Workforce Management (WFM)

Learn how efficient workforce management can help you drive agent productivity in your contact center with proactive planning and forecasting.

Pradeep Vasudev
December 6, 2021
3 min read

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What is workforce management?

Workforce management (WFM) is the process of achieving operational efficiency in your contact center by ensuring that it’s always staffed adequately.

It involves forecasting your staffing requirements on a daily or hourly basis by using historical or projected workload data. This is followed by planning and managing staff schedules so that all customer queries are handled efficiently by the right agents with the right skill set at the right time. The primary aim of workforce management is to build a standardized, repeatable approach to track and manage employee workload and performance with agility.

What are the benefits of workforce management?

Companies with efficient workforce management experience several benefits.

  • Efficient staffing: WFM solutions take historical and future demand trends into account while forecasting staffing requirements. These proactive measures help you make sure that your contact center is adequately staffed and not overburdened — even when the market demands and production schedules shift unexpectedly.

  • Improved staff productivity: automated task assignment — which forms the core of workforce management — is objective and accurate and based only on agent capacity and historical performance. This means all of your agents are fruitfully engaged in tasks that match their skill set and improve their service level agreements (SLAs).

  • Better operational efficiency: with workflows on auto-pilot, you can accomplish time-sensitive tasks and intraday activities easily. Agile planning also means there is less downtime owing to worker absenteeism and new recruit onboarding. Additionally, you can avoid non-compliance risks associated with federal and state labor laws.

  • Efficient payroll management: by using a WFM solution to track and report on your employee attendance and productivity, you can simplify your HR activities, lower your administrative costs, and fix hourly/daily rates that justify your contact center ROI.

  • Better performance management: managers can access productivity metrics — for teams and individuals — to identify skill gaps, measure employee engagement, adjust training programs, and optimize performance.

  • Improved customer service: and most importantly, streamlined workload and productivity for your workers eventually translate into happier customers who keep coming back to your business.

Learn more: How to Turn Your Agents Into Advocates

What is the workforce management process?

A basic workforce management process encompasses these broad steps:

Step 1: Forecasting

First, WFM tools predict staff requirements (number and type) for completing a project/task within a stipulated time period. They factor in seasonal demands, historical plus projected trends, and business rules in order to arrive at an accurate prediction.

Step 2: Scheduling and assigning

Next, supervisors build task queues and staff schedules and assign tickets based on variables such as case severity and employee availability, workload, and preferences.

Step 3: Intraday management

Workforce management doesn’t end with a one-time task assignment. For smooth operations, supervisors need to forecast demand — whenever unanticipated changes occur — and ensure that employees meet their SLAs under all circumstances.

Additional modules

A more comprehensive WFM process may also have modules for:

  • Performance measurement: WFM identifies performance drivers and deterrents by monitoring employee performance and engagement using granular metrics and people analytics.

  • Payroll administration: WFM generates audit-ready reports that take the pain out of manual payroll and benefits administration and help you with budgeting and reporting.

  • Compliance: WFM also entails standardizing training and certification requirements for specific roles and compliance with union agreements and labor laws.

  • Attendance keeping and leave planning: To avoid scheduling conflicts and assess staffing levels, WFM digitally approves time-off requests and helps employees track banked time and leave balance.

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How does Sprinklr Service power your contact center’s workforce management?

Traditionally, contact centers relied on spreadsheets or siloed solutions for WFM — which are prone to human error and unresponsive to changes or multi-channel interactions. However, a modern, agile contact center needs an AI-driven WFM solution — like Sprinklr Service — that leverages automation and machine learning to arm supervisors with real-time insights on forecasting, staff availability, and productivity with features such as:

AI-powered forecasting of daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly case volume based on historical trends, seasonal spikes, and one-time events. AI enables your supervisors to identify their busiest days and detect seasonal events that impact forecasts — which eventually increases their operational efficiency.

Staff planning to give insights on resources required vs. resources available. This way, you can meet SLAs without overstaffing and hire only required resources — leading to lower labor overhead.

Scheduling agents’ shifts based on predicted call volumes and managing agents’ leaves, breaks, downtime, and more. Our AI-led WFM model factors in call volumes, agent handling time (AHT), agent skills, and interactive voice response (IVR) time.

Powered by the world’s only unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform, Sprinklr Service is a powerful support solution purpose-built to transform your contact center’s workforce management so it becomes cost-efficient, scalable, and rewarding to your most valuable resource: your employees.

Start your free trial of Sprinklr Service

Find out how Sprinklr helps businesses deliver a premium experience on 13+ channels, using foundational AI so you can listen, route, resolve, and measure — across the customer experience.

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