Modern workforce management (WFM) solutions allow contact center managers to integrate Web-based scheduling and resource planning, enabling real-time connections with team leaders and Communicators. This sort of visibility into contact center operations helps managers make every second count as business requirements change.

WFM tools also facilitate certain work-life balance options, such as working from home. Empowering remote Communicators is one way that today’s contact centers are creating workforces that can more easily scale up and down as business fluctuates.

The latest Web-based tools, previously sold as add-on modules, are now being included as part of WFM packages. They are designed to perform on a range of browsers, encouraging collaboration and promoting transparency among managers and Communicators.

Let’s look at the ways these new WFM solutions are benefitting contact centers:

Agility: Operationally, the latest Web-based resource planning and scheduling tools put team leaders and resource planners in control of their contact centers at all times, even across time zones. They can modify team schedules on the fly to accommodate seasonal peaks and valleys—or daily unforeseen shifts in traffic volume. Managers have the ability to compare actual Communicator status against schedules and contracted hours to make better-informed decisions to improve workflow.

Skills-based routing: Using the powerful search functionality embedded in Web-based solutions, team leaders can group Communicators by various criteria, e.g., location or expertise. This allows someone like a resource planner to search cross-company for Communicators with a specific skill, such as the ability to translate Spanish to English. Features include the option to group by multiple criteria, such as performance rating, which allows managers to resolve issues or make improvements more quickly.

Collaboration: The entire operations team gains clear and accurate visibility into Communicator activity at all times. Advanced search, sort and editing functionality enables team leaders to alter shift times and allow substitutions when Communicators request a swap. Daily workforce activities and requests can be managed with quick clicks in a single, integrated platform.

Performance improvements: Web-based WFM tools support development of a winning front-line workforce. Managers can track schedule adherence, and monitor individual and team performance, which allows them to easily identify training gaps and set up relevant coaching sessions. All this can be done from the desktop in real time.

Contact centers still relying on paper-based manual processes, or even using non-integrated WFM modules, for forecasting and scheduling are missing an opportunity to excel in customer service delivery. Both over- and under-staffing costs money: overpayment for idle Communicators, and missed revenue opportunities and customer dissatisfaction, respectively.

For contact centers that mean to look after their customers’ needs at the highest level, centralized resource planning and visibility into workforce activities is the new ideal. With a Web-based workforce management solution, it’s easy to keep tabs on staff and keep Communicators engaged and happy by reducing inefficiencies.