London, UK, December 21, 2017 - Things are looking up for WFM in contact centers if the bold statement by DMG Consulting is anything to go by.[i] President Donna Fluss says that "after more than 20 years of little innovation, the WFM vendors are waking up, and there are significant changes in this sector. Companies are taking notice of the enhancements and will invest if the new generation of WFM solutions lives up to the vendors' claims." DMG also expected the WFM market to grow by 8% in 2017 and 2018 and by 9% in 2019, 2020 and 2021, adding that the rate of growth could increase if the pace of innovation picks up.
Teleopti's own take on what's happening in the industry is equally as upbeat with technologies such as self-service, Webchat and Chatbots making giant strides. To help put everything in perspective, here is a review of our 2017 blogs covering the seven hottest topics of the year.
The magnificent seven
Changing priorities - making life easier for customers - today's customers are not prepared to wait. Studies reveal that 45% of consumers are likely to abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly.[ii] Winning contact centers are those that deliver quick fixes, instant results and exceptional customer satisfaction.
Mapping the customer and agent journey in parallel - the world of customer service has massively evolved in the last two decades. Gone are the days where a toll-free number was the only option for communicating with a company's customer-service representatives. To create an exceptional customer experience, organizations must provide optimal service across all touchpoints by constantly evolving the way they manage their agents.
Giving employees a voice - According to industry analysts Gartner,[iii] "The impact a motivated and engaged employee can have, not just on operational performance but also on the customer experience, should not be underestimated." Organizations need to transition from simply optimizing their contact center staff to truly motivating and engaging them. It's time to take Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) seriously.
Homeworking - there's firm proof that a work from anywhere' environment supported by WFM benefits customers, employees and the business. For example, organizations that use split or micro-shifts are likely to reduce labor costs by 15%-20%[iv] and companies that offer flexible working[v] are rewarded with a staggering improved employee retention rate of 30%.
Agent preferences vs. shift bidding - resource planners are under constant pressure to achieve the best balance between what agents want to work and the forecasted needs of their contact center. Traditionally, they relied on shift bidding - releasing the schedule of shifts on offer and asking agents to bid for the shifts they wanted[vi] - often time-consuming, inflexible and stressful for agents. Thanks to automation, the latest WFM functionality allows agents to enter their own preferences for shifts and days off, making it empowering for agents and time-saving for contact center leaders.
Time-off-without-pay (TOWP) - with so much talk about flexible working and the reality of squeezed budgets, it would be hard to ignore the often contentious areas of zero and reduced hours in contact centers. Learn to understand the psychology of work and then use WFM technology strategically to better control staff costs and provide a guaranteed, steady income for agents.
Customer experience in the next 5 years - global analyst firm Forrester[vii] claims that 72% of businesses name improving customer experience as their top priority. To win, contact center leaders should start by embracing the new service culture, creating a truly omnichannel environment, introducing self-service, automating routine tasks and humanizing the workplace to deliver best practices.
Are you ready for the challenges and opportunities waiting for you in 2018? Take time to study the past to create a successful future -view Teleopti's complete series of blogs and white papers that cover the industry's hottest topics by visiting www.teleopti.com
[iii] Magic Quadrant for Workforce Engagement Management, published 19th January 2017, ID: G00297271, analysts Jim Davies, Drew Kraus
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