Managing Workforce Engagement in a Hybrid Contact Center – IPI Consulting Lead Craig Farley explains
In the wake of the disruption caused by the pandemic, contact centers have had to evolve to meet new customer expectations and new ways of working. Their complex environments have become even more complex with the growth of cloud-centric business functions, an increase in digital applications and, most importantly, the prevalence of flexible and hybrid working.
According to the ONS, in the spring of 2022 38% of active adults in Britain said they had worked from home at some point in the past seven days, while Gartner discovered 89% of department heads predict that 30% to 80% of their workforce will still be working from home in two years. Additionally, a 2021 CCMA study found that more than three-quarters (79%) of UK-based contact center advisors would like a hybrid working model, with 59% of respondents saying they would like to split their time equally between the office and remote locations, or be primarily office-based with some remote work.
But with such a dispersed workforce, it’s critical that contact centers not only be able to meet agent expectations for flexible working, but also be able to maintain engagement, productivity and officer safety. The need for efficiency Labor mobilization (WFE) has never been more important.
Why WFE matters
Labor mobilization can be invaluable in enabling contact centers to meet the demands of a hybrid workforce. From using AI-powered forecasting and planning, automated quality and compliance management to real-time speech and text analytics, WFE is its own all-encompassing entity, from workforce management (WFM) to quality management and speech and text analytics.
With WFE, contact centers can ensure the right agents are scheduled to work on the right activities, at the right time; quality processes from rating to compliance can be automated and the quality of human interactions assessed across all digital and voice channels; and conversations on voice and text platforms can be analyzed with real-time analytics.
But why is all this important? For starters, contact centers can dramatically reduce costs by eliminating overstaffing and unnecessary overtime through more accurate forecasting and planning. They may also see lower attrition rates and increased employee engagement when flexible shifts and quality management are in place. Finally, customer experience (CX) can be improved across multiple channels by reducing response time, average handle time, and first call resolution when issues are resolved early on using problem analysis. interactions and more accurate agent planning. At a time when 78% of customers said they would buy products or services from a company again if they had a good customer experience, delivering on CX is key to improving the employee experience.
Tips for an Effective WFE in a Hybrid Environment
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that accurately predicting what will happen next can seem nearly impossible. Combined with the increased flexibility of hybrid working, as well as the rise of omnichannel customer demands, it can be difficult for contact centers to ensure they have the right staff working, at the right time, on the right channels – and to ensure they’re delivering top quality CX in a safe and secure environment.
WFE can help by bringing all of these elements together to ensure a streamlined, quality employee experience that improves the agent and customer journey. Here are some tips for getting the most out of WFE:
Implement WFM systems for more accurate planning and forecasting – part of WFE, WFM systems allow contact centers to lead the ship in planning and forecasting. They are an invaluable resource, especially with the AI-powered automated solutions that are available today. Use them to accurately predict which agents will be needed and when based on information about previous peaks and troughs and automatically update schedules in real time to reflect any changes in agent situations or day-to-day changes in customer behavior.
It’s also important to keep agents informed and equipped to allow them to update their own schedules and allow them to suggest changes based on their needs. By gathering and processing these requests without manual intervention, contact centers can not only ensure that their agents are satisfied, but that there will always be someone to interact with a customer.
Give supervisors more time for coaching and development with automated quality management – Managing performance and quality assurance in a hybrid environment isn’t easy, but staying in control is key to ensuring agents and customers are safe and have a great experience.
One way to do this is to automate end-to-end quality processes, from dashboards to training. Not only will this allow you to assess the quality of interactions across all channels, as well as automate the quality and compliance of bot interactions in self-service channels to reveal the most important interactions, but it will also allow managers to be freed from supervisory activities. focus on coaching and development. With more and more digital tools being introduced as contact centers become more digital and with ever-changing customer expectations, it is essential that agents have the skills to meet these demands. So why not leave quality management to the bots so agents can focus their attention where it matters?
Use interaction analytics to give agents the insights they need – it’s no secret that agents can deliver a better customer experience when they have the right information in front of them to help resolve a customer issue or answer their query. By implementing speech and text analytics, contact centers and agents can better understand what their customers are saying, where there might be issues in the customer journey that need to be mitigated, and how their experience can be improved.
There are now even AI-powered text and voice transcription tools that can automatically analyze conversations, helping uncover even more valuable insights to help agents deliver better CX, as well as solutions that provide “instant” advice to agents based on real–time, analysis of contextual interactions. Support your agents by giving them the tools they need to perform at their best.
Workforce Commitment to the Future
Hybrid working in contact centers is here to stay, so there’s never been a better time to prioritize workforce engagement. Make sure you meet agent and customer expectations by having the right people working at the right time, and make sure they have all the information they need to deliver the best CX, now and in the future. .
IPI is the UK’s leading digital contact center specialist, focused on creating intelligent and innovative contact center solutions that deliver exceptional customer experiences.
IPI understands that technology is only part of the solution to solving business challenges within the contact center. Its experts know the complexities of people, technology, processes and customer demands and understand the realities of running a contact center, as well as the practicalities of realizing the full potential of advanced software.
By examining the challenges and business drivers of the contact center, today and in the future, IPI ensures its clients get the most out of their contact center technology by using it as an enabler to drive results. measurable and maximize the value of the investment. Fully focused on business results, IPI offers a comprehensive blend of contact center operational experience, combined with deep technology expertise. This enables its experts to align the most appropriate technology with its customers’ needs and ensure that people are equipped in the short and long term to deliver exceptional experiences.
Founded in 2001, IPI supports more than five million customer interactions and 65,000 agents every day. Based in Reading, UK, IPI also has offices in London and Manchester, as well as in the Philippines.
For more information about IPI See their company profile