Contact Center Analytics: Unveiling the Power of WFM with Strategies, Insights, and Impact -Part 4

What is Workforce Management (WFM) for Contact Centers?

Workforce management (WFM) for contact centers involves the strategic coordination and optimization of various resources, including personnel, technology, and processes, to ensure efficient and effective operations within a customer support environment. It’s a multifaceted approach aimed at maximizing productivity, enhancing customer service, and controlling costs.

This guide navigates through the WFM cycle, illuminating strategies to enhance numerous intricate processes within it. When augmented by intelligent systems, contact center leaders can unlock greater value, meet service level agreements (SLAs) more efficiently, and fine-tune staffing to elevate both employee satisfaction and customer experiences.

If you haven’t had the chance to explore Part 1 , Part 2 & Part 3 of our article, we encourage you to start there for essential insights before delving into this chapter

Role of WFM in a Contact Center?

The contemporary contact center landscape presents a tapestry of challenges. Leaders grapple with the delicate equilibrium of adaptable staffing, hybrid workplaces, diverse customer engagement channels, and ever-heightening service expectations, all amidst reduced personnel and increased turnover. In this complex scenario, a robust workforce management solution emerges as the cornerstone, streamlining intricacies to strengthen employee relations, elevate customer service, optimize HR management, and positively impact financial outcomes.

Running an effective contact center hinges on numbers, particularly those defining the productivity of the workforce entrusted with managing incoming customer interactions. This is precisely where a tailored workforce management solution for contact centers steps in.

How does WFM Work?

Workforce management orchestrates a series of processes specially crafted to attain and sustain operational efficiency. At its core, this practice seeks to harmonize the projected workload with the scheduled agent count, aiming for optimal utilization of labor hours without compromising revenue, employee satisfaction, or customer relations. Organizations that strike this delicate equilibrium stand to gain significantly, experiencing diminished operational costs, reduced turnover, and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Let’s delve into the multifaceted functions wielded by an effective WFM solution, illuminating the benefits and value it brings to contact centers.

Functions of WFM in Contact Centers

The fundamental elements of any contact center’s workforce management process encompass these vital tasks, which are likely familiar in some capacity:

  • Forecasting the volume of customer interactions.
  • Crafting optimized agent schedules based on forecasted data.
  • Assigning agents to schedules considering their preferences and business guidelines.
  • Overseeing intraday operations.

These functions form an interdependent cycle, each part relying on inputs from its precursor. This cycle remains in constant motion, susceptible to ongoing alterations. Additionally, numerous critical factors such as agent availability, optimization goals, hybrid workplaces, multi-channel customer support, and a plethora of external influences like social, environmental, and political dynamics have introduced complexity into the WFM cycle. Factors ranging from billing procedures to seasonal fluctuations impact the reliability and accuracy of crucial inputs.

Contact center leaders face an intricate puzzle. Given this complexity, manual integration into the cycle becomes impractical due to the scale and rapid pace of customer experience evolution. Leaders require an intelligent solution adept at comprehending and integrating each cycle component, understanding its function, and navigating its interactions with other elements.

Workforce Management Dashboard

As your operations expand and encompass diverse skill sets, a Workforce Management Dashboard becomes invaluable for maintaining control. This dashboard provides an up-to-the-minute overview of:

  • Forecasted Calls: This refers to the projected number of incoming calls expected within a specific timeframe. It’s determined based on historical call data, seasonal trends, marketing promotions, and other relevant factors. Accurate forecasting helps in staffing the right number of agents to handle expected call volumes efficiently.
  • Forecasted FTE (Full-Time Equivalents): This entails estimating the number of full-time employees required to handle the forecasted workload. It involves converting the expected workload (calls, tasks, etc.) into the equivalent number of full-time staff needed to manage that workload effectively.
  • Overall Production FTE: This denotes the total number of productive full-time employees scheduled to work within a given period. It includes both existing staff and new hires brought in to meet operational needs.
  • New Hires: The number of recently recruited employees integrated into the workforce to accommodate increased workload or fill staffing gaps.
  • Total Calls Received: This represents the actual count of incoming calls received during a specified period. This metric helps gauge the volume of calls and in essence the workload that needs to be addressed at Client level.
  • Actual Shrinkage: The difference between scheduled work hours and the actual hours worked due to various factors like absenteeism, vacations, breaks, or other unexpected events. This helps understand the hours agents are being unproductive and track some of the reasons for the same.
  • Schedule Shrinkage: The planned or scheduled time when employees are not available for handling customer interactions, such as breaks, meetings, or training sessions. Scheduling errors are tracked here which can be an input to future scheduling plans for better schedule drawing and lesser leakages.
  • Schedule Shrinkage %: The percentage of scheduled time that is unavailable for handling customer interactions due to planned activities. This helps understand the gap or error in scheduling of agents deployment for productive and non-productive works.
  • Schedule Shrinkage FTE: The full-time equivalent of scheduled shrinkage, calculated to understand the impact of unavailable hours on staffing needs.
  • Actual Shrinkage FTE: The full-time equivalent of actual shrinkage, indicating the impact of unforeseen events or absenteeism on staffing requirements.
  • Adherence: Refers to how well employees stick to their scheduled work hours. It measures the extent to which employees follow their planned schedules, reflecting their punctuality and commitment to assigned work hours.
FTE Forecasted vs Actual

This comparison highlights the variance between the forecasted number of full-time employees required and the actual number of employed, offering insights into accuracy and efficiency in staffing predictions.

Actual Shrinkage vs Scheduled Shrinkage vs FTE Difference

This comparison reveals the differences between planned and actual shrinkage, both in hours and FTEs, helping to identify discrepancies and the impact on operational efficiency. Agent deployments to the tasks need to match the volume of work for the best SLAs and CSATs.

Calls Volume by Weekday

This data showcases the variation in call volumes across different days of the week, aiding in scheduling and staffing decisions to ensure adequate coverage during peak periods.

Show Rate and % Adherence Trend

Show rate refers to the percentage of scheduled shifts that employees actually attend or ‘show up’ for work. The trend in adherence percentage showcases how consistently employees adhere to their schedules over time, providing insights into workforce reliability and management effectiveness.

In summary, the intricate interplay of forecasting, scheduling, shrinkage analysis, and adherence monitoring, supported by insightful data, forms the crux of effective workforce management in Contact centers. For contact center leaders striving for operational excellence and superior customer experiences, a robust WFM strategy serves as a powerful asset, propelling businesses towards success.

How Dataplatr can help ?

Dataplatr specializes in delivering cutting-edge solutions in the realm of Contact Center Analytics with a focus on leveraging the power of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) / Snowflake / AWS. Through our expertise, we provide comprehensive analytics solutions tailored to optimize contact center operations and enhance customer experiences. By harnessing the capabilities of Cloud, we offer a robust framework for implementing advanced analytics tools, allowing businesses to gain deep insights into call details, agent performance, and overall productivity.

Curious And Would Like To Hear More About This Article ?

Contact us at or Book time with me to organize a 100%-free, no-obligation call

Follow us on LinkedIn for more interesting updates!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *