By: Lanette Thurman On: January 26, 2017 In: Contact Center Comments: 0

Every day I am truly privileged to collaborate with a great group of clients who diligently work to provide excellent service to their customers. As a team member in a contact center, you know it is not easy to provide outstanding care to customers. It’s hard work and it requires the right people using the right tools to get the job done…right.

Recently, I helped an organization implement a new product for their contact center. The tool was phenomenal and the agents and Workforce Management (WFM) team were well-trained. In no time, they were off and running – enjoying the different facets of the tool. Months passed and after a couple shifts in personnel, the management of the tool was bumped lower and lower on the priority list. At the end of the day, their investment was not being effectively used and was essentially going to waste.

This is an all-too-familiar scenario, isn’t it? How can you avoid a situation like this?

Here are 5 important steps to take before investing in new Workforce Management technology:  

1.  Identify an Owner

Yes, this is an obvious one, however it’s not uncommon to see technology go to waste. Whether it be new management or change in personnel, sometimes things fall through the crack. Agreeing on who the owner of the technology will be and outlining his/her responsibilities regarding the tool, will (in the long run) save the team a lot of time, money and headache.

2.  Research Staff Models 

There are several factors that come into play when talking about staff models. From the organization’s size and goals to the type of technology it is investing in, it’s critical to have a handle on the specific staffing needs.

When working with clients using a WFM Solution, these are my suggestions:

  • Agent to Supervisor 15-20:1
  • Agent to Real-time Analyst 75-100:1

If this is a topic you are wrestling with and would like to learn more, here are two articles I recommend checking out – Supervisor to Agent Model and WFM to Staff Model. I think you’ll find them helpful.

3.  Determine your KPIs

As call center supervisors and managers, we are constantly faced with the task of determining and adjusting our team’s KPIs. Some that come to mind are:

  • Off the phone activities
  • Average call time
  • Agent adherence to schedule
  • Agent attendance
  • Total calls handled

Evaluating new technology is a great opportunity for your staff, WFM and leadership team to assess and align your center’s KPIs. Will the new tool adequately track your team’s primary KPIs and help you achieve the results you desire?

4.  Set Long-term Forecasting Goals

So, you’re researching WFM tools for your contact center, but haven’t outlined the forecasting goals yet. Wait! Let’s ask ourselves two questions to unearth the type of product we actually need.

  • How much are you planning to grow your call center in the next 5 years?
  • What are your hiring trends going to be in order to staff your center?

There are many more questions to ask, however these two tend to swing the door wide open and spark important conversations about identifying goals with your team.

5.  Ask Yourself: Is this product the right fit for our contact center?

The tool may be the most impressive product you’ve ever seen, but the question still stands, is it right for your center?

Here are a few steps to take before making the plunge:

  • Step back – Yes, that’s right – step back first. Walking your team through the above four suggestions will help with this. Take time to evaluate your current system/process and map out how the new system will work.
  • Review several options – Yes, it’s time consuming but imperative to compare several viable products. Don’t settle!
  • Get the right people involved – Not just one or two people will be using the tool. Pull together several team members from all the departments who will be using the product. You may be surprised how invaluable their insights are.

I hope this was helpful. If you have any valuable lessons learned from adopting new technology in your contact center or have questions about this post, we’d love to hear from you. Please leave us your thoughts and questions in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!