Planning Is Everything in the Contact Center, Except When It Isn’t

WFM systems plan well, but WorkFlex executes well

Planning Is Destiny, Right?
Everyone knows that to reach your goal you have to have a good plan. Whether it’s a football game, a satellite launch, or a contact center operation, a plan is a must. In the contact center, we spend a lot of time building good plans. We use our workforce management (WFM) system to forecast for both the short term and the long term. We try to match our agents’ abilities with the demand we anticipate. When exceptions pop up (which they inevitably do), we spend time (often a lot of time) handling them. We spend even more time pouring over reports, so we can make an even better plan. Yep. The plan is destiny. Or is it?

The Best Laid Plans
I’m an avid football fan. So avid that I devote a huge chunk of my life to coaching my son’s football team. Even at the grade-school level, that means a lot of planning – for a million things, but especially for games. It means studying the opposing team, thinking up the best plays to take them on, and deciding which of my team members will do what when. It means practicing the plays relentlessly, so they’re set in muscle memory and kick in on cue.

And then it’s game time.

Reality Drop-Kicks
Plans are must-haves, but the execution is what matters. We are measured on how we execute the plan we’ve so carefully constructed, and what inevitably happens is that reality drop-kicks us into, well, reality. Our beautiful plans meet interference. On the football field, the star quarterback gets sacked and injured in the process. The backup maybe isn’t quite the same expert at executing the planned-out plays and misses the mark where and when it counts. There goes the game plan. The best laid contact center plans are no different. Life circumstances interfere and render them useless at times. Agents get sick, their kids get sick, their cars break down, they overbook their social calendars and want time off to have some fun. Life happening is the contact center challenge. It adds layers of effort to the operational process. Effort and complexity. But what if we could use these unplanned and seemingly disruptive changes to achieve a positive? What would you say to infinitely better net staffing and a fully automated process to get there? The technology does exist. It’s called WorkFlex. It takes those plan disruptions and turns them into staffing benefits for contact centers. It makes the toughest part of contact center execution – the intraday – run much more smoothly than previously imaginable. This short WorkFlex overview video tells the story. So does this video about how WorkFlex makes your WFM system better.

Yep. Planning is everything in the contact center, but WorkFlex is everything when the best plans don’t execute as planned.

-Geoff Lynch

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