Workforce Management (WFM): Benefits, Best Practices, and the Importance of Customer Service Outsourcing Solutions

“As Commerce and eCommerce (i.e. eBay Sellers, Lazada Sellers, Shopee Sellers, Online e-Commerce Store Sellers, etcetera) businesses alike – regardless of the industry – are met with new product/service demands, there’s a grand need for companies to consider the various benefits that the utilization of workforce management (WFM) platforms provides in reference to maximizing on customer service representative (CSR) efficiency and effectiveness throughout the work-day; WFM provides an ease of management when it comes to efficiently scheduling the right CSRs to meet the flexible demands of customers at every hour of every day. While WFM can effectively help businesses in-house to forecast contact volumes by channel or via specific interactions, to save costs while staffing during each term, to produce schedules, and to analyze and report data that allows management to successfully deliver on its goals, our very own Callnovo Contact Center can actually simulate the process for them and likewise provide strong 24/7/365 customer service outsourcing solutions that guarantee that businesses do not have any lapse in service while meeting the high demands of their customers at a very efficient cost.”

Workforce Management (WFM): The Need to Meet Rising Customer Service Demands

As we have all recently entered into the year of 2021, it has now become more important than ever for businesses – e-Commerce or not – to start thinking about how to better meet the demands of their customers; as most global sales markets – such as China, the United States, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, etcetera – have been recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic due to more significant customer demand for products/services, it’s clear that customers are likewise looking for businesses and corporations to provide customer service that meets higher customer expectations and that provides a stronger quality of service. According to recent research, approximately 59% of worldwide consumers and growing – regardless of the market – now care more about the quality of their customer experiences when they decide what company to support or purchase from than they do on simply receiving the products/services that they have need for; furthermore – and more significant – is the fact that 38% of consumers feel the same as they did before the coronavirus pandemic with regards to the importance of customer service quality. In other words: customer experience is now practically dictating sales success.

WFM Software: Advantages and Best Practices

When it comes to providing a fuller customer service experience that not only successfully meets consumers’ commerce/eCommerce demands – but, that also entices customers to continue being loyal to their favorite brands, Workload Management software can provide many advantages to reaching that goal, building stronger customer acquisition and customer retention rates as customer service teams sufficiently meet the high demand of customers looking for pre-sales and post-sales support for product inquiries, service inquiries, shipping and handling issues, refunds or product returns/product exchanges, technical support, etcetera. As these benefits can effectively increment the quality of customers’ service experiences, effectively providing for companies a stronger competitive edge in the global sales market, let’s take a look at some of those benefits – as well as work-shift management best practices – below.

Advantages of WFM Software

Workforce Management platforms can improve customer experiences with some of the following advantages:

  • Efficient Scheduling and Forecasting Accuracy
    • Compared to the old means of scheduling employees via the re-keying and manipulation of spreadsheet data – which is time-consuming, extremely stressful, and can run the risk of errors – WFM software can actually:
      • help operations teams respond rapidly to seasonality and staffing fluctuations by allowing real-time shift forecasting and by enabling shift schedules to run more easily and frequently via automatic scheduling based on the manpower needed,
      • allow operations managers to reschedule employees without having to start from scratch,
      • empower operations to immediately improve service levels with on-the-fly adjustments – such as break optimizations, and – in addition to others –
      • provide built-in communications to employees if schedules change – which excel sheets cannot provide.
  • Effective Monitoring of Schedule Adherence
    • WFM software solutions can provide for operation managers the opportunity to monitor schedule adherence so that there is minimum-to-no negative impact on service levels; this effectually affords greater visibility to staffing with the ability to scale-down/scale-up to meet required staff demands.
      • Workload Management software:
        • presents an easily-accessible view of adherence data,
        • alerts operations supervisors regarding non-adherence via dashboard visual indicators, which allows supervisors to rapidly address issues, and
        • empowers customer service employees to self-manage themselves while monitoring their own adherence status.
  • Detailed Reporting for Operations Management
    • WFM platforms provide clear reporting that’s actionable to assist operations in the making of quick decisions with regards to business management; furthermore, key performance indicators (KPIs) and omnichannel communication (SMS messaging, phone calls, e-mail, live chat with/without conversational AI [artificial intelligence], social media, etcetera) metrics – such as customer satisfaction score (CSAT), chat-to-conversion rates, average handle time (AHT), service level (SVL), etcetera – can be monitored to ensure that day-to-day operations are vastly improved via accurate reports that can be generated as needed by the touch of a button or a click of the mouse – with the capability to also autorun those reports at preferred intervals.
      • WFM:
        • creates detailed dashboards without the help of information technology (IT – or InfoTech) experts,
        • reveals trends in volumes, staffing levels, and adherence with real-time visual reporting capabilities that allow operations and customer service agents alike to have easy access to data, and
        • empowers agents with self-service capabilities so that they can alter work schedules or take additional time off work for training/meeting purposes.

Best Practices to Maximize on WFM Benefits

For businesses to take complete advantage of Workforce Management platforms, here are some tips:

  • try to give equal shifts to every customer service representative – even when doing schedule changes,
  • take advantage of the ability to embed work and schedule rules into the system to easily facilitate auto-scheduling on a consistent basis,
  • communicate all work rules to every staff member so that all know what to expect,
  • allow agents to self-service themselves amongst their team members, allowing them access to that self-service module from the desktop or mobile app,
  • for better streaming of employee requests (whether it be unavailability or leave requests, for instance), let employees input requests directly into the system,
  • to allow more time for important business management matters, allow employees to swap shifts if needed within the system on their own, providing management assistance only when needed for those uncomfortable with the self-service module,
  • if schedule changes occur, notify affected agents as early as possible, utilizing the system to accomplish this, and
  • use the system to schedule and notify customer support of all team meetings or coaching sessions that are to be attended.

Callnovo Contact Center: A Viable Customer Service Outsourcing Solution for Workforce Management

For commerce and e-Commerce companies, WFM provides a strong opportunity to effectively better customer service employees’ quality of service so that consumers can have their customer service expectations met, augmenting the quality of their customer experiences and in-turn creating greater customer loyalty and a more stable long-term sales success; while the usage of this platform can sincerely meet these consumer demands, it’s also important for businesses that cannot provide 24/7/365 customer service to keep in mind that consumers are in need of service all the time. According to recent research regarding live chat alone, approximately 79% of all e-Commerce consumers and growing prefer live chat due to its provision of instant responses. In today’s world following this statistic alone, a strong consumer experience also involves the factor of meeting customer expectations where customers are at – in the moment that they need help.

As providing such all-around service in-house can be extremely costly, businesses that want to meet customer demands all the time should consider customer service outsourcing; our very own Callnovo Contact Center – an international leader in multilingual (35+ languages – such as: English, Malaysian, Spanish, Mandarin / Cantonese, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German, Turkish, Arabic, Portuguese – amongst others) and omnichannel localized customer service and tech support that has been providing for more than 1,000 businesses superb customer service and technical support for more than 16 years and in more than 40 industries – is a viable solution to meeting this challenge because we contract only the most qualified native-language-speaking customer service agents in order to assure businesses like yours that exceptional customer service can be provided at all times – without any language barriers; furthermore, we provide this native customer service within each required time zone at a very cost-efficient rate. In addition to providing effective full-coverage customer service, our operations teams can undertake certain aspects of workforce management – like the successful monitoring of KPI – through our very own advanced, state-of-the-art Global Omnichannel SaaS Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform.

In conclusion, as customer expectations increase and consumers place more of an emphasis on the quality of their overall customer service experiences, businesses have a grand opportunity to utilize Workforce Management platforms to ensure the provision of the best service possible, incrementing customer acquisition and customer retention rates for a more secure long-term sales success. While WFM provides many strong benefits, outsourced customer service solutions – like our very own call center, Callnovo Contact Center – can ensure that such exceptional service is provided at all times, helping businesses to maximize on their consumer reach and therefore rise above the competition in any and every sales market.

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