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How to Use Workforce Management in Contact Centers

Discover effective strategies for optimizing contact center performance with workforce management. Streamline operations and enhance customer satisfaction.

Behind every successful contact center operation stands the people enabling this success – individuals who are motivated, rewarded, engaged, trained, and managed exceptionally.  

It’s therefore self-evident that effective contact center workforce management is crucial for optimizing the performance of contact centers. But how is this achieved? 

This guide will provide you with a clear understanding of what contact center workforce management is, why it’s important in the context of a contact center, and offer practical insights on how to implement these strategies to improve your organization’s efficiency and effectiveness. 

What is Workforce Management? 

Contact center workforce management is the systematic process of optimizing employees’ productivity by engaging in activities such as forecasting demand, scheduling teams efficiently, managing daily performance, and planning for future needs.  

It involves tools and methodologies that enable managers to align the workforce with the demands of the business, ensuring customer queries are handled efficiently and effectively. 

Why Contact Center Workforce Management is Important 

Contact center workforce management is essential for several reasons: 

Operational Efficiency
Effective contact center workforce management ensures that available workforce levels are closely matched to customer demand. According to a study by Salesforce, using data to predict customer demand and adjust staffing reduces downtime and inefficiencies. This alignment between workforce and workload helps maintain consistent service levels even during peak times or unexpected events. 

Customer Satisfaction
Implementing skills-based routing and upskilling existing agents can significantly improve the customer experience. According to research, this technique not only increases customer satisfaction rates but can also boost first-contact resolution rates. For example, centers that match calls to agents based on specific skills see a reduction in customer wait times and an increase in satisfaction levels, often improving first-contact resolution rates by up to 70%. 

Cost Management
By optimizing the number of agents on duty, contact center workforce management can significantly reduce operational costs. Studies show that the use of contact center workforce management tools can improve schedule adherence by 5% to 15%, directly reducing unnecessary overtime and associated costs. 

By utilizing these strategies, contact centers enhance their operational effectiveness while also providing superior customer experiences, all while managing costs effectively.  

Essential Features of Workforce Management in Contact Centers

In modern contact centers, contact center workforce management technology plays a crucial role in enhancing both agent performance and customer satisfaction. Here are some essential features of workforce management systems that are particularly effective in contact centers: 

  1. Guided Performance Improvement: Advanced contact center workforce management solutions provide tools that leverage performance data to offer continuous, personalized feedback to agents. This can include gamified KPIs that encourage agents to meet daily targets through engaging and competitive formats. The integration of performance data with gamification helps maintain high levels of agent engagement and motivation. 
  2. Comprehensive Recognition Tools: Recognition is key to boosting agent morale and productivity. Modern contact center workforce management systems include a full suite of recognition tools that may feature peer and manager recognition, badges for achieving milestones, and points for activities like social knowledge sharing. These tools help create a positive work culture and increase overall job satisfaction among agents. 
  3. Advanced Gamification: Gamification strategies are increasingly important in contact centers. They can transform mundane daily tasks into engaging challenges that agents are eager to overcome. Features might include dynamic leaderboards, point systems for redeemable rewards, and team competitions, which help drive performance and accountability. 
  4. Rapid Content Deployment: The ability to quickly create and update training content is crucial for keeping agents informed and adept at handling emerging customer needs. This might include easy content authoring tools for crafting learning missions, quizzes, and simulations that ensure agents’ ongoing proficiency and adaptability. 
  5. Augmented Coaching and Feedback: Continuous, AI-powered coaching and feedback systems help cultivate strong relationships between agents and managers. These systems can provide real-time guidance and support, facilitating constant improvement and ensuring that no agent falls behind in performance. 
  6. Efficient Onboarding and Upskilling: Accelerating the time to proficiency is critical in fast-paced contact center environments. Effective contact center workforce management systems support rapid onboarding processes and provide continuous upskilling opportunities to help agents quickly become effective and reduce time-to-competence. 

3 Benefits of Workforce Management for Contact Centers 

There are several key benefits of contact center workforce management, but three that are very important to highlight: 

  1. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: By optimizing agent schedules and skills matching, contact center workforce management helps improve critical metrics like first-contact resolution rates. 
  2. Increased Operational Efficiency: Contact center workforce management systems automate many routine tasks, which can lead to significant time savings. For example, AI integration in contact center workforce management has been shown to help agents handle calls up to 20% faster. 
  3. Decreased Employee Attrition: Contact center workforce management contributes to a better work environment by ensuring fair and equitable work distribution among agents. Happier, more engaged employees are less likely to leave, reducing turnover rates. Centrical, for example, has demonstrated an average of 8% reduction in attrition among its clients, showcasing how effective management practices contribute to retaining talent. 

These benefits underscore the value of implementing robust workforce management solutions in contact centers, driving improvements across key performance indicators and enhancing both customer and employee satisfaction. 

How to Choose a Contact Center Workforce Management Solution 

Choosing the right contact center workforce management solution involves several steps. For each step, we’ve included specific action items and a practical tip: 

  1. Identify Your Needs
    – Assessment: Begin by evaluating your current contact center workforce management processes. Identify pain points, such as scheduling inefficiencies, high attrition rates, or poor adherence to schedules. 
    – Requirements Gathering: Consult with stakeholders, including agents, supervisors, and IT staff, to understand their needs and expectations from a contact center workforce management system.
    – Practical Tip: Create a list of must-have features versus nice-to-have features based on your specific pain points and operational goals.
  2. Consider Scalability
    – Future-Proofing: Ensure the solution can handle anticipated growth in terms of both call volume and agent count. For instance, if you plan to expand your operations globally, the contact center workforce management solution should support multiple time zones and languages.
    – Flexibility: Choose a system that can adapt to changing business strategies and customer service trends.
    – Practical Tip: Opt for cloud-based solutions known for easy scalability, such as those offered by Centrical. 
  3. Evaluate Features
    – Essential Features: Look for key functionalities like performance management, and training. 
    – Integration Capabilities: The solution should seamlessly integrate with your existing CRM, ERP, and other critical systems to ensure smooth operations.
    – Practical Tip: Request demonstrations to see how the system performs and how intuitive the user interface is. 
  4. Read Reviews and Case Studies
    – Customer Feedback: Check out reviews on platforms like G2 to get unbiased feedback from current users.
    – Success Stories: Look for case studies similar to your industry or operational size to understand the solution’s effectiveness in real-world scenarios.
    – Practical Tip: Pay attention to reviews about customer support and service reliability, as these are crucial for long-term satisfaction with the solution. 
  5. Check Vendor Support
    – Availability: The vendor should offer comprehensive support via multiple channels and have a good reputation for responsive customer service.
    – Training: Consider whether the vendor provides adequate training to ensure your team can effectively use the contact center workforce management system.
    – Practical Tip: Opt for vendors that offer ongoing support and training as part of their service.  

By following these steps and considering these practical tips, you can choose a contact center contact center workforce management solution that will take your contact center workforce management to new heights.  

Meet Centrical, the #1 Gamification Platform for Boosting Team Performance 

Centrical stands out as the must-have tool in contact center workforce management thanks to its holistic approach that addresses operational efficiency and focuses intensely on agent engagement and satisfaction.  

By integrating advanced gamification techniques with real-time performance data, Centrical helps contact centers transform their work environments. The platform encourages a culture of continuous improvement and healthy competition, driving agents to exceed their performance targets. This method has been proven to reduce call flow errors by 60% and decrease attrition by 8% as referenced previously – underlining the system’s effectiveness in enhancing both productivity and agent retention.  

Moreover, Centrical’s capabilities in guided performance improvement and personalized microlearning are crucial for contact centers aiming to enhance customer interactions and operational outcomes. The system’s ability to provide targeted feedback and actionable coaching based on real-time data allows managers to address performance issues promptly and efficiently. Centrical’s approach has been shown to optimize time to proficiency by 30%, speeding up the onboarding process, while also aligning agent goals with organizational objectives, creating a motivated workforce that is both proficient in their roles and aligned with the company’s broader goals.   


People make or break contact center performance and must be motivated and supported to do great work.  

Contact center workforce management is how to get the most from your people. This makes choosing the right contact center workforce management solution incredibly important for your business.  

Finding a platform that understands the “people” side of contact centers, while simultaneously offering the latest features and benefits, was always a challenge – until Centrical was launched.  

For over a decade, Centrical has been the platform of choice for leading organizations worldwide to lead their contact center workforce management efforts.  

Get a glimpse of the platform here, or set up your personalized demo today.   

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