From organizing call center agents to employing the right technology and developing a customer experience strategy, there are plenty of moving pieces in the successful operation of a contact center. Getting all those nuts and bolts to run in perfect harmony is often referred to as call center workforce optimization (WFO).
Although it sounds technical, WFO is just a fancy way of speaking to the management of all things call center-related in a way that boosts agent productivity and overall call center performance—however, there is a lot involved in developing a successful WFO strategy, and we have you covered with all the details.
What does call center workforce optimization look like?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this one. Really, your WFO will be different depending on the industry, size, and needs of your call center. Some call centers find it easier to go with one single workforce optimization solution that fits all their needs.
Oftentimes, this can be quite expensive and doesn’t always contain everything a call center needs either, in which case, combining different technologies and strategies and ensuring they flow together is your next option.
How do I get started?
First, you need to understand the areas that contribute to the operation of your call center. Next, you should ensure they’re working together like a well-oiled machine. Here are some different areas you might want to keep in mind:
Workforce management quality.
Workforce management relates to the forecasting of call volumes to properly schedule call center agents. Having more or less staff at the right times can decrease overall contact center costs, improve agent productivity by decreasing burnout potential, decrease wait-times for customers, and more. Some call centers managers take care of these tasks manually while others choose to use specific call center software for workforce management.
Agent onboarding and training.
Keeping agents interested in their work can be a challenge, but with the right onboarding and training strategies, they’ll constantly be learning new information. Focusing on overall agent engagement is a great way to ensure your staff is happy at work—and customers will be able to tell the difference during their interactions, too.
When hiring and training new agents, be sure to stress that your contact center is customer focused. Introduce your customer experience strategy to newbies and offer refresher courses on customer service to established agents. Consider providing customers with an omnichannel experience, where they can choose whether to reach out by phone or online via chat. You may even decide to use social media messaging and comment monitoring as another means of convenient customer assistance.
Customer surveys (often called customer satisfaction surveys or CSats) can help you determine your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to customer service.
Agent and customer interactions.
Management should always be actively involved in call monitoring to keep customer service standards high and ensure agents are meeting the needs of their customers by going above and beyond. Call center software that provides customer interaction analytics is available, but this task can also be performed by managers, as long as the findings are recorded and kept private.
Analytics and reporting.
To gain insight into where your agents and call center performance stand, keep a pulse on a variety of key performance indicators (KPI). Technology like the Fonolo Portal can help you track important stats that will help you determine what’s working and what needs to be improved for call center success.
Call center technologies to optimize your workforce:
If your contact center doesn’t already use Web Call-Backs (formerly called a Visual IVR system), it’s time to invest in one. Similar to a traditional IVR, this technology guides your digital users through a navigational menu to connect them with the right support agent. This encourages your customers to reach out through your website or mobile app, saving your phone line for more urgent and complex queries.
Fonolo’s Voice Call-Backs smooth out call spikes, lower abandon rates, and improve the customer experience overall. Agents will have more time to be focused and productive and feel less overwhelmed on busy days, which improves agent engagement as well.
DID YOU KNOW?
Voice Call-backs and Web Call-Backs are a powerful duo in the contact center. You can use scheduled call-backs to escalate digital users to the voice channel, minimizing risk of abandonment.
Convenience is key when it comes to achieving high CSat scores. Online chat functions offer customers a quick way to resolve common or smaller issues and AI chatbots take pressure off agents by reducing call volumes and eliminating the need for agents to monitor online chats.