What is Call Center Workforce Management?

Workforce Management or WFM is a set of processes that optimize workplace efficiency on both an institutional and employee level. To operate a successful call center, organizations need to be mindful of the numbers. The most important numbers are those of the staff in place to handle incoming customer contacts.  And that is where workforce management (WFM) for call centers comes in. In simpler words, WFM is a set of processes designed to achieve and maintain operational efficiency. It ensures that the right number of agents, with the right skill sets, are staffed at the right time.

Ultimately, WFM creates the best possible fit between the required workload and the number of agents scheduled.  Call centers can integrate WFM solutions to cut costs and schedule the right employees at the time of requirement. Further, they will maximize their sales and improve the efficiency of the company. The step-by-step WFM processes include:

Step 1- Forecasting:

This method measures the volume of future inbound calls using historical data. It views past demands to analyze the speed and success of transactions. Then, it creates an accurate demand forecast for future work.

Step 2- Scheduling staff:

The data from the forecast determines the schedule of shifts and hours around the projected call forecast time. Planning staff according to call patterns and skill sets results in a boost in service levels, improves the first-call resolution, and increases staff retention.

Step 3- Assigning agents:

Companies should assign agents to shifts to meet the operational needs defined by the scheduling. Agents are not at their most useful or productive when overworked or stressed. Therefore, using shift assigning can be a beneficial tool that can help alleviate overworking agents. It takes into consideration agent performance, calls handling ability, tenure, and other factors to assign agents a specific schedule.

Step 4- Intraday management:

The last step in the WFM call center cycle is to ensure that the call center is properly staffed during the schedule period.  Therefore, organizations should prepare for unexpected situations. Further, it is important to re-forecast to ensure service levels are being met. Management should make sure the staffing levels meet the revised forecast. Further, they should make sure whether the agents are doing what they are scheduled to do during each time interval or not.

Checklist For Call Center Workforce Management Optimization

Workforce optimization (WFO) refers to integrating new processes and technologies into the call centers to improve their operational efficiency. Traditionally, WFO is achieved by having the correct number of staff in place to meet the activity’s forecast demands. Usually, it means having the most accurate number of agents in place to deal with our expected call volumes.

Here are some ways by which call centers can optimize workforce management:

1. Rapid Custom Scheduling

Scheduling for Workforce Management

There are two key parts to creating advisor schedules that the WFM team must consider. 

  1. Finding out how many advisors are needed during each reporting period.
  2. Designing shift patterns

Leading call centers are using rapid scheduling capabilities to create ideal schedules and make changes. They enable you to generate custom schedule requests with many custom parameters in a few seconds with a few clicks. This helps in optimizing schedules and drive WFM efficiencies.

2. Using Predictive Forecasting

It takes time for WFM analysts to learn and identify the unique patterns in contact volumes to conclude. These patterns can include:

  • Shift rotations
  • Customer satisfaction levels with the agent’s session time
  • First Call Resolution Rate of agent 

Moreover, these patterns are shifting faster than ever with emergent issues. Therefore, WFM solutions are now using advanced ML and AI tools to predict those shifting patterns and emerging trends. It is done with Speech Analytics technology, which can analyze customer sentiment and determine their purchase patterns. Further, by pulling together data streams from across the contact center, these tools can identify new connections to anticipate changes better and provide valuable insights. With these tools at their side, WFM analysts are confidently aligning staff levels with the predicted call volume.


3. Enabling Automation

Approvals tend to take up a disproportionate amount of time for call center managers and WFM analysts. Not only is this tedious, but it can also create problems as companies build long-term schedules or adjust schedules for unexpected situations. However, WFM optimization solutions are making construction of user-generated auto-approval workflows easier. While the traditional auto-approval workflow requires a complex chain of individual criteria, new WFM tools enable you to link multiple criteria in a single workflow. Moreover, it dramatically reduces the daily burden of simple approvals, giving WFM analysts a more accurate real-time view of scheduling and giving call center agents more time to focus on complex activities.

4. Performance Management

Call centers try to ensure that the workforce has a specific quality team to meet their performance targets and track performance-based metric scores. The metrics that a performance manager would typically track include:

  1. First Call Resolution (FCR)
  2. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  3. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

These help the call centers identify the impact advisors have on success, loyalty, and general satisfaction.

These metrics can be optimized with AI-Powered voice bots, which can have a human-like conversation with customers. They can resolve customer queries in no time and further provide valuable insights to boost the business. Also, they can improve the agent performance by providing them suggestions using speech analysis.

5. Business Continuity Planning

Business Continuity Planning in workforce management

While intraday management is an integral part of WFM, businesses also have to stay prepared for unexpected situations, especially when it results in the loss of technology, staff, or premises.

AI tools are smarter and more reliable than ever. But even AI cannot predict things like:

  1. Weather-related issues
  2. Product quality problems
  3. Service outages

So, when an unpredictable situation impacts service levels, new intraday dynamic scheduling tools can adjust agent schedules in real-time. These dynamic scheduling tools instantly optimize their breaks to better align with shifts in predicted call volume. Further, they also enable WFM analysts to easily open up overtime opportunities to meet surging volume and offer voluntary time-off during unexpected slow periods.


We help in providing AI-Powered speech solutions like speech analytics that can help in workforce management for your contact center. We are offering a live demo of our AI-Powered solution to answer your queries. 

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