2014 Tip of the Week Archive2018-05-09T13:42:24-05:00

You think you know how to staff for chat?

October 6 – Although voice is still king of the hill when it comes to customer communication, according to Forrester Research, voice is the slowest growing of all the other channels including chat, email, FAQ, and online forums.  These alternate channels are clearly becoming an increasingly large consideration for WFO managers, yet we really don’t […]

Managing time off requests for weather-driven work areas.

September 29 – Do you have a work area that is impacted substantially when adverse weather occurs?  If so, you might consider limiting the approval of time-off in advance and then allow more people off closer to the actual date after checking the weather forecast. Instead of granting everyone time off ahead of the date, […]

Try fun activities to keep workforce management concepts interesting.

September 22 – We have conducted a variety of “fun” activities to try to keep workforce management concepts interesting. We have done the tennis ball activity where the tennis ball represents a call and half the agents are customers while the other half are agents. This allowed us to demonstrate many concepts such as occupancy, […]

Don’t make your agents “Play Battleship” to change their schedule.

  September 15 –  Do you remember playing the game Battleship where one player places their ships on a grid and the other player tries to guess where the ships are located based on “X-Y” coordinates? It usually takes a number of guesses until you get “a hit.” The agent schedule change process can be […]

Use actual, not planned shrinkage numbers.

September 8 – Planning in advance for off-phone activities and staff absences can really assist in determining proper staffing levels. Planned off-phone activities and absences, also known as planned shrinkage, can range anywhere from 25% to 55%. It is important to adequately plan for these activities. If not, your center will be understaffed and fail […]

Heal those growing pains when changing WFM software.

September 1 – American Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross first developed her “five stages of grief” model based on her observations of people suffering from terminal illness.  She later expanded her theory to apply to any form of catastrophic personal loss, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, major rejection, etc.  […]

There’s more than one way to make a positive impact.

August 25 – Sometimes we think of workforce management in a very narrow sense. If you forecast accurately, staff efficiently, and track/report on historical data, your job is done. Yet there are so many other ways you can make a positive impact on your contact center’s performance! What are the drivers of your workload? There […]

7 Habits of Highly Effective Workforce Management Managers.

August 18 – Workforce management professionals need to maximize their efficiency, work well with a team, and strategize for the future. This can be a tall order – but (borrowing from Stephen Covey) there are seven habits that all highly effective workforce managers cultivate:   Be proactive:  Always look ahead to what is happening in […]

Hire “puzzle people” in your workforce management department.

August 11 – Hiring talented people into the workforce management group (WFM) is always a challenge.  You want both analytical and interpersonal skills, and ideally some previous experience with the software programs you use.  Over the years, I have tried a variety of different approaches in the hiring and selection process, one of which is […]

Survey your agents to see what they REALLY think.

August 4 – It is easy to assume that we know what schedule preferences our agents will like the best.    We found out that maybe it isn’t so easy.  Our team conducted a survey of all our agents to get their feedback on a variety of staffing issues and got some great information. Our biggest […]

Check daily for abnormal data.

July 28 – When using historical data as the basis of forecasting, it is essential to check each day’s data prior to storing it in the WFM system’s database.  If there are any abnormalities in the data, you must make a decision about whether the data can be adjusted or whether it should be discarded. […]

Ensure your workforce strategy matches your company direction.

July 21 – In today’s environment, a company’s business strategy is swiftly shifting.  Having a workforce strategy that matches the company’s direction and pace can be critical.  As the growth of customers increase, decisions need to be made on where and when to grow.  This could involve increase in staff to support the call center […]