The Definitive Guide
Workforce Optimization (WFO)
The Definitive Guide to Workforce Optimization (WFO)
The Definitive Guide to Workforce Optimization (WFO)
In our previous article on Customer Experience (CX), we discussed the very real future of competition: That organizations are increasingly differentiating themselves, not by their product, but by the experience they provide their customers. From sales calls to packaging, from customer service to technical support, the Customer’s Experience must be as seamless as any engagement with their favorite technology.
Total satisfaction from end to end.
Ultimately, CX is directly influenced by employee engagement. And according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace, only 33% of employees are fully engaged at work. That’s a tremendous amount of waste.
What if companies could turn this around?
- Leverage the ease of CX and Contact Center technology throughout their organization.
- Decrease repetitive work through automation.
- Provide tools that help employees do their best work in the moment.
- Provide managers with better, more actionable oversight.
- Provide senior-level management with data and insight into the actual everyday experience of their Workforce.
This turn-around is possible through Workforce Optimization (WFO), which combines business strategy with technology to improve employee performance. Workforce optimization is not a single plug-and-play application. On the contrary—it is a carefully crafted suite of software solutions coupled with organizational processes to eliminate the barrier between the C-Suite and those who do the day-to-day work of business.
Now, senior-level management can easily:
- Monitor employee work.
- Track progress.
- Collect better data than ever-before.
- Automate processes.
- Analyze and solve problems.
- Create a continuous cycle of improvement.
Engaging in Workforce Optimization (WFO) is vital to the growth—and continued health—of every enterprise-level organization.
What Is WFO?
What Is WFO?
Workforce Optimization (WFO) is a term that represents a broad range of business processes plus integrated workforce optimization software solutions which focus on increasing employee efficiency and Workforce Engagement (WFE).
First, Workforce Optimization companies set employees up for success by providing needed information through a user-friendly dashboard—often predictively. It allows them to interact with the customer more effectively across a variety of channels. It also automates many parts of the employee-employer relationship — saving time and improving communication.
WFO also helps managers to manage better, offering them tools to monitor, analyze, and improve employee performance. The associated apps and databases can be stored and accessed via Cloud, on-premises, or hybrid solutions. All of the tools integrate into common-sense dashboards that maintain ease-of-use across desktop and mobile devices.
Workforce optimization company tools were initially developed as Contact Center solutions. (More on Contact Center strategy here.) Today, they extend functionality throughout various organizational business units, including:
- Customer Service
- Technical Support
- Human Resources
- QM (quality management)
- …and more.
When fully implemented, WFO systems:
- Reduce costs.
- Increase productivity and efficiency.
- Maximize the use of technological investments.
- Improve Customer Satisfaction (CS) scores.
- Automate more processes, cutting down on human error.
- Eliminate organizational silos.
- Provide insight into every aspect of a business.
The Evolution of WFO
The Evolution of WFO – Workforce Optimization
Workforce Optimization is an overarching topic that represents a subset of technology solutions that work together to enable a world-class customer experience. To that end, WFO is not static. Rather, it evolves as technologies and business processes change and grow.
Today’s Workforce Optimization has three segments:
- Fundamental Solutions
- Advanced Solutions
- NextGen Solutions
Fundamental WFO Solutions
Fundamental WFO Solutions
Most workforce optimization companies have already incorporated these “Fundamental Workforce optimization consulting Solutions” throughout their Call Center. These tools have laid the groundwork for quality, responsive customer service.
Often, businesses employ call recording to bolster dispute resolution, offer feedback and training opportunities, ensure quality interactions, enhance compliance, and more.
Quality Monitoring (QM)
QM is a software solution used to evaluate agent efficacy across the Contact Center’s Omnichannel touchpoints:
- Social Media
- Web Chat
Generally, as part of Workforce Optimization, a QM solution will include advanced statistical reporting, peer and self-evaluation options, and automatic feedback. It will also help managers to coach employees on the fly, whether it be during difficult interactions or teachable moments.
Workforce Management (WFM)
WFM tools forecast labor requirements, then create and manage staff schedules accordingly. WFM tools:
- Predictively bolster staff during peak or seasonal surges.
- Allow managers to match employee skill sets with forecasted needs.
- Route calls to the best possible Call Center employee based on that employee’s profile, capacity, and availability.
The employee dashboard, usable on both on desktop and mobile devices, allow team members to view their schedule, communicate schedule conflicts, swap shifts, and clock in and out.
Advanced WFO Solutions
ADVANCED WORKFORCE OPTIMIZATION SOLUTIONS
Organizations who have committed to deliver a world-class customer experience are adopting Advanced workforce optimization software. These organizations align their strategic goals and KPIs to stated customer service objectives and back all of it up with prioritized critical resources: people, time, and budget.
Employee performance will never rise above the ability to access relevant information. When an employee picks up the phone, enters a meeting, or just sits at a desk to work, all of the data they need to get their work done should be available to them.
Knowledge Management (KM) tools allow companies to create, share, and disseminate relevant internal information through user-friendly interfaces.
KM resources improve Workforce Engagement (WFE) by providing:
- Training or eLearning platforms.
- Document sharing.
- Content management.
- Portals or intranets.
- Workflow systems.
- Telepresence solutions.
Desktop Process Analytics
Employees—and managers—hate the question, “What is it you do all day?” Because some tasks are ambiguous, and because distractions abound, how do you get real insight into the lived experience of your employees? Then, how do you apply that insight?
The answer: Desktop Process Analytics. From an easy-to-use dashboard, measure application use rates, observe how often activities are performed, and evaluate how long specific processes take. Leverage that information to increase efficiency, performance, and planning.
Speech analytics build on call recording solutions, analyzing recorded calls to identify and detect:
- Specific words or phrases.
- Audio patterns.
- Stress in a speaker’s voice.
The gathered data will highlight areas that need improvement for call center agents.
As mentioned before, many of the tools and applications for workforce optimization originate in the Contact Center. However, organizations are now able to leverage these solutions throughout their back-office departments.
Workforce Optimization Back Office solutions provide:
- Visibility into company-wide performance metrics.
- Advanced analytics.
- Capacity management insight.
- Process automation.
- Gamification (apps that allow workers the ability to achieve “scores” based on certain metrics.)
NextGen WFO Solutions
NextGen WFO Solutions
The promise of the future has always been to use technology to reduce human error while automating tasks that shouldn’t need human input. When it comes to Workforce Optimization, these emerging solutions pack the power and promise of a new realm of customer experience.
Virtual Assistants (VA)
Now more than ever, there are opportunities for customers and other users to get what they need without speaking to a human.
These interactions can also inform the work of Contact Center associates downstream, providing them with targeted information and setting them up for a successful call.
VAs provide an automated, AI-powered platform to engage customers through multiple virtual channels such as web, mobile, and social media.
VAs supply information, answer questions, give support, and collect user analytics—all while automating customer interactions and reducing agent workloads.
Robotics & Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a tool that uses machine learning or AI to automate specific repetitive or rule-based actions. A few examples of RPA include extracting data, updating contact records, and processing transactions.
Because these tools can observe and learn, users can demonstrate a particular action to an RPA application. Then, RPA will replicate and automate the task, removing human error and saving precious employee time.
Are You Doing All You Can to Increase Workforce Optimization (WFO)?
Are You Doing All You Can to Increase
Workforce Optimization (WFO)?
Do You Want To?
Then it’s time to invest in a Workforce Optimization consulting plan.
You can start by reaching out to a VOX Transformational Guru.
VOX is a holistic technology enabling workforce optimization consulting firm. Our experts understand every part of enterprise business and operations, and can walk you through all stages of assessing, planning, and implementing a world-class Workforce Optimization (WFO) Strategy and solution-set.
WFO ASSESSMENT SERVICES
VOX helps you better understand how your Workforce Optimization solution is ahead or behind the curve in today’s marketplace. This in-depth engagement allows you to help validate your concerns and identify areas of improvement.
CONTACT CENTER ASSESSMENT SERVICES
The purpose of the VOX Contact Center Assessment program is to take an objective look at the people, process, and technology in your contact center. Your contact center personnel touch one contact center a year yours—our consultants touch hundreds.
CONTACT CENTER AUDIT SERVICES
Contact Centers are dynamic and as such, technology standards and best practices often get lost in project workload. In many cases, multiple engineers or staff members are touching your systems. Along the way, and as standards drift, so do support and maintenance costs to run these platforms. VOX offers Audit Services to ensure your systems are optimized and running at peak performance.
Get to know…
Robust Customer Success Plan
Process, Tech & Risk Assessments
The VOX Performance Evaluations ensure your systems are optimized for peak performance. VOX will review entitlements, licenses and features to ensure you are maximizing your investment. We will gather business and reporting requirements and identify key performance indicators. In addition, we will review desired customer engagement expectations, workflows, staffing, feature usage and provide a gap analysis. We will then provide recommendations for features, applications, workflow, metrics and reporting.
Our Virtual advisors are experienced in best practices of contact center management. They will consult with your management team and provide valuable insight to help measure customer experience, assess KPI’s, create best practices for agent scorecards, provide calibration options for quality evaluations, measure staff performance, improve efficiencies and assess changes to policies and procedures. In addition, they can augment your team while on special projects for vacation, teach and mentor on best practices and provide technology recommendations.
It’s our proven methodology to help companies improve their business operations and capture new financial upsides as part of the outcome. With vPOP, we take a deep dive into how your organization operates by identifying and addressing critical areas for cost gains and efficiencies. VOX will show you how to optimize your operational processes, technologies and people all while yielding substantial returns for your bottom line.