Workforce management consists of three key disciplines:
1. Forecasting and capacity planning;
2. Staff scheduling; and
3. Intraday management
These three disciplines are broken down into specific processes that contact centers must master.
Discipline 1: Forecasting and Planning
Forecasting is the foundation of workforce management. Companies must be able to predict front- and back-office interaction types, volumes, durations, as well as other input factors such as shrinkage and attrition with relative certainty. Based on initial annual and subsequent quarterly monthly, and weekly forecasts, they must plan capacity months in advance in order to ensure sufficient time to hire ahead of attrition.
If companies fail to hire in anticipation of higher call volumes for example, then it is unlikely that they will be able to compensate later with onboarding new agents, changes to staff scheduling or real-time management.
Discipline 2: Staff Scheduling
Staff scheduling is a critical and intrinsically sensitive discipline. Companies must determine which employees will work specific shifts and for how long. They must also determine how staffing needs vary from one period to the next, which can impact shift consistency, and in some cases, a sense of job security.
Discipline 3: Activity Management
Activity management entails scheduling off-phone activities (e.g., training and coaching) to close gaps between supply and demand. Companies can promote high attendance and adherence to the schedule by enforcing attendance policies and proactively managing absentees. They may also need to adjust schedules rapidly to accommodate unexpected shifts in demand. Finally, they must monitor call volumes in real time and alert call center managers to respond accordingly.
Accurate, real-time performance tracking, communication with relevant stakeholders and timely reporting are essential to enabling the discipline of WFM.
How can I improve?
The first step is to ensure accurate forecasting and capacity planning within the first discipline. Cinareo can help you prevent both over-staffing and under-staffing with multi-channel/multi-skill capacity planning and financial analysis. Cinareo provides you with the ideal resourcing plan including recruitment and training start dates to hire ahead of attrition as well as a detailed financial analysis of agent and support staff costs for annual, quarterly and monthly planning.
DID YOU KNOW…..
Cinareo provides professional consulting services for all WFM disciplines – if you need help addressing your current challenges, contact us and we would be happy to help!