If you work in a contact center environment, you may have heard of workforce optimization. But what does it mean? Workforce optimization is defined as a business strategy that combines technology with customer service to make contact center operations more efficient. Workforce optimization covers every aspect involved in running a contact center, such as the following:
- Compliance with rules and regulations
- Automation of processes
- Data visibility
- Solving staff-related problems
Why Is Workforce Optimization Important?
Now that you know what workforce optimization is, why is it important? You have probably heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” Well, it’s true. Customers are the driving force behind workforce optimization. Now, more than ever, customers have higher expectations, and they are determined to find the best experience possible, even if they have to pay more for it.
Workforce optimization is the force that holds a thriving contact center together. Because of this, contact centers need to know what workforce optimization is and how to properly implement it into their company.
This can be a challenge because each contact center company views workforce optimization from a different perspective. There is no one-size-fits-all rule as to what workforce optimization entails or how best to implement it. What’s most important is that there is a clear strategy in place.
Differences Between Workforce Optimization and Workforce Management
You may have heard of both workforce optimization and workforce management, but these terms cannot be used interchangeably. Workforce management is a tool that focuses on managing several aspects of contact centers, such as staffing, scheduling, and long-term planning.
Workforce optimization, on the other hand, offers some elements of workforce management. However, it goes beyond that, offering analytics and data about employee performance and other company-specific processes. Some aspects it covers include:
- Quality assurance
- Call reporting
- Employee training
- Speech analytics
- Desktop analytics
- eLearning tools
Workforce Optimization Techniques/Strategies
You now know what workforce optimization is, so how can you best implement it in your contact center? Here are some strategies to consider:
- Schedule employees efficiently. Use software to reduce overlap and schedule time off. What happens during your busy times when you need more employees? Instead of bearing the weight of hiring additional full-time employees, consider a staffing company or perhaps offer overtime to current employees.
- Track attendance properly. With proper time management software, you can ensure no time is wasted.
- Do you have data in place to determine your busiest and slowest days?
- Are you scheduling employees appropriately?
- Can you see if employees are coming in early or late?
- Do you have measures in place to prevent timekeeping issues, such as false clock-ins and clock-outs?
- Optimize time usage. Task tracking tools can help you track employee productivity and prioritize work. You can see where employees do well and also where they struggle.
Now that you know the ins and outs of workforce optimization, you can have your contact center running like a well-oiled machine.