Ushering in Multichannel Excellence with Cloud-based Workforce Optimization
February 12, 2013
By Tracey E. Schelmetic
, TMCnet Contributor
While contact centers have always had a lot of demands placed on them – answer all calls quickly, keep the calls short, provide the information needed, keep the customer relationship positive, boost the sales and do it all under a limited budget – these days, it seems like the demands are multiplying. New media channels have broadened the contact center’s footprint as well as the expectations placed upon it. Social media channels have hit like a bolt out of the blue, and today’s increasingly mobile customer base expects high quality service at any time, day or night.
Clearly, contact centers need help in meeting rising customer demands, writes cloud-based contact center solutions provider inContact in a recent white paper.
“Now more than ever, contact center leaders need the right tools to assess agent skills, identify gaps in service, schedule teams for peaks and valleys in customer demand, and to help connect the right agents with the right customers,” says Jennifer Waite, product marketing manager at inContact.
This is where modern workforce optimization (WFO) solutions come into play. Cloud-based WFO capabilities can help companies better predict customer demand while enabling businesses to align agent skills, availability, and expertise with customer needs and preferences. This way, call centers can ensure they are covering all bases, regardless of channel.
“Cloud-based WFO tools can also help companies adapt and adjust to market changes on the fly as the role of the contact center continues to evolve and the required skill sets constantly shift,” writes inContact. “Furthermore, companies can leverage cloud-based WFO tools to schedule the optimal number of at-home agents with the appropriate skill sets to address anticipated shifts in customer traffic.”
Because of this flexibility, better use of call center resources and the ability to tap home-based agents, workforce optimization can actually help companies minimize costs – or even lower them – at the same time they are boosting service and customer interaction quality. This is a compelling argument for cloud-based WFO: too many companies are seeing budgets cut and headcount reduced at the same time management is playing lip-service to modern concepts like “voice of the customer” and “the customer experience.”
To take advantage of cloud-based WFO to improve operations, inContact makes a number of recommendations, including blending the data captured from cloud-based WFO tools with customer analytics to better understand why customers are reaching out to the contact center; matching agent skill sets to specific service activities for greater efficiency and performance; applying sentiment analysis to identify gaps in agents’ skill sets; analyzing channel-specific behavioral data to determine the best treatment strategies; and matching agents to specific customers for greater productivity and customer satisfaction.
For more information, find the full inContact white paper here.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli