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Are You Using Workforce Optimization in Your Contact Center

A good workforce optimization strategy offers greater agent productivity, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiencies for your contact center.

Your enterprise may be applying workforce optimization (WFO) to departments throughout your organization already, but are you using it in your contact center yet? Why not?

Customers rely on your contact center to provide the service they expect. As communication technology continues to improve at a rapid pace, they will expect even more. You need practices in place to optimize your contact center technology and customer experience. Implementing the right workforce optimization solutions can do that.

The Strategy Behind Workforce Optimization

In a nutshell, workforce optimization is a strategy for getting the most out of your employees by focusing on operational efficiency. It balances quality and workforce management, operational costs, agent performance, customer satisfaction, and other metrics to ensure optimal productivity and customer experience. Workforce optimization also relies on the right technology and practices, which is determined by your enterprise’s specific goals and priorities.

How Does Workforce Optimization Work Within a Contact Center?

Workforce optimization shouldn’t be a single element in your contact center strategy. Instead, it should be the glue that binds everything together. Good WFO uses technologies and processes that benefit customer interactions without hindering employee productivity.

A successful WFO strategy begins with your customer’s initial contact with your enterprise. This interaction should include an interactive voice response (IVR) system. With its clear prompts and menus, it’s designed to give customers the information they need without involving an agent. This saves employees time and your enterprise money.

For more complex interactions that require working with a live agent, your WFO strategy should use an automatic call distribution system. It ensures the customer is routed to the right person for their needs. Your ACD platform should be capable of making real-time decisions that quickly connect customers to agents. Providing the right technologies for your contact center allows you to maximize your human resources and provide the service your customers expect.

It’s important to remember that technology will never take the place of personal, human connection and communication. So be sure not to overlook the “human element” in your contact center. It’s by far the most important asset your enterprise has. Make sure your agents not only have the tools but also the training, skills, knowledge, and empathy needed to offer their best to your customers.

[Read: The Contact Center Made Collaborative EBook]

How Can WFO Benefit Your Enterprise and Contact Center?

Workforce optimization will look different for each enterprise and contact center since each one’s workforce, customer journey, and goals are different. However, many of the benefits are the same.

For one, a good WFO strategy can give your enterprise valuable information. Enterprises can put workforce optimization to use best when they understand the customer service experience they are providing. It can help identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Business intelligence and analytics tools play a key role in this discovery process. These tools collect customer data that can inform important decisions. For instance, branding, customer engagement, operational efficiency, and sales acceleration.

When analytics tools give you a clearer picture of your customer experience, you can make the necessary adjustments as well. For example, if you find that customers are struggling to get their needs met during certain peak hours, you can adjust employee schedules. You can add more agents to respond to customer communications during those times.

Other information you can glean from your WFO is agent performance and skills. Your contact center technology can monitor communications and reveal gaps in skill sets and training. With that knowledge, more training can be provided to enhance the customer experience.

Ultimately, all this information you’re gathering will improve your business strategies, automate processes, and keep your customers happy. When you know where contact center issues lie, you’re able to respond to meet the needs of your customers better and improve their experience.

The right WFO strategy optimizes your contact center. Your agents are more productive and overall operations more efficient. Customer satisfaction grows along with your enterprise’s profits.

Are You Ready?

If you haven’t created a WFO plan yet, it’s time to do so. Work with your contact center managers and a knowledgeable managed service provider (MSP) to discuss your needs and find a solution that will ensure your contact center offers its best. Your customers—and agents—will thank you!

Want to make your contact center even smarter? Download the Contact Center Made Cognitive eBook today.

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