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The Benefits of Workforce Optimization in the Call Center

Workforce Optimization, often referred to as WFO, is a powerful suite of products for managing the call and contact center workforce to deliver outstanding customer satisfaction while simultaneously lowering operating costs.

These core WFO applications
are generally considered to be:

Workforce Management (WFM) – which forecasts customer contact volumes and creates agent schedules to meet that need.

Quality Management (QM) – which evaluates agent performance against standards by scoring captured interactions and help agents to achieve their goals.

Interaction Analytics – which uses AI technology to analyze captured customer interactions to surface valuable insights.

Performance Management – which uses metrics and KPIs to monitor performance and provide timely feedback, so agents know how they are doing in real time.

In 2016 Gartner introduced a related concept called Workforce Engagement Management, also known as WEM. This also includes the core WFO applications with additional applications designed to increase agent engagement. WEM is growing in popularity, yet it is often used interchangeably with WFO. Since workforce optimization is a subset of workforce engagement management, we will continue to focus specifically on WFO for the rest of this article.

Workforce optimization delivers substantial benefits to the call center as a business, both strategically and operationally:

Strategic Benefits

  • Improve service quality and consistency by pinpointing where agents do well or need help.
  • Reduce customer effort by identifying operational processes or agent behaviors that cause excessive effort.
  • Eliminating repeat engagement by detecting when and why customers contact the center more than once to resolve issues.

Operational Benefits

  • Lower operating costs by identifying and eliminating unproductive agent behaviors.
  • Reduced process lag by discovering inefficient processes or ones that may be unnecessary.
  • Boost revenue by isolating instances where agent actions result in lost revenue opportunities.

In addition to these overall business benefits, there are specific benefits to agents and supervisors.

Benefits for Agents
Reduced stress – when staffing plans don’t align well with actual engagement volumes, staffing plans can be created to closely align with expected volumes, which can then monitor results during the day to ensure more accurate forecasted volumes. This results in smoother daily operations and lower stress levels.
Balanced performance evaluation – WFO also provides an effective evaluation method to select agent interactions and accurately reflect performance. This ensures that evaluators are uniform with their assessments and boosts agent confidence.

Increased engagement – key customer information is easily accessible for agents to have the capability to manage their workload, which allows them to feel more engaged and empowered with their work.

Benefits for Supervisors
Increased team visibility – supervisors can monitor team performance and facilitate communications to their team in real-time. This allows supervisors to be in constant touch with their team’s performance and reach out if help is needed.

Improved coaching effectiveness – building on increased team visibility, supervisors are given detailed insight into individual and team performance. This lets them understand exactly where individuals do well and need improvement, which improves the opportunity for more targeted, effective coaching.

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Cloud-Based Agility

Moving to the cloud will allow for faster, easier deployments, seamless upgrades, flexible scalability, and reduced capital expenditures associated with on-premises systems.


Connected Journeys

The contact center should support customer journeys across web chat and social messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and others.


Omnichannel Unification

Shoppers will be coming in from many different channels, so it will streamline the customer experience to route interactions using the same logic.

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Customer Context

Agents must begin the conversation right where the customer left off online. When the customer’s needs are transferred to an agent in real time, your brand is creating a seamless transition from web to contact center. Remove customer stress, unneeded customer repetition, wasted time, and deliver a world-class customer experience



Customer relationship management (CRM) system integration can improve the shopper experience by using CRM data to find the last person spoken to, use shopper purchase history to find the best expert, etc. In addition, once the connection occurs, your staff can access past interaction history and CRM information to understand the customer’s journey and deliver a more personalized experience.


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI can deliver next- best-action recommendations and assist in responses that will improve conversion rates, increase shopping cart value, and speed up responses.

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Real-Time Management

Supervisors should monitor messaging interactions in real time and assist if needed, even if they are not in the same location.


AI & PCI Compliance

Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) can automate payment processing across digital channels and reduce your compliance risk by collecting sensitive customer data without revealing it to a human agent. Make sure that the IVAs can easily integrate with your payment gateways.


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