5 reasons why WFO can create a better customer experience

5 reasons why WFO can create a better customer experience
     
In our last blog, we talked about the definition of workforce optimization (WFO) hyperlink the first blog here and how it can help shape the customer experience. In a nutshell, it’s the process of reducing inefficiencies by better managing operations. In today’s blog, we’re going to break down some of the details for you to give you a better understanding of the activities involved and the benefits gained with an effective WFO program.
     
WFO, as it pertains to a contact center workforce, actually manages activities like scheduling, training and performance. And although scheduling agents and training are a large part of the WFO experience, what really makes for an efficient WFO application is the integration of a number of applications within the program in order to get the most return on investment.
     
Aberdeen study

In a recent Aberdeen study, “Contact Center Workforce Optimization: Secrets to Unlock Agent Productivity & Performance,” it was reported that the number one reason organizations are investing WFO is to improve the customer experience. With first impressions being the most important, call centers in particular have been top candidates for WFO due to the fact that their agents are the face of the company. Putting emphasis on an efficient, well-trained staff means the difference between customer loyalty and lost revenue. Over half of study participants also said that improving customer interactions was their primary reason for choosing a WFO solution. Other reasons included:

• Improve agent productivity
  • Improve call volume forecasting
  • Lower operating costs
  • Improve brand loyalty
   
How it works
 
The tools in a WFO program are designed to give employees and managers information in order to improve workflow processes and overall quality. Automating manual processes, providing training in specific areas where need is identified, and providing the right reporting and analytics all result in improved operating efficiency, lower costs and greater customer satisfaction.
   
One masterful piece of workforce optimization is the tools made available for training, and the ways in which employees can take advantage of the training tools available. This could come in the form of videos, quizzes, tutorials and more. Management reporting and metrics help supervisors identify training need and enable them to issue modules to employees based on performance records and ratings. Reporting can also help supervisors drill down into call recordings and agent reports to more quickly and accurately identify need and evaluate best course of action.    

What makes this different from any other training situation? Training and support are personalized, and you don’t have to wait until a customer complaint is received in order to begin the process. A manager or employee can play back recorded calls and instantly receive feedback. The manager can also include process or policy notes and suggestions for improvement so the next time a similar situation arises, the employee will understand how to properly and swiftly handle the call.
   
What to look for in a WFO tool

1. Reliability. When issues arise, who will resolve them and how quickly? What type of technical support and user training is available? Be sure to get references (preferably an organization in the same business as yours, but not a requirement).
2. Security. Your provider should be able to offer a safe and secure option for company information and data.
3. Ease of Use. What training will be required and how much time should be invested? You’ll want a tool that is intuitive and can get you up and running quickly.
4. Updates/Upgrades. How often are updates pushed down? Will your solution provider include regular updates to keep your program current?
5. Customization. You’ll need a program that fits the way you do business. Is an option available if you need to customize some of the tools?
6. Total Cost of Ownership. When evaluating different WFO programs, evaluate the entire package (deployment, training, support, upgrades and more), and choose one that provides the best fit and value for your company.  

Informed Decisions

With the right tools you can enhance the customer experience by making improvements in areas such as training, analytics and reporting, internal communications and quality control which can be shared online, in real-time. Most organizations hear a term like workforce optimization and, well, it sounds like an expensive undertaking. But it doesn’t have to be. The key to choosing the right solution for your business is to consult with a solution provider who has experience in WFO applications, along with a solid, long-standing reputation. The goal of any WFO program is to provide a high return on your investment, so be sure to do your research when it comes to partners and program options. Company-wide participation is also important; involve key players in your organization to make the transition go smoothly.
     
For a better idea of what WFO can do for your organization, check out this great video from Avaya: http://bit.ly/2ctQqDs
   
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