You can’t predict a crisis, but you can plan for one

You can’t predict a crisis, but you can plan for one

While it might be impossible to predict a crisis like COVID-19, making use of workforce management (WFM) tools in the contact centre allows businesses to actively plan for one, by ensuring continued efficiency and prioritising business continuity in uncertain times.

A large percentage of contact centres are still not making use of solutions aimed at maximising workforce efficiency, even though global research indicates that efficient service plays a pivotal role in a customer’s overall level of satisfaction. The COVID-19 outbreak has, in many ways, put the global contact centre industry in the spotlight. In some countries, for example, hotlines are being used to keep citizens informed and provide them with medical advice and care; while in other countries, like the Philippines, contact centres are having to explore new ways of working due to legal constraints on the movement of people in the country. Uncertainty means that customer experience is more important than ever in creating customer loyalty. A good example is the global airline industry, which is facing unprecedented amounts of calls as global travel bans continue to be implemented. How do businesses ensure they are able to provide positive consumer experiences in the face of an unpredicted crisis?

Workforce management, by definition, encompasses all the processes that a contact centre undertakes in order to ensure the right number of staff are available at any time. Using data-led insights, an effective WFM system will:

1. Optimise Efficiency

Ensuring the contact centre has the optimum number of staff at any time meaning it will be running efficiently and provide a positive customer experience. The results are increased brand affinity and customer loyalty, which keeps the business successful both during and after times of crisis.

2. Maximise Productivity

WFM solutions work to ensure that the contact centre staff are equipped with the right technology and skills to service at higher productivity levels. This could mean not having to waste time with outdated processes for collecting and saving information or having the right training to solve a customer’s query on first contact, for example. Maximised productivity not only delivers an exceptional customer experience, but also translates to cost savings for the business – both of which are critical during times of crisis.

3. Assist with Proactive Workforce Planning

Data-led insights from WFM allow for strategic planning which will help mitigate challenges presented by political, economic or environmental impacts. During the COVID-19 crisis, for example, WFM planning would allow you to have enough staff to ensure customer needs are being met, while taking into account social distancing practices and how this needs to be considered when deciding on the number of staff to have in the centre at any time.

Find out more about the Merchants Cortex offering today.

Merchants offers WFM as part of its solutions-as-a-service offering, or as part of its larger Cortex offering, which enables businesses to simultaneously reduce costs, improve efficiency, increase revenue and deliver exceptional customer experiences through the use of three solutions: Workforce Management, Quality Management and Analytics solutions.