As you read that title, I bet you thought, “Cheeky, aren’t they? Who the heck do they think they are?!”
Who we are is a software company that makes workforce management (WFM) systems function even better. Our system integrates with workforce management (WFM) systems to fill in the missing functionality in WFM scheduling called intraday management.
Workforce Management Systems Are Excellent Tools, But…
Workforce management systems (WFM’s) are sophisticated software platforms that enable contact centers to manage forecasting, scheduling, performance and more. In contact center operations, their purpose is to get the right person in the right place at the right time to answer phones, email, chat, etc., and provide the best possible customer service. Overall, they do an excellent job. Where they fall short is during “intraday” time frames – i.e., the current day or shift. WorkFlex picks up where WFM systems leave off.
Managing the Intraday
WorkFlex manages the intraday by accessing historical data and the forecast in WFM systems and using these not only to reforecast every 30 minutes, but to recommend staffing solutions to the workforce administrators tasked with keeping staffing levels commensurate with contact volume. WorkFlex accesses data such as agent skills and schedules and runs it through a sophisticated rules engine configured to include all contact center regulations and policies before delivering recommended solutions. Who receives these recommendations? The workforce administrators, who can then decide if they wish to accept them or not. If they accept a recommendation, they click a button and the system automatically takes the steps to implement it. But WorkFlex does more than simply take data from the workforce management systems and offer solutions to workforce administrators. It loops agents into the process of balancing staffing.
WorkFlex Enables Agents to Help Balance Staffing
Part of the WorkFlex product suite is a mobile app designed for agents. The app, which runs either on Android or iPhone smartphones, allows agents to view the contact center’s schedule and the time intervals during which the center needs more or fewer agents working the phones or other channels. They can take time off or add hours whenever the schedule indicates that there is available time. They can also swap hours with themselves (“flex” their schedule) or trade with other agents. All of this happens automatically and requires no input from management. Each change an agent makes contributes to balanced staffing and reduces the need of workforce administrators to request agent cooperation addressing over- and under-staffing issues. This is capability unique in the contact center industry. No WFM system makes agents partners in the effort to reduce staffing variances while at the same time improving the work/life balance of the agents is such an elegant way.
Managing Contact Channel Variances
“Contact centers” are called by that name because they offer customer multiple communication channels. Keeping all of these channels staffed appropriately is a juggling act. Here, too, WorkFlex gives agents the power to assist the contact center in ensuring staffing balance. Agents can switch channels when necessary. If the voice queue is overstaffed by 10 and the chat queue needs 10, those 10 agents can move themselves from voice to chat. Again, they can do this using the mobile app and without asking for permission from anyone. If no agents choose to make the switch, however, the WorkFlex system can automatically reach out to agents to request they make the change. WorkFlex always keeps the focus on balancing between the center’s need to meet service levels and reducing labor costs.
WorkFlex manages the contact center intraday and also the future schedule for up to four weeks out. No WFM system offers this kind of granular, highly automated intraday management together with intelligent agent self-scheduling. It therefore bears repeating that no WFM system is complete without WorkFlex.
-The WorkFlex Team