Solution Ought to be Delivering

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1 October 2008 Six Essential Capabilities your Workforce Management Solution Ought to be Delivering Optimize Contact Center Performance Table of contents Executive Summary...3 Workforce Management Today Automating Forecasting, Scheduling, and Resource Tracking 2. Integrating Intelligent Contact Routing 3. Tracking Multi-channel Activities 4. Managing the Use of Real-Time Adherence 5. Empowering Agents to Manage Their Schedules 6. Streamlining Administration Tasks ROI Scorecard...7 An Optimal Solution for Workforce Optimization...8 Conclusion...9 Executive Summary Workforce management solutions have come a long way from simply focusing on the core modules of forecasting and scheduling. Now, instead of serving as a simple means of managing agents and other personnel, automated workforce management systems have become essential optimization enabling tools that contact centers can implement in order to balance operational efficiency with customer satisfaction. For example, vendors are augmenting their original solutions with six key capabilities that can empower agents by giving them insight into their work schedules, and which can also help to streamline interactions between managers, supervisors, and agents. As these tools are increasingly deployed, it will become easier for organizations to realize their goals of ensuring workforce optimization and greater cost effectiveness. Workforce management systems for the contact center are nothing new; they ve been around for two decades, and most contact centers take advantage of some version of workforce management software to balance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. But, like all technology, workforce management software has evolved. Vendors have enhanced original capabilities and added new ones. Solutions that started out as simple forecasting and scheduling tools meant to get the most work out of the fewest agents have progressed into extended suites that now enable optimization. Traditional solutions that focused on metrics such as talk time and number of calls handled but that also had the side effect of making agents feel unsatisfied, caused conflict between agents and supervisors, and made the customers experience unpleasant have been augmented with tools that give agents insight into their work schedules and help to streamline interactions among managers, supervisors, and agents. These new capabilities serve to empower agents, increase their satisfaction, reduce turnover and hiring and training costs and, ultimately, result in better customer service and retention. And, as with any business technology, adaptors have come on board at different points during the evolution some have continually upgraded their capabilities as new features emerged, while others lag behind and are still operating what they originally bought and are, therefore, not getting the full business advantage offered by mature technologies.

2 Six Essential Capabilities your Workforce Management Solution Ought to be Delivering / page 2 of 8 This begs the question: Are most companies getting everything they can out of their workforce management solution and, if not, are their competitors gaining a competitive advantage because their contact centers perform better? Workforce Management Today It s not just that workforce management solutions can now do more, but that today s contact centers now demand more. The current workforce management environment has become increasingly complex, as many companies are operating multi-site, multi-channel centers using intelligent contact routing systems. Workforce management has to be seamlessly integrated across these distributed centers to ensure good customer service, and this requires optimizing the use of agents who have the right skill sets to handle multiple contact types. However, this involves much more than simply matching the right agent to the call it also involves retaining your best agents so that staff with the right skill to handle the call is always available. Agents should be empowered to: View their work schedules easily Request shift changes, vacations, and other schedule adjustments that improve morale Reduce the time it takes for agents, supervisors, and managers to communicate schedule changes, which will cut administration costs and free them to focus on their core duties In this white paper, we ll discuss the six essential capabilities that a contemporary, full-featured workforce management system should deliver. Each of these capabilities enhances contact center effectiveness in a different way. If a system lacks any of them, replacement hiring and training costs will increase, agents and supervisors will become distracted by growing frustrations, customer service levels will drop, and customers won t get the experience they demand. This white paper can serve as an organization s checklist to assess the effectiveness of current solutions, and assist in the planning and development of further workforce management capabilities. 1. Automating Forecasting, Scheduling, and Resource Tracking The most basic functions of an automated workforce management solution are forecasting, scheduling, and tracking to get the most from an available labor pool. Achieving the right staffing level is the key to balancing costs with customer service. Overstaff, and overhead costs will go up; understaff, and customer service levels and customer satisfaction will drop. A fully-featured workforce management solution forecasts contact volume accurately for better scheduling and optimized staffing. This, in turn, prevents understaffing, leads to higher customer satisfaction and increased sales, and reduces labor costs.

3 Six Essential Capabilities your Workforce Management Solution Ought to be Delivering / page 3 of 8 2. Integrating Intelligent Contact Routing Intelligent contact routing matching each caller to the agent with the right skills, such as languages spoken, product knowledge, or the ability to handle multiple contact channels depends on having up-to-date agent skill information stored in the contact routing system database. If the contact center maintains separate systems for contact routing and workforce management, and if they don t talk to each other, the routing capabilities are being negated. To get the full advantage of intelligent contact routing, organizations need a workforce management solution that integrates with the contact routing system and updates its database in real time. In this way, every time a contact comes in, the right agent will be selected based on up-to-the-second skills information. This will not only improve agent adherence, but since the update is automated, operational costs will also be reduced by eliminating time-consuming manual updates. 3. Tracking Multi-channel Activities Today s customers expect to be able to contact companies via the Web and as well as over the phone, so contact centers have introduced new media channels that demand new agent skills. In this multi-channel, multi-skill environment, managers have to be able to track multiple channels and have agents with the right skills available to maintain customer satisfaction. To effectively manage a multi-channel contact center, organizations need a workforce management solution that enables managers to track channels and skill sets, forecast and schedule by media channel, and take into consideration factors such as the need to answer voice calls immediately as opposed to answering in batches during periods when voice traffic is light. 4. Managing the Use of Real-Time Adherence The best schedule in the world is no good if agents aren t adhering to it. And to be sure they are, managers need to monitor agent activity in real time. An optimal workforce management solution gives managers visibility into real-time metrics on agent performance, adherence, and forecast variances. With these metrics, managers can deal with discrepancies between target and actual availability and reduce churn. 5. Empowering Agents to Manage Their Schedules Contact centers that rely on workforce management systems for defining schedules to meet service level goals without taking into account agent preferences ultimately cause poor morale, absences, and customer satisfaction issues. Empowering agents to easily access and manage their own schedules, request changes and receive approvals online, view other agents schedules and request shift trades, and bid on shifts, helps to ensure happier agents, reduced turnover, and increased customer satisfaction.

4 Six Essential Capabilities your Workforce Management Solution Ought to be Delivering / page 4 of 8 6. Streamlining Administration Tasks Administrative tasks take time to perform and cost money. The fewer such tasks that supervisors and agents have to perform, the more cost-effective the contact center will be. A workforce management solution that gives agents the tools to check their schedules and automatically receive approval for trades will reduce the time supervisors spend on manual scheduling, free them to focus on processes that contribute to business goals, and also improve the accuracy and promptness of skills-based scheduling. ROI Scorecard The innovations and enhancements of full-featured workforce management suites aren t whistles and bells for their own sake; they can be measured in terms of return on investment (ROI) that leads to increased revenue and profit. Here are some simple formulae for calculating the payoff from upgrading the workforce management platform. 1. Automating Forecasting, Scheduling, and Resource Tracking Benefit = current # agents x % increase in utilization / occupancy x fully loaded cost / agent 2. Integrating Intelligent Contact Routing Benefit = fully burdened personnel salary x total time spent on WFM skill updates x reduction in time due to automatic updates 3. Tracking Multi-channel Activities Benefit = current # agents x % increase in utilization / occupancy x fully loaded cost / agent 4. Managing the Use of Real-Time Adherence Benefit = (scheduled availability % minus measured availability %) x number of agents x % reduction in shrinkage x fully loaded cost / agent 5. Empowering Agents to Manage Their Schedules Reduction in attrition benefit = total # agents x % turnover rate x reduction in churn due to WFM x average replacement cost per agent 6. Streamlining Administration Tasks Labor saving benefit = $ fully burdened personnel salary x total time spent on contact center workforce management activity x reduction in administration handling time due to WFM

5 Six Essential Capabilities your Workforce Management Solution Ought to be Delivering / page 5 of 8 An Optimal Solution for Workforce Optimization Organizations that still depend on a simple forecasting and scheduling tool, or whose workforce management has some, but not all, of the capabilities discussed in this paper, might be well served to take a look at other solutions in the marketplace. One such advanced solution is Genesys Workforce Management. This comprehensive, automated application to accurately forecast, schedule, and track the performance of multi-skilled agents in multi-site and multi-channel contact centers is the only workforce management solution to offer automatic updates of historical data and agent skill information in real time across all media channels. The Genesys Suite architecture seamlessly integrates the Genesys Customer Interaction Management Platform and the Genesys Workforce Management software so that updates to historical data and agent skills across all contact types and locations are automatically synchronized in real time. This gives contact center planners the highest level of accuracy and eliminates the costly process of manually updating agent skill-set changes. In addition, the integration with Genesys Universal Routing enhances agent schedule adherence by instructing the router to send interactions to an agent only if, for example, that agent is scheduled to work on that type of activity and is not about to go on break. In addition to this unique integration, Genesys Workforce Management enables contact center staff to: Easily generate optimal forecasts in a multi-skill environment, gaining the efficiency inherent in a contact center where agents can perform multiple types of work Predict staffing requirements across multiple sites Take into consideration non-immediate activities, such as , that allow longer response times Develop effective strategies that take into account agents input, including shift preferences, schedule bidding, and time off requests to improve agent morale and reduce absences Automatically transfer trades between agents that don t require supervisor approval, reducing administration costs Set up agents and supervisors to automatically receive updates on actions such as schedule modifications and time-off and trade requests Allow managers to easily see what agents should be doing at a particular time using intra-day schedule views Easily track actual agent status against planned schedules using real-time adherence Obtain accurate views through a set of reports Integrate third-party applications using the Workforce Management Integration Application Programming Interface (API)

6 Six Essential Capabilities your Workforce Management Solution Ought to be Delivering / page 6 of 8 Conclusion Today, organizations need workforce management solutions that have evolved beyond focusing on the core modules of forecasting and scheduling and serving as a simple means of managing agents and other personnel. Automated workforce management systems have become essential optimization enabling tools that contact centers must implement in order to balance operational efficiency with customer satisfaction. This paper described six key capabilities that can empower agents by giving them insight into their work schedules, and which can also help to streamline interactions between managers, supervisors, and agents. As these capabilities are increasingly deployed, it will become easier for organizations to realize their goals of increasing agent satisfaction, reducing turnover and hiring and training costs, and providing better customer service. In today s marketplace, executives and organizations should strive to get everything they can out of their workforce management solution. The bottom line is that optimizing contact center performance will help them realize a competitive advantage as agent productivity is improved, customers needs are proactively met, and, ultimately, revenues are increased. Corporate Headquarters Genesys 2001 Junipero Serra Blvd. Daly City, CA USA Worldwide Inquiries: Tel: Fax: Genesys is the world s leading provider of customer service and contact software with more than 4,000 customers in 80 countries. Drawing on its more than 20 years of customer service innovation and experience, Genesys is uniquely positioned to help companies bring their people, insights and customer channels together to effectively drive today s customer conversation. Genesys software directs more than 100 million interactions every day, maximizing the value of customer engagement and differentiating the experience by driving personalization and multi-channel customer service and extending customer service across the enterprise to optimize processes and the performance of customer-facing employees. For more information visit: or call GENESYS. Genesys and the Genesys logo are registered trademarks of Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc. All other company names and logos may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved v.1-05/09

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