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Workforce management (WFM)

Workforce management (WFM) is a call center staffing model built using a set of processes to ensure that only the right number of agents with desired skill sets are hired at the right time. 
Glossary >S - Z

What is workforce management for call centers?

Workforce management (WFM) is a call center staffing model built using a set of processes to ensure that only the right number of agents with desired skill sets are hired at the right time. WFM success factors constitute optimizing team structure without threatening revenue opportunity, increasing employee discord, or creating customer dissatisfaction.

How to build a good workforce management system

1. Forecasting volumes

Managers analyze historical data, contact patterns, and events or holidays to predict customer call volumes, or call arrival rates, during this time period.

2. Scheduling staff

Based on forecasted contact volumes, a detailed schedule is created to determine the call center staffing needs to determine important campaigns.

3. Intraday flexibility

For smooth running daily operations, a number of factors can cause unexpected spikes in call volumes. A good workforce management system must always have Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to tackle such scenarios. It involved using workforce management softwares that help determine staffing needs, customer satisfaction and effect on revenues.

4. Business continuity

Also known as Disaster Recovery Planning, this aspect of workforce management involves preparedness in extreme scenarios like power outages, worker strikes, and natural calamities.

Why do contact centers need workforce management?

Now that you know what workforce management in a call center is, it’s important to know why it’s needed:

1. Achieving cost effectiveness: Workforce management helps in determining the optimum number of agents needed to balance call volumes, resulting in saving on hiring and salary costs.

2. Predicting resource requirement: Forecasting using workforce management allows call centers to predict not only call volumes, but also the requirements of other resources.

3. Meeting service level targets: Service level targets are meant to measure and optimize a contact center’s efficiency. With workforce management you can achieve this faster via optimal deployment of agents and resources. It also prepares contact centers for events like unplanned overtime, staff vacations, and call surges during holiday seasons.

4. Improving customer satisfaction: Proper workforce management ensures that enough agents are present to receive high call volumes. This translates into less waiting time for customers.