For contact centres, management of workforce resources continue to be a major issue and resources are the largest cost. Workforce management encompasses a few other terms being used in the market.
- Workforce Optimisation
- Workforce Engagement Management
Workforce Optimisation (WFO) technology helps to drive agent and operational efficiency. The idea that happy employees make happy customers is not a new concept, but is gaining enterprise-level attention and traction. A new software category introduced by Gartner called Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) refers to a suite of products that helps companies manage and improve employee engagement.
The types of products that make their way into the WEM category will be supplemental to established set of products under the WFO umbrella. The difference simply being that WEM products will have their primary focus on employee engagement, while WFO products focus on overall quality and efficiency of operations.
This need to be operationally “well run” is still an important consideration and is at the heart of a WEM solution, but various key market shifts have occurred since the inception of WFO that now need to be factored in. Each of these factors requires much more emphasis to be placed on the employee.
Key areas of WEM functionality include:
- Recruitment and onboarding
- Evaluation and improvement
- Time management
- Assistance and task management
- Metrics and recognition
- The voice of the employee (VoE)
It is no surprise that the traditional leaders in this area are Verint and NICE. There are also a few contact centre specialist vendors such as Genesys and Interactive Intelligence (now combined as Genesys), but these are generally used only if already using their contact centre technology. However in addition to these companies there are a number of vendors that are worth considering. These include:
- Noble Systems
The challenge for New Zealand contact centre managers is whether they have the scale that warrants the investment in these tools. It is not just about cost, but more about having the resources available to implement what these tools are telling you. We would suggest a minimum of around 50 seats.
The next challenge is that few vendors are represented in New Zealand, either directly or through local partners. This may be less of an issue with Global Cloud solutions and support for many is available from Australia – but local training and assistance is still scarce.
While many organisations within the sector are still sceptical of the impact that WEM will have on them, it is being promoted by some of the most respected analyst groups in the business world including: Gartner, Forbes, Xerox, Gallup, AON Hewitt and Accenture.
Even if you cannot justify these software applications you should look to understand the principles and implement what you can. This can have a significant impact on customer experience for your organisation.