What is Workforce Management?

Workforce Management is the function of improving the productivity of your workforce by optimizing your key employee processes - including hiring, shift and schedule management, and succession planning.

Employees are the most important asset to an organization’s success, and getting the very best out of your employees at the individual and collective levels, requires attention to detail and concrete planning, both of which are critical to your Workforce Management strategy. 

So, what does workforce management help achieve?

The main objective of workforce management is to help companies hire the right number of resources and create the most ideal shift schedules to ensure the volume of work is completed in the most efficient way possible.

Why is workforce management important in customer service?

Contact centers are prime examples of the importance of workforce management. Not only is the demand for a higher quality of customer service growing across all industries, but emerging trends such as omnichannel engagement and personalization combined with a vast improvement in technology are also leaving customers wanting more. 

Workforce management helps teams predict their staffing and scheduling requirements against likely demand, all while enabling them to deliver high quality of service in real-time. By using workforce management strategies, you have a proven way of improving the performance of your team and the overall customer experience as a result.

Benefits of effective workforce management

Workload management

Burnout is a common problem for contact center agents. Having to support customers on multiple channels for an extended period of time can be highly stressful. Customer problems also vary in terms of difficulty and complexity, meaning not all agents can handle every type of ticket. 

Workforce management helps you divide and assign the workload to your workforce in a way that does not place too much responsibility on any single agent. It also ensures agents are only given tickets that match the level of their experience and the current skill set they possess. For example, only agents that are savvy with Social Media will be given access to respond to complaints that come through Facebook or Twitter.

Maintaining support continuity

Customers find it frustrating when support teams take too long to respond to a query or when they have to repeat themselves after having their issue reassigned. That's why your contact center should have an effective workforce and scheduling strategy to ensure agent availability round the clock.

It should also take into account the re-assignment of tickets to other teams or handovers between shifts. Workforce Management helps you decide and implement a cohesive continuity plan that takes into account ticket volume, shift timings and break management. You’ll be able to create a better and more well-rounded contact center schedule that ensures customers are not left unattended.

Improved productivity

At the end of the day, numbers paint an accurate picture of a customer service team's performance. Metrics such as FCR, Ticket volume, CSAT, and CES have significant meaning to how organizations should move forward with their customer service plans. To be consistent and productive, agents should be able to close a good number of tickets every day while receiving overall positive feedback from customers.

Using the right workforce management solutions, support teams can find the best path to being productive on a daily basis. Workforce management allows customer service teams to maximize the quality of time spent on customer issues while also getting through a high volume of tickets on a daily basis.

Three important aspects of Workforce Management

Workforce Management can be broadly divided into three categories. Each category has its own defined purpose that contributes to the overall strategy. By embracing these three aspects of WFM, companies will be able to raise the bar when it comes to customer service. 

Let’s look at the three tenets that make up Workforce Management:

Forecasting

Forecasting is an effective way to ensure support teams don’t fall behind customer demand. Determining how many agents are required for a particular period of time - whether that is monthly, quarterly or yearly - makes it easier to handle call and ticket volumes throughout the day. WFM tells you the best way to collect, analyze and predict resource requirements for contact centers by taking into account all possible factors such as ticket volume trends, current employee strength, etc.

Scheduling

Ticket volume usually varies throughout the day. Agent shifts and schedules have to be created around these variations so you have enough agents for peak times of support. WFM will help you understand and track the various aspects of scheduling, - including the number of agents, their respective skill sets, ticket volumes, and SLAs - to provide you with the best possible staffing schedule. Effective scheduling ensures customers are not left unattended or made to wait even during the busiest hours in a day.

Optimizing

Optimization is all about improving the productivity of your agents by focusing on performance management. A big part of workforce optimization is measuring and improving quality across the board. Both individuals and team-based metrics are tracked and then compared using industry standards as the baseline. Based on the results you’ll have a clear idea of the areas that need improvement. This also gives you direction on the hiring and training programs that need to be put in place to enable your team to perform better.

How Freshdesk can help with Workforce Management

Improve productivity with automation

With Freshdesk, you can automate certain workflows to help eliminate repetitive and manual tasks.

Assigning tickets to agents or groups can now be done using automation rules that you can set up and customize within the helpdesk. You can also make sure changes to ticket properties such as status or priority, happen automatically based on event-based triggers you create.

Optimize performance with reporting and analytics

Freshdesk can generate several useful reports to help you figure out the right number of agents you will need to hire. For example, load analysis helps you understand the totals and averages of received, resolved and unresolved tickets over a certain time frame in Freshdesk.

You will also be able to see which time of year receives the highest or lowest volumes of tickets so you forecast your hiring requirements accordingly.

Improve efficiency with Freshdesk

Balance workloads with Omni Channel routing

Using Freshdesk’s Omni Route feature, assigning tickets coming in from different channels like Chat, Email and Social Media will become a breeze.

It allows you to view all incoming channel tickets in one place and create a routing mechanism that distributes them based on agent workloads. This way, no agent will ever have too much to handle and they can be more effective in solving customer queries.

save replies to common questions with Freshdesk

Why You Should Choose Freshdesk

Quick setup and intuitive ticketing

You can get started on Freshdesk by simply filling out a sign-up form. Couple this with our user-friendly UI and you can start supporting customers right away with no training necessary.

Anywhere engagement 

Make your support available to customers across Email, Phone, Chat and Social Media. With Freshdesk’s omnichannel capability you can reply and resolve tickets coming in from any of these channels.

Self-service to reduce ticket volumes

Using Freshdesk, you can build a comprehensive knowledge base where customers can get quick answers from FAQs, help guides and other solution documents.

Powerful collaboration

With Freshdesk’s collaboration capabilities, internal teams will be able to instantly access complete context on customer issues and deliver quick responses to customers. 

Secure customer data 

Freshdesk is GRPR and HIPAA compliant and lets you host data in centers across the globe and offers IP whitelisting, custom email servers and SAML SSO.

Measure performance with analytics

Get valuable insights from your customers and your support team’s data with Fresdhesk’s analytics and reporting. 

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