs against historical data, and figure out the answers by discovering not only what is happening, but also why it is happening that way.

How are some agents lowering average talk time while still delivering on customer service? Once these processes are discovered, they can be codified and taught to the rest of the team and put into practice throughout the call center.

Check the results in 30 days – chances are the new KPIs will indicate that this change has resulted in greater efficiency and less abandons.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Workforce Optimization for Business Process Outsourcers (BPO)

As a Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) your contact centers often have to represent an array of clients in very different businesses, and you must be able to adapt to meet their specific needs.

Does multiple clients mean multiple headaches? Certainly it can be a challenge to deliver a great customer experience for each company, and more importantly for their customers, who should not be able to detect that their call has been outsourced.

The Solution? Workforce Optimization!
Workforce Optimization software (WFO) is the fastest and easiest way for BPOs to achieve all of its customer service goals in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. WFO comprises a suite of automated services, including:
  • Workforce Management
  • Call Recording
  • Quality Monitoring
  • Screen Capture
  • Performance Management and Agent Analytics
With these tools in place a BPO is much better equipped to serve the needs of its clientele. Workforce management streamlines forecasting and scheduling so the call center is prepared for each day’s challenges. Call recording helps confirm that agents are meeting the needs of each customer base, while also providing a record for BPO clients to review so they can listen to how their customers are treated.

Quality management and screen capture deliver the key performance indicators to improve service levels, while performance management and agent analytics provide scorecard analysis and reports to further refine agent performance. 

With WFO, a business process outsourcer can juggle the specific forecasts and schedules for different clients, while delivering a better experience for all of their customers. If your organization provides contact center related BPO services, please talk to us and let us know what your current needs and challenges are and we will share with you how we have helped other Business Process Outsourcing companies.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Call Center Forecasting and Scheduling Best Practices with WFO

The quality of call center customer service is largely dependent on accurate forecasting and scheduling. So why do so many call centers still rely on spreadsheets for this most important of daily tasks?

Any discussion of forecasting and scheduling best practices has to start with an automated workforce optimization solution (WFO). Spreadsheets cannot even approach WFO on accuracy, flexibility, resource allocation and optimized staffing.

With WFO, call center managers also have access to the most precise historical data that will be utilized alongside KPIs. While it’s certainly possible to use spreadsheets to check previous monthly and yearly data, WFO streamlines information gathering and analysis so it can be completed more accurately and in a fraction of the time. Let’s break down the process:

Forecasting
An accurate forecast model relies on accurate historical data. WFO delivers seasonal stats, monthly stats, daily stats, even numbers analyzing one portion of one hour, or 30 minutes, so variations can be determined and adjustments made accordingly. Special days and special events will also figure into these calculations – once again, the automated WFO solution will always be better and faster than a spreadsheet. 

Scheduling
With WFO, managers can automatically manage start times, end times and break times, so that agent needs are acknowledged, while call center performance capabilities are always met.  An automated system provides more flexibility than a spreadsheet, while also contributing data that can help managers put the right agents in the right positions to maximize customer service.

To find out more about forecasting and scheduling best practices, as well as choosing the right WFO solution for your business, download our free whitepaper, Forecasting and Scheduling Best Practices.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Contact Center Management for Public Sector Healthcare Agencies under the Affordable Care Act

Last year’s passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has introduced dramatic policy changes that will impact consumers, employers, insurance agencies and healthcare providers.

Today, as the rollout continues, thousands of Americans have questions about whether they can keep their current insurance, or if there might be something better available through one of the exchanges. Companies that provide employee coverage must confirm whether they are compliant with the new guidelines, and doctors and hospitals will also have to adjust to this new healthcare paradigm.

But while cable news pundits debate about whether ACA is wonderful or disastrous, many of the questions being asked about ACA are being routed into contact centers that serve both patients and providers, while also having to satisfy a high level of compliance and security regulations. 

Dealing with these numerous challenges is easier with Workforce Optimization (WFO) software. With WFO, contact centers can more accurately forecast and plan personnel needs by running “What If” scenarios and analyzing the results. Once the level of increased demand has been determined, scheduling becomes more efficient and flexible, ensuring better utilization of limited resources and improved cost management.

Of course, public sector and government healthcare agencies are often further challenged with resource constraints. Thus a flexible cloud and SaaS investment model becomes more desirable, as it allows healthcare organizations to effectively manage costs as workforce demand fluctuates. Plus, with the cloud delivery model there is:
  • Minimal upfront investment

  • Fast set up

  • An expedited learning curve for users
  • A low predictable monthly subscription

  • Security to protect data and information
  • Scalability to address fluctuations and peak hours
 

Contact us to learn more about how a wide range of healthcare organizations at the city, county and state level are using Monet Software for their workforce optimization needs.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Performance Management for Contact Centers Made Easy

Yes, we are usually wary of any system or technology that promises an easy solution to a workplace challenge. But with contact center performance management, such solutions exist. And let’s face it – if this process is not something that can be handled easily and efficiently, it won’t be effective at all.

The place to start is with a unified/integrated workforce optimization system. Performance management encompasses a number of moving parts, and it’s necessary to have one system that connects all aspects of scheduling, skills, quality, metrics and compliance. Both qualitative and quantitative information should be incorporated in order to emerge with a comprehensive assessment of how your call center is working.

Once this data is accessible, the next step is to clearly define what metrics drive the performance of your call center. These will vary by the type of business, and perhaps by its size or the product or service involved. But managers know when they are delivering customer service up to expectations, and the metrics that measure their efforts.

Use these metrics to set and communicate goals – is the average handle time too long? Are customers waiting too long for an agent? Are product upsells below expectations? Once that to-do list is in place, make sure all personnel are on board and working toward the same standard.

Now, the excitement begins. Invest in a call center management system that makes tracking metrics easy through one dashboard, and allows for the ability to react to key metrics and make the kinds of changes (scheduling, call recording, shrinkage) that will impact performance immediately.

call center performance dashboard
Call Center Performance Management Dashboard

When you know what to look for, when you have the information you need, when you need it, and when you can act upon it quickly, that’s performance management made easy. If you would like to see performance management in action, please take a moment to watch this call center metrics video.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Workforce Management Software: Upgrade or Replace?

When it comes to technology, the only constant is change. If you purchased workforce management software several years ago, it may be time to consider an upgrade. However, as anyone who purchased a first-generation iPad knows, sometimes technology advances so quickly that some upgrades are no longer possible to keep up with new capabilities, and the only option is replacement.

Facing an “upgrade or replace” decision about WFM at your call center? Here are five reasons why replacement might be the better option.

1. Cost
With the dramatic advancement and widespread acceptance of cloud computing over the past five years, this could be the time to determine if the yearly cost to maintain, upgrade and operate your current software is higher than a new subscription-based or cloud-based solution. Do the math!

2. Capabilities
Is your current WFM system not being utilized to its full potential, because it is too difficult to use or no longer able to meet your new business needs? An upgrade may expand its capabilities, but at some point such upgrades will no longer be effective or even possible. 

3. Interaction
To be most effective, WFM software should be connected to your other operations. For example, it should be combined with call recording data to impact quality of scheduling. But if you cannot launch a call recording session from WFM when you see that call times are too long, all the moving parts in your technology are not working together. Watch these Workforce Optimization videos to see how all pieces come together.

4. Flexibility
Flexibility is key in WFM, particularly when it comes to scheduling. If your system is not flexible enough to adapt to your changing business needs, or would require too large an additional investment for customizing or upgrade, replacement is the better option.

5.  Customer Service
The ultimate purpose of every call center technology investment is to improve customer service. An outdated WFM system can put your agents at a disadvantage, and can impact all the metrics that determine what constitutes a successful customer engagement. Though these customers will never see the new technology you select, they will recognize the difference it makes.

For more information on this, please get our whitepaper "How to select a Workforce Management Solution".

Friday, December 27, 2013

Call Center Software Trends for 2014

call center software trends 2014It’s hard to predict the next big things in fashion or pop culture. But for call centers, there are three trends already underway that show every sign of continued growth in 2014 and beyond.

1. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing will continue to gain a larger percentage of the contact center industry because it offers benefits for businesses of every size and type. Large call centers enjoy a tremendous cost savings and a lower upfront equipment investment. Smaller contact centers can achieve the same technological sophistication of bigger companies on a smaller budget. And call centers with agents working from home or in multiple centers can tie everyone in to the same workforce management system regardless of location.
To learn more, get the whitepaper about Workforce Management in the Cloud.

2. Focus on Customer Experience
Obviously this is a priority that should already be in place and should never be disregarded. But call centers should also be looking for ways to improve the customer experience, and that search will inevitably take them to call recording and quality assurance. A call center quality assurance (QA) program begins with establishing goals, then creating a plan for achieving them. Call recording provides a wealth of data that makes the achievement of that plan much easier. To learn more, get the whitepaper about Call Recording Essentials.

3. Unified Workforce Optimization (WFO)
From tracking call history, adherence and performance, to call recording capabilities, WFO makes almost every aspect of the call center manager’s job more efficient. Integration and unification between solutions provides better business insights and allows a call center manager to make more informed decisions.
To learn more, watch a short YouTube video about Mary the supervisor to illustrate how integrated workforce optimization solutions can transform call centers.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2014: The Year of Workforce Optimization in the Cloud?

So many magazines and websites are naming their Person of the Year and Event of the Year selections, and speculating about what 2014 will bring.

If recent history is any indication, 2014 will certainly be a year in which cloud computing continues to attract new converts. In fact, its transition from an optional alternative to a mainstream solution is nearly complete, given the number of enterprise software vendors (such as salesforce.com) that are now focusing solely on a cloud delivery model.

Contact centers are no exception. More than 60% already have at least one cloud-based application, and according to Connectfirst more than 45% plan to make an initial or expanded move into the cloud within the next 18 months.

That same survey found that 55.8% of contact centers say that improving agent productivity is their top goal. Since customer service agents typically account for the largest percentage of contact center costs, it is vital to make sure agent resources are being properly leveraged to deliver consistent, reliable performance.

Workforce optimization software is one of the best ways to achieve this objective. It provides insight into customer interactions and service levels, delivering the data necessary to make important decisions about WFO and optimal management of personnel.

And since managers still have a budget to consider when it comes times to expand technological functionality, why wouldn’t they look at the cloud first? There is no more affordable way than workforce optimization in the cloud for a small, medium-sized or large call center.


Monday, November 25, 2013

What is a Workforce Optimization Platform?

A Workforce Optimization (WFO) platform is not just one method for improving contact center performance – it is a multitude of efficiency-boosting capabilities in one unified, automated package.

The “optimization” part of workforce optimization is achieved by integrating different components so they are working together instead of at cross-purposes.

Let’s use Monet’s WFO Live as an example. How does it help with scheduling, one of the most critical tasks of call center management?

Workforce management software delivers the metrics that makes it easier and more efficient to forecast, schedule, intra-day management, exception handling and to real-time adherence tracking.

But part of optimum scheduling is making sure the right agents are handling the right calls. That’s where Monet Record comes in – by having a record of how different agents handle different calls, a manager now has a way to determine which of his team members are best suited for different customer engagements. Monet Quality can also help here, by making it easier to retrieve calls by specific type, and providing additional reporting and analytics to further assess each agent’s skills.

Unfortunately, the status quo rarely remains the same in any call center, so all these calculations must be regularly updated and re-examined. Monet Metrics delivers agent analytics, real-time alerts, scorecards and customizable reports, as well as data on key performance indicators such as agent adherence and service levels. This information can then be used in conjunction with workforce management to begin the process all over again.

With one unified suite of workforce optimization services, every aspect of a call center can be monitored, analyzed and improved. When you get your agents working together as efficiently as the solutions incorporated in Monet’s WFO Live, you will be on the way to consistent, reliable customer service and support.

To see these capabilities in action, please watch the latest videos in our workforce optimization demo center.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monet Software Receives 2013 Cloud Computing Excellence Award

Every year, Cloud Computing Magazine publishes a list of companies that, in their expert judgment, effectively leveraged cloud computing in an effort to bring new, differentiated offerings to market.
Cloud computing excellence award Monet Software

This year, Monet Software was selected to receive a 2013 Cloud Computing Excellence Award for Monet WFO Live. “I am pleased to recognize the companies that have exemplified innovation and excellence in the market by leveraging the latest technology trends to create an enriched user experience,” said Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director for TMC, the company that publishes Cloud Computing Magazine.

Monet WFO Live incorporates workforce management tools to improve scheduling and service levels, call recording capabilities for compliance, and quality assurance to help managers better evaluate the performance of their agents and the call center as a whole. From forecasting and exception planning to call tagging, reporting and analytics, Monet WFO Live is a one-stop source for call center efficiency, accessed through the cloud for better convenience and lower upfront cost.

For more information, please read the official press release and watch a video about Monet WFO Live in our resource center. 

To be recognized by one of the industry’s definitive sources for Cloud technology information is an honor we are proud to accept.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Watch How Mary Improves Call Center Performance


If you would like to learn more about how workforce optimization can improve the performance of your call center, we invite you to watch more videos in our demo center.

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's Time to Watch this Video and Answer the Call

When customers receive great customer service from a call center, they won’t stop to ask how it happened. Instead, they’ll just remain customers, and respond positively if asked about their experience.

As our new video shows, one way to bring about this positive outcome is with workforce optimization (WFO) in the cloud. Whatever challenges a call center faces, from forecasting and scheduling to training both new and experienced agents, WFO makes it easier and improves the effectiveness of most day-to-day necessities.















Quality management? Call Recording? Performance management? WFO addresses these as well, regardless of the size of the call center or the number of agents employed. The benefits of unified workforce optimization are illustrated in the video below, as well as the advantages of having those benefits delivered from the cloud. Why invest in costly hardware or software, that many not be able to grow and adapt with your business?

So if a customer’s call is answered more quickly because of forecasting accuracy, and is routed to the best agent for their needs thanks to scheduling capabilities; and if agents are better prepared because of the coaching they have received with recordings of previous customer encounters, it’s a true win-win for the center, the agent and the caller. 

Check out the video and then click on the link at the end of the video to view a more detailed demo.




Thursday, September 5, 2013

Watch this New Fun Video for Call Center Managers and Supervisors

Trying to decide if your call center can continue to get by using spreadsheets? Then it’s time you met Mary. She’s a call center supervisor and the star of our newest video about workforce optimization.



Driven as all supervisors should be by achieving optimal customer service, Mary spends a lot of time reviewing daily call volume stats and working on schedule creation. She uses spreadsheets, as she’s done for years. But as technology has evolved, this method no longer fits her schedule or her objectives.

Enter workforce optimization (WFO) software. Now, tracking call history and volume is faster and easier, as is using that data to create forecasts and schedules. Plus, she can track adherence and performance, and with call recording she has a record of each customer encounter. That comes in handy for agent training, and to settle disputes.

One WFO solution – so many benefits. Watch Mary's story by clicking on the video above. Then, click on the link at the end of the video to view a more detailed demo of how WFO can make a difference at your call center.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Workforce Optimization: The Customer’s Perspective

When managers review workforce optimization, they usually do so from an internal perspective. They analyze how WFO can reduce call center costs, improve service levels and make each call more efficient.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these goals; however, a manager should also look at WFO from the customer’s perspective. That means making sure internal goals match those that a customer might have when they contact the call center.

To do so, it can be a helpful exercise to put one’s self in the customer’s position. How would you then define a positive experience?
  • Someone answers the call quickly - agents are available
  • Your call is routed to the right agent without being transferred multiple times
  • The purpose of your call is efficiently addressed
Are you employing WFO to achieve these objectives?

The tools provided by a complete workforce optimization solution, such as workforce management, call recording, quality assurance and performance metrics, provide managers with all the insight they need into every customer interaction. So why not optimize for both customer experience and call center efficiency?

In most cases it will not require extensive revisions to current efforts, as these goals often align naturally in a successful business. For instance, a call that is handled quickly is a win for the caller and a win for the call center.

When areas of conflict arise, such as when more agents need to be added to a shift to efficiently handle call volume (which is good for callers but adds to the call center’s operational budget), the manager has a decision on how to best balance customer satisfaction against revenues, costs and profitability. Such challenges arise in any business, but those that are successful always make internal decisions with customer service in mind.

Friday, June 7, 2013

What is Workforce Optimization Software?

Workforce Optimization (WFO) software is not just one solution to call center service challenges – it is a full suite of automated services that can help a call center achieve its business goals and compliance requirements.
Workforce optimization software for call centers - Monet Software
When choosing a workforce optimization software product, make sure it includes each of these features:
  • Workforce Management
  • Call Recording
  • Quality Management
  • Screen Capture
  • Performance Management and Agent Analytics

Workforce Management

Forecasting, scheduling, intra-day management and exception planning are all part of workforce management. Make sure the software allows for real-time adherence, so adjustments can be made quickly before they can impact service levels.

Call Recording

A call recording solution is invaluable in agent training, coaching and troubleshooting and establishing best practices. It also helps to resolve transaction disputes and determine regulatory compliance. You’ll want to invest in a solution that archives and retrieves calls quickly for review.

Quality Management

The quality management process incorporates dashboards, scorecards, agent analytics, customized reports and key performance indicators, to improve service levels, optimize utilization of resources and enhance cost management.

Screen Capture

Screen capture adds video to the voice recording of an agent’s interactions, providing a visual record of how agents employ the technology at their disposal. This aids in agent training, and can help call center staff improve their performance in such key areas as first-call resolution.

Performance Management/Agent Analytics

By analyzing the scorecards and reports produced by workforce optimization software, call centers can become more proactive in their quest for improving customer service, rather than reacting to events that have already occurred.

Watch this video to see how a unified workforce optimization solution can help your call center improve performance by breaking down organizational silos and making it easier to share data across functions in your center.