Contact Centers Are Expanding, and So Must Workforce Management

Nowadays, not only contact center agents engage with customers. That premise leads to the next evolution of WFM

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Contact Centers Are Expanding, and So Must Workforce Management
Contact CentreInsights

Published: May 24, 2024

Charlie Mitchell

In 2022, only 48 percent of contact centers had the necessary staffing to meet customer demand. Fast forward 12 months, and that figure jumped to 58 percent.

The research firm Metrigy pinpoints several drivers for this positive trend. Those include an uptick in agent-assist tech deployments and a hike in rep salaries.

Yet, perhaps most interestingly, it found that external employees are doing more to support the contact center.

Indeed, 47 percent of companies are now drafting staff members from outside the contact center to support agents in resolving customer queries.

Amongst those businesses, 30 percent have external employees conversing directly with customers without a formal agent in the loop.

As the gap between CCaaS and UCaaS platforms closes, Magnus Geverts, VP of Product Marketing at Calabrio, anticipates that more businesses will move in this direction.

“With increasing automation of transactional tasks, the contact center requires higher competency and often needs to tap into expertise from across the organization,” he said.

“Therefore, as the contact center of the future will extend far beyond traditional boundaries, it necessitates more efficient resource management.”

Already, Calabrio is supporting many of its clients in executing the extended contact center by piecing together a next-generation, far-reaching resource management strategy. Here’s how.

Centralizing Staff Management

For the boundaryless enterprise contact center to operate smoothly, workforce management teams must centralize their staff management strategy.

That requires a ubiquitous WFM platform, like Calabrio, that overlays their various enterprise communications solutions.

Indeed, Calabrio can integrate different telephony and digital channel environments, pooling customer demand data and staff across departments and locations – regardless of the CCaaS solution they leverage.

While doing so, WFM teams can also centrally monitor service levels and adherence, simplifying the traditional intraday management side of WFM – according to Geverts.

“These customers are also more likely to implement automated employee self-service functionality, such as PTO-requests and self-scheduling in the back-office segment, compared to the adoption of intraday management,” he added.

Lastly, Calabrio can overlay its automated quality assurance (Auto-QA) solution across the enterprise, offering performance feedback to every person, inside and outside of the formal contact center.

Optimizing Informal Agent Schedules

With a centralized, detailed overview of demand data, brands can leverage Calabrio to build accurate forecasts and schedules – spotlighting reporting periods when the formal contact center will have too few staff.

With this knowledge, the WFM team can dip into its pool of informal agents, ensuring they have the optimal staffing coverage.

Moreover, if planners have access to Calabrio’s analytics platform, they may even dive deeper into their forecasts and spot which contact reasons are driving demand across reporting periods.

From there, they may mull over which informal agents are best suited to handling these queries and advance their scheduling strategy.

Pushing the Innovation Needle

Even if the formal contact center is fully staffed, service leaders may wish to refer specific queries—which require specialist expertise—to external experts. That’s tricky with a nested IVR. However, intelligent bots understand intent and can route contacts to the best-placed person within the business. Calabrio is even working with its CCaaS partners to route based on performance data, so internal and external agents receive the contacts that best match their skills, know-how, and experience.

The Unconventional Workforce Management (WFM) Use Cases of Tomorrow

Calabrio’s ubiquitous platform and specialist WFM capabilities support its mission to enable the extended contact center tomorrow. Yet, critically, it also offers built-in flexibility.

“This flexibility is crucial when dealing with diverse work legislations and configurations,” added Geverts. “It enables us to deliver more unconventional WFM use cases.”

For instance, some of its customers in the banking sector use Calabrio’s software to schedule one-to-one advisory meetings with clients.

Meanwhile, the Finnish tax authorities use the software across various roles – from call takers to legal advisers – to better understand time allocation.

Lastly, many Calabrio customers – across industries – are starting to use its WFM platform for virtual and in-store customer appointments.

In each example, Calabrio goes beyond helping planners deliver a WFM strategy for the hybrid, extended contact center to deliver a WFM strategy for hybrid customer engagement.

After all, the vendor demonstrates how it is taking support beyond voice and digital channels to include in-person engagements. That aligns with the evolving needs of hybrid customer interactions across many sectors.

As such, Calabrio allows businesses to think bigger, taking WFM outside of its box to enable increased employee and customer engagement throughout the customer journey.

For a closer look at Calabrio’s workforce engagement management (WEM) portfolio and to learn more from the industry thought leader, visit: www.calabrio.com

CCaaSWorkforce Management

Brands mentioned in this article.

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