In a typical service organization, 70-80% of the costs are human resources. Making sure that you have optimal staffing levels is perhaps the most important way to keep costs down while delivering consistently high quality service.
As any organization grows, the number of its employees rise, and the challenge of optimizing the workforce becomes greater and more urgent. Too many people on-hand is costly; too few, damages the customer experience. It is vital to get the level right, consistently.
When the amount of work is low, or the team is small, the inefficiencies may not have much impact on cost or service. However, as the volume increases and as the team increase in size, so do the problems.
It is not just a case of getting the right number of staff – there can be many variables to consider:
- What if there is sudden surge in sales of a particular product?
- How many more people would you need?
- What skills would they require?
If you cannot answer some basic, yet vital, questions about your operation, you will not be able to forecast and schedule accurately. Questions such as:
5 Considerations for accurately forecasting and scheduling:
- How many tasks are generated over a given period of time?
- How long do your employees take to do a particular task?
- How much backlogged work is there, is it increasing or decreasing?
- How much time do your employees spend working productively?
- How much time do your employees spend working on secondary tasks?
Your ability to answer these five questions will determine the accuracy of your forecasting, the precision of your scheduling and the effectiveness of your adherence monitoring.
Real-timeAgentViewAccurate Workforce Management (WFM) depends on a deep understanding of how your business operates in real time. You need detailed real-time data in order to create a truly effective Workforce Management system.
Salesforce.com ServiceCloud has no built-in WFM tools. As such, it cannot forecast future workloads accurately. Many companies develop ‘work-around’ solutions that take workload data stored in a spreadsheet or database and and manipulate it manually. This is not only an inefficient time-consuming endeavor, it is also highly inaccurate due to the lack of detailed data about agent activity over the course of the day.
What you need is a real-time system that:
- Keeps tabs on all the work that is generated
- Monitors which work items are handled
- Keeps track of all the actions of your employees.
Such a system can learn how your business truly operates and provides the ability to use the insight to forecast your future workload accurately for an efficient center that maintains a consistent level of service.
Noel Roberts serves as Aria Solutions’ Chief Technology Officer and VP of Marketing. He co-founded Aria with Robert Church in 1997. Prior to Aria, Noel founded Synapse, a software development company where he provided senior software development expertise in telecom peripheral equipment and computer telephony systems. At Aria, a big part of his role involves helping enterprise-size contact centers with full assessments, business, IT and CX strategy, roadmap development, and technology and vendor evaluation and selection. In his leisure time, Noel likes traveling and going to the rustic lake cabin with his family, reading about science and tech, and playing with new tech gadgets.
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