Without the right tools, managing and paying a large number of workers on an hourly basis can be extremely difficult. Complex, high-turnover environments, such as call centers, are particularly vulnerable to complications, but workforce management (WFM) software can take care of the vast majority of organization, scheduling, monitoring, and optimizing the various moving parts of the center.
WFM Software Basics
WFM software can apply to a range of industries, but the call center industry practically invented it. The rapid growth of the industry over the last couple of decades created the need for alternatives to manual scheduling and management, and WFM software addresses these areas as well as the other challenges that call centers face. The main applications of WFM software include:
- Labor scheduling
- Time and attendance tracking
- Staff optimization
- Leave management
- Employee self-service
- Payroll functionality
- Activity and task management
- Compliance monitoring
As agents frequently come and go from call centers, WFM can keep the process organized and the learning curve low. Call centers also experience constant, 24-hour, workload demands determined by external customers, making it difficult to control the objectives and workloads of workers in the call center at any given time. With WFM software in place, new employees and administrators alike will be able to adapt more quickly to the company platform while providing more consistent levels of service to customers.
What to Look for in WFM Software
Overall, WFM software should be able to forecast workloads, manage service fluctuations, and optimize schedules to meet service-level goals. When looking for WFM software for call centers, keep an eye out for features such as:
- Friendly and modern user interface to increase agent and supervisor productivity
- Optimization of worker productivity by matching skills to where they are needed most
- Accurate forecasting for inbound and outbound messages across several channels
- Ability to handle both real-time and offline multimedia interactions
- Reducing manual processes through automatic tracking and workflows
- Mobile self-service scheduling to minimize administrative overhead
- Work-from-home features with quick and easy transition capabilities
- Rapid disaster recovery following outages or errors
Benefits for Call Centers
WFM software benefits all levels of a call center, from the newest employee to the highest-level supervisors and administrators. Agents enjoy a more structured work environment that supports their preferences and recognizes their strongest skills. Despite the rise of new software and other digital tools, agents remain the heart of call centers, and they will drive improvements across the board.
By optimizing staff satisfaction and performance, customers receive more accurate and consistent experiences with shorter wait times. Because these improvements in overall efficiency prevent resource waste and raise customer satisfaction, the call center also saves money while making room for growth.