Bright Ideas

Back Office Support without a Back End System.

Does your WFM team support a business unit with back office functions, but there is no back end system? Thinking outside of the box is a must in order to successfully support and manage a business unit with back office functions effectively without a back end system. Here are some tips that work!

Learn the business

  • Research and understand the processes and work flows
  • Gain a comprehensive and sound knowledge of the systems used by the business unit
  • Understand what productivity and goals are in place and if applicable offer a time study to validate the accuracy of the goals
  • Trust your team members and openly solicit their input; brainstorm constantly
  • Listen to your business partners and earn their trust
  • Communicate!

Support Resources

  • Utilize Excel spreadsheets and an Access data-base to automate reporting

– This is our niche. Create reports that are specific and relate to the functionally of the business unit.

  • Offer clear business recommendations with supporting analysis
  • Deliver with accuracy, on time, what is offered
  • Be available.

Note: This tip provided by SWPP Member Ava Baxter of Citizens Property Insurance. She may be reached at

Are you using surveys to improve the service you provide?

Surveys can be great tools toward improving the service you offer your internal customers and/or identifying areas of opportunity within your organization.  They can be easily created on one of the numerous websites out there (such as many of which are free for basic use.  The results can be anonymous, making responses more prevalent and authentic.

Here are some ideas for surveys:

  • Survey your business partners about responsiveness, level of information, and interaction, as well as effectiveness of your WFM team.
  • Survey your workforce team about what tasks the team should START, STOP, or HAND OFF.
  • After rolling out a new process, survey key participants regarding the roll out and/or how the new process is going.
  • Survey agents about schedule types to incorporate feedback in your next bid.
  • Survey management about what your WFM team is doing well, and what they need to improve on.
  • Survey everyone to see if they understand the role of WFM in the call center.

Key tips about surveys:

Keep the survey short.  Limit to 10 questions or less for maximum participation.

Keep the survey easy.  Don’t have 10 complicated multi-part questions, or you won’t get good answers or good participation in your survey.

Keep the survey meaningful.  Ask questions that you can act upon and that will help you improve the performance of your WFM team.

Show you value the feedback provided. Go back out to the group surveyed with an action plan of what you are putting in place or changes you are making as a result of the survey.  This will help with future participation in surveys as well.

Have a large enough target base.  A survey to a group of three people is probably not going to be meaningful.  Make sure the target audience is large enough to provide meaningful, actionable results.

Choose a time of year that works best for everyone.  Don’t send out surveys during your busiest time of year if you can avoid it, but you should also not wait six months after rolling out a process to ask questions about it.  Send out surveys when you will get best response rates AND be able to act upon the results.

Note:  This tip provided by SWPP Board Member Sandra McFatridge of Caremark/CVS. She may be reached at