NICE WFM: 10 Top-Notch Features

CX Today Team

Discover ten of the most helpful capabilities within the NICE Workforce Management (WFM) solution

NICE WFM: 10 Top-Notch Features

NICE launched its current WFM solution in 2016, aligning with its five Ps of workforce management: principles, practices, processes, people, and product.

By helping organizations achieve excellence in each of these areas, the solution allows WFM teams to optimize headcount, stay flexible in the face of dynamic customer needs, and build an engaging work environment.

Focusing on the capabilities within the solution – which enable operations to achieve these goals – here are ten nifty features.

1. Automatic Workload Forecasts and Re-Forecasts

Using NICE WFM, it is possible to generate demand estimates for the next 365 days. The predictions are based on channel metrics, agent proficiency, and other critical parameters.

Also, the solution can generate re-forecasts every 15 minutes, harnessing the latest available data. Contact centers can then adjust their staffing plans to improve service levels and occupancy rates.

2. AI-Powered Forecasting Algorithms

NICE WFM offers 40+ AI algorithms to predict demands and generate forecast reports. Contact centers can experiment with these by running simulated test scenarios and using old data to decipher which algorithm best suits their needs.

Yet, one algorithm is perhaps not the best 365-days a year. Maybe one is better for predicting demand during holiday periods? NICE enables users to mix and match forecasting models to meet these patterns.

3. Real-Time KPI Monitoring

In addition to measuring demand with a simple click of a mouse, WFM solutions also allow planners to calculate average handling time (AHT) and staffing needs just as quickly.

Also, the solution tracks critical WFM metrics – such as service level – in real-time across various teams. Such a feature enhances intraday management, as planners can move multi-skilled agents across multiple channels to meet demand.

Finally, NICE tracks real-time schedule adherence (RTA). As such, planners can detect if an agent is scheduled to be on a call but is away on a break and act to ensure schedules are carried out as planned.

4. Trend and Seasonality Detection

NICE WFM allows users to factor in topical trends, seasons, and upcoming events when forecasting demand. Planners can then simply input their regular business hours to calculate headcount, as the system automatically accounts for trend and seasonality.

In addition, NICE WFM lets users choose between different holiday calendars to build a truly international contact center.

5. Manual Adjustment

Sometimes, contact center managers need to tweak automatic staffing calculations based on their previous experience, unexpected events, or tribal knowledge. To accommodate this, NICE WFM has a manual adjustments feature.

Exploiting this, planners can factor new rules into the system. Then, the solution will use these insights to recalibrate and improve future planning.

6. Shift Customization

New shift patterns are coming to the fore – such as split, micro, and casual shifts. Contact centers may even invent their own to better align with agent preferences and incoming call volumes.

Luckily, NICE WFM supports customizable shifts alongside traditional methods like fixed and rotating models.

Meanwhile, the solution also includes automated schedule adjustments. Such a feature lets users factor in absence rates to build the best-fit shift sequences and reduce planning efforts.

7. Multi-Skill Scheduling

Multi-skill scheduling enables planners to build shifts based on skill and channel requirements. As such, it makes it easier to operate multichannel and omnichannel contact centers that serve customers via phone, webchat, email, social media, and other channels.

NICE WFM also allows companies to factor in different skill levels and channel preferences for individual agents to arrive at a schedule that meets staffing requirements and optimizes agent engagement.

8. A Planning App for Agents

In addition to the NICE WFM features available to contact center managers, the solution also offers an agent interface. Teams can then use this app to perform daily tasks like booking time off or requesting shift swaps. Agents can also view their schedules at any time and add their preferences.

Such a platform provides the team with greater control over their schedule, resulting in a better work-life balance, enhanced employee engagement, and lower attrition rates.

9. Shift Bidding

Shift bidding is a scheduling technique that allows agents to bid for the shifts they want to work. The NICE WFM offers this capability, automatically granting the available shift to the agent with a higher performance rank.

Contact centers can base this performance ranking on any metric, with quality scores and adherence rates being typical examples. Although, sometimes planners select the option where the first person to bid wins the shift.

10. An All in One Suite

NICE WFM provides users with an all-in-one suite solution that combines multiple functionalities in a single app. It has numerous component tools, such as the NICE WFM Enhanced Strategic Planner, NICE Employee Engagement Manager (EEM), and others, which means that organizations do not have to subscribe to or integrate multiple tools.

Indeed, NICE WFM natively connects with the company’s other solutions for contact center connectivity, which is often excellent for enhancing call center reporting.

Final Thoughts

NICE WFM solution is a powerful tool for contact center workforce management. It enables operations to generate automatic workload forecasts and re-forecasts based on channel metrics, agent skills, and other vital parameters. It also helps planners monitor metrics in real-time, ensuring service levels and occupancy rates remain at an optimum level.

As of November 2021, customers can harness the NICE WFM version 7.4, which includes sophisticated capabilities for digital channel staffing.

Itching to increase the perception of WFM in the contact center? Check out our article: Putting WFM at the Heart of the Contact Centre


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