Does WFM Empower Your Contact Centre?


Customer expectations are on the rise, and customer service is evolving to meet them. Call centres are at the front lines, tackling queries around the clock. Support agents are faced with an increasingly demanding environment. How do you keep your teams agile, motivated, and efficient? With call centre workforce management (WFM).

Nevertheless, even with a solid WFM strategy in place, the challenges can be multifaceted. With employee attrition in care and support roles soaring to 87.6%, call centre workforce managers must navigate choppy waters — high agent burnout rates and health-related concerns are just two of them. On the flip side, about 49% of call centres now prioritize employee satisfaction as a top key performance indicator (KPI).

Call centre workforce management serves as a strategic compass in this scenario. It empowers call centres to manage their workforce efficiently. Effective workforce management in call centres also fosters a supportive environment. This increases agent happiness and productivity, which is instrumental in improving customer service.


What Is Call Centre Workforce Management?

Workforce management in a call centre is an integrated set of procedures optimizing agent performance. It also helps enhance operational efficiency and customer service. The workforce management process aims at:

+ Ensuring a skilled workforce is available to cover support operation hours
+ Distributing workload efficiently among agents
+ Maintaining a productive, motivated workforce
+ Providing excellent customer service at minimum costs

The Benefits of Good Call Centre Workforce Management

Effective workforce management in a call centre brings multiple advantages.

Accelerated handling of customer queries and issues: Quick response times are crucial for customer satisfaction. WFM ensures prompt service through efficient staffing during peak hours.

Enhanced employee well-being: With 40% of agents experiencing job burnout, effective WFM is critical in balancing workloads. Mixing experienced and less experienced agents promotes on-the-job support and boosts productivity.

Data-driven strategies: Efficient agent scheduling backed by historical data aids in smart strategy development. It prevents wasteful overstaffing and helps meet key performance indicators.

Increased agent satisfaction: Offering growth opportunities, such as regular training and constructive feedback, fosters agent satisfaction. This translates directly into improved productivity for 78% of call centre employees.

Increased return on investment (ROI): WFM helps predict optimum agent numbers and resource requirements, ensuring cost-effectiveness. Efficient operations mean fewer overheads, leading to improved profit margins.

Achieving targets: WFM aids in achieving service level targets by optimally deploying resources. It also readies call centres for unplanned events like overtime and holiday call surges.

The Challenges of Call Centre Workforce Management

Managing a call centre workforce is taxing. It has to cater to the persistent demands for quick customer support. It also has to handle the intricate dynamics between managers and agents. Several challenges come to the forefront.

Hard-to-forecast workload demands: Call centre managers often face unexpected workload surges, which are largely driven by external factors beyond their control.

Around-the-clock operational requirements: The need to serve customers necessitates shifts, rotation, and constant vigilance to ensure seamless service delivery.

Using manual spreadsheets: Depending on traditional, manual spreadsheets to handle administrative tasks like shift scheduling can lead to errors, oversights, and inefficiencies.

Excessive absenteeism: Unexpected absences and disengagement disrupt the workflow and place an additional burden on present agents.

Staff attrition: Call centre agents face increased levels of stress on the job. Recruitment and training become ongoing processes, straining resources and impairing performance.

Ensuring agents adhere to their shifts and breaks: It’s an ongoing challenge to keep track of when agents clock in and out.

Financial restrictions: Limited budgets can impede the procurement of necessary resources and tools and hamper workforce expansion.

Communication gaps with upper management: A disconnect between agents and managers can create a perception gap. This can make agents feel isolated and undervalued.

Balancing customer expectations: Handling a wide array of questions and issues from customers requires effective, skill-based task distribution. WFM must ensure customers receive prompt and accurate service while managing limited resources.

Adapting to technological changes: The continuous evolution of technology requires agents and management to stay updated.

Call Centre Workforce Management Is An Art

Balancing the satisfaction of both agents and customers requires strategic finesse and emotional intelligence. Happy agents are more likely to deliver exceptional service, which leads to happier customers.

Managers must prioritize their agents’ well-being alongside customer satisfaction. They should employ flexible scheduling to reduce burnout, facilitate training programs, and offer occasional rewards for a job well done.