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Workforce Management’s Cloudy Future

Workforce management, contact centre training, consulting and events company ICMI recently produced a report entitled The State of Workforce Management. Amongst other things, it asks the question: “Is workforce management moving to the cloud?”

Workforce management in the Contact Centre

Given that just about every other enterprise application – including contact centre software itself – is moving rapidly to the cloud, it would be surprising if the answer were “No.”

However, according to ICMI’s assessment of the market, in the case of workforce management software this hasn’t happened yet, except in large contact centres. And, perhaps more surprising, workforce management software of any kind has yet to achieve large-scale take-up.

Only 15 percent of respondents to ICMI’s survey of 363 contact centre management personnel reported using cloud-based management, compared to 39.1 percent using on-premise software and 28.1 percent relying on Excel/spreadsheet-based solutions. However, in the largest contact centres (those with more than 500 agents), the figure using cloud-based workforce management rose to 84.1 percent.

But cloud-based workforce management isn’t restricted to just the largest of contact centres. We’ve been providing workforce management to customers both large and small for over 30 years, and in the past 11 years all of our customers have taken up cloud-based workforce management.

Cloud vs On-premise

The benefits of cloud software over on-premise options have been spelt out many times: Reduced time to deployment; shift of costs from capital to operation expenses; ability to add/remove licences month-to-month; guaranteed system uptime. So it’s no surprise that these were indeed cited by survey respondents as important reasons for using workforce management services.

System uptime was listed most frequently as an ‘Extremely important’ benefit (53.1 percent); the shift of costs from capital to operating expenses was identified most frequently as ‘Very important’ (40.6 percent); and the ability to add or remove licenses month-to-month was most frequently cited as ‘Moderately important’ (26.6 percent).

What all this suggests is that those contact centres not using cloud-based workforce management are missing out on very significant benefits.

Why manage your workforce?

Implementing a workforce management solution is a fundamental way to start improving your contact centre’s performance, starting with keeping your agents happy and productive. ICMI summarises: “[Workforce management] means having the right number of properly skilled people and supporting resources in the right place, at the right time, to handle an accurately forecasted workload at service level and with quality.”

Premier Contact Point utilises the Aspect eWorkforce Management system, which allows you to easily access the right tools to maintaining a productive workforce:

  1. Forecast your requirements – forecast call volumes, handle times, and skills required, to roster the right mix of staff at the right time. No longer will you have to worry about having too many agents rostered during the quiet periods, or too few staff when it’s busy, making your customers wait too long to reach an agent.
  2. Preferred shifts – let your agents bid for their preferred shift times, or request trades with their colleagues. Agents are more engaged and happy when working the shifts they prefer, and a happy agent is a productive one.
  3. Roster adherenceeasily monitor how well your agents are adhering to their schedules, allowing you to identify areas of improvement, and maximise their productive time. Five or ten missing minutes here and there throughout the day, multiplied by the number of agents you have, equals a large chunk of productive time gone to waste.

Clearly, not only is workforce management a highly beneficial practice in all organisations: with a cloud-based solution, you can start reaping the rewards sooner, reduce costs, and start growing more revenue.

How we Help with Agent Management

Premier Contact Point provides Workforce Optimisation tools to help your contact centre deal with changes in call volumes; skilled staff availability; rosters; performance KPIs, and budgets. Contact us for an obligation free demo of our powerful Workforce Management Solution.

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