Workforce Management as we know it is changing

Workforce management has long been the go-to for team leaders to keep operations running smoothly, but as our world has transformed, so too has the way we need to manage contact centres. Customers have changed, technology has changed, and your WFM system must do so as well.

So what are the must-knows in WFM in today's world?

Customers communicate across a multitude of channels now, which makes WFM slightly tricker.WFM is changing.

1. Forecasting can't be done like it used to be

The increasing variety of customer channels and changing expectations of newer generations have made forecasting a more complex problem. But how?

Omnichannel forecasting

According to a Deloitte survey, phone communications with contact centres is expected to drop from having 64 per cent market share (2017's figure) to just 47 per cent. The modern contact centre's WFM software must readily integrate with new platforms to make gathering data easy for forecasters, so they can accurately examine historic trends and predict new scenarios based on an omnichannel approach. This means having the ability to apply service level goals for channels such as chat that are quite different to those used in traditional voice channels.

Newer generations

In addressing generational shifts driving customer expectations, see our article titled "3 contact centre strategies to adopt for Generation Z customers", you'll see that these people have unique requirements that influences their loyalty. Workforce planners working with younger customers must ensure forecasts are predicted with their needs in mind, so the right amount of staff are in place at the right times on the right channels. This segmentation of customers is expecting to reach out to you at a time that is convenient for them, on the channel of their choice, and be easily identified as a customer across these channels.

Nearly a third of Australians regularly work from home.

2. Employees are changing, too

As customers change, so too do those entering the workforce. Engagement and shrinkage have been issues for a long time, but changing expectations and advancing technology could affect these even more.

Look at working from home as an example. According to the Australian 2016 Census, nearly a third of employed Australians regularly worked from home in their main job – digital technology makes it easier for employees to telecommute, and many (such as those with young families) are calling for it as an option.

So should your business offer home working?

On one hand, a Stanford study found that, when call centre agents worked from home, there was a 13 per cent increase in performance and staff attrition halved. However, a conflicting study – from the London School of Economics and Political Science – found that home working could negatively impact organisational performance and cause tension in company culture.

Bringing this back to workforce management, using technology to offer more flexible ways of working might be of benefit to your company, but it would be wise to talk to a professional WFM consultant before making changes to ensure they have a positive effect.

Many employees desire the option to work from home, but studies disagree as to whether it is beneficial.Does your company offer working from home?

3. Automation and simplification are vital to future success

Automation has the power to make employees' lives easier. Around the globe and across industries, business leaders are deploying automation to handle menial tasks that would otherwise take someone a disproportionate amount of time to complete. Not only does this allow them to focus on more important duties, but it reduces the chance of human error in key areas.

In the WFM space, workforce planners should be using software that enables streamlining and simplification across tasks. For example, software like Aspect WFM will need to be able to easily schedule people across different tasks in different channels throughout the day. Additionally, enabling staff to bid on shifts remotely, selecting shifts that meet their requirements that week, will become more and more important as organisations try to offer more flexibility while increasing productivity.

Choose Call Design for your WFM upgrade

If you're ready to talk to the professionals about upgrading your WFM platform, talk to Call Design. Our consultants can work hand-in-hand with your business to find the best solution for you and your staff, deploying some of Australia's leading WFM technology.

To learn more, contact us today.

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