Blog Post

It’s not just phone calls anymore!

SWPP held one of our recent quarterly surveys on multi-channel workforce management processes.  This has been a hot topic at many of our regional meetings around the country lately, and we wanted some data straight from our members.

Workforce management is being asked to expand their efforts beyond the call center and phone calls, and this survey showed that there are very few centers that are only being contacted via phone.  E-mails, outbound calls, regular mail, and faxes are being processed in more than half of the respondent organizations; however, these non-phone contacts are still not a large percentage compared to phone calls.  The percentage is increasing, though, as new contact channels are opened.

Over two-thirds of the respondents say that if service level is failing in one channel, that one channel is prioritized over another.  Almost half say that there is not a deliberate strategy to encourage customer usage of one channel over another.  Two-thirds also say that phone calls are the favored channel in their organizations.

Interestingly enough, over half say that the same agents answer phone calls as well as other non-phone contacts, which seems to be a return to “universal agents” which were popular in the past, but had lost favor in recent years.  But in a strict departure from this statistic, over three-quarters of the participants say call center agents do not respond to social media contacts.

Today’s workforce management software is adapting quickly to the new push to forecast and schedule non-phone contacts, but less than half of the participants are using workforce management software to forecast.  More than half are using this software to schedule agents for non-phone contacts, however.  And over three-quarters are not using additional software to help in the process.

Are you being asked to forecast and schedule for new channels in your center?

 

About the author

Vicki Herrell serves as Executive Director of the Society of Workforce Planning Professionals (SWPP) and oversees the strategic direction and the day-to-day operations of the association. With over fifteen years of experience in the call center and workforce management industry, she served for many years in the area of client relations and events management for the former TCS Management Group. Vicki is a popular industry speaker, serving as an industry expert on best practices in workforce management. She is the editor of SWPP’s On Target newsletter and the Workforce Management Expert Solutions book.

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