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Contact centers often hold the key to turning a frustrated customer into a happy one, so it’s crucial that you optimize yours for the best possible results from support agents. For CX leaders looking to upgrade their contact center, workforce management strategies and software are your best bet.
The purpose of these strategies is to make your contact center more efficient, resource-effective, and employee-friendly. In this post, we’ll dive into how workforce management works and explore ways to modernize workforce management for contact centers.
What Is Workforce Management In a Call Center?
Contact center workforce management refers to a set of processes designed to ensure that your call center achieves and maintains maximum operational efficiency. These processes encompass both technical tools or software, and the strategies their data informs.
What Does Workforce Management Software Do?
- Forecasts customer interaction volume and predicting support agents’ workload
- Schedules the right number of support agents for any given time
- Ensures customer requests are routed to support agents best equipped to help them
- Builds schedules and properly managing intraday activity
Proper contact center workforce management maximizes the time support agents spend tackling customer requests while minimizing the idle time between customer interactions. This translates directly to happier employees, higher customer satisfaction, and increased revenue for your brand.
Optimize your service staffing with Gladly's workforce management
Ready to reap the benefits of contact center workforce management? Here are five tactics to get started.
1. Adopt a Cross-Channel Approach to Staffing
By scheduling support agents to work on multiple channels, such as phone and chat, a cross-channel approach to staffing increases your contact center’s productivity and allows your brand to support customers across all channels.
For that, you’ll need a solution like Gladly, which supports voice, text, chat, email, and social, to ensure every customer receives the best possible experience when interacting with your company.
2. Leverage Historical and Real-Time Customer Data for Forecasting
Another way to optimize your contact center workforce management is by using historical and real-time customer data to forecast demand and predict future workloads for your team. With these cross-channel insights, you can strategically staff your agents and avoid operating above or below capacity.
3. Build a Self-Service Portal for Support Agents
The end goal of contact center workforce management is to empower customer support agents to do a fantastic job. Another useful tactic is building a self-service portal to automate routine tasks, such as:
- Requesting and approving PTO or sick days
- Support agent scheduling
- Training and self-learning
- Tracking employee satisfaction and performance
- Monitoring productivity
A successful self-service portal will offer the support team some control over their schedules so they can plan ahead while still allowing them enough flexibility for last-minute requests. This self-service portal can also be used as a tool for collecting data on productivity and identifying where improvements can be made.
4. Use Tools to Automate Routing
Automated routing, such as Gladly’s People Match feature, uses key information such as shopping history and agent specialty so customers receive the best assistance possible. For example, if shoppers message you about a package they need expedited, your workforce management software can properly route and prioritize their requests.
Capacity-based routing, another automated routing tactic, allows you to set the number of customers an agent can assist at any given time across all real-time messaging channels. This ensures that customers get the attention they deserve.
5. Treat Your Customer Service Agents As Your Greatest Assets
Finally, it’s no secret that employees can make or break any business, but this is especially true in a contact center environment. If you treat your customer service agents like the assets they are, they’ll reward you with greater productivity and a better customer experience. Consider implementing employee engagement, growth and development, or incentive programs to keep them happy while encouraging higher performance levels.
With contact center support agents being the faces of your business, it’s crucial these team members are happy and eager to help customers solve their problems. In the long run, you’ll enjoy higher customer satisfaction and retention rates.
Take the Next Step
Contact center workforce management is all about having the right support agents on the right channels at the right time. Beyond these five tips, take our CX Maturity Assessment to ensure you’re covering all your bases when it comes to designing a successful customer experience.