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Workforce Management Offerings from CallCopy Cover All the Bases

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February 17, 2012

Workforce Management Offerings from CallCopy Cover All the Bases

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

CallCopy’s contact center Workforce Management offering, cc: Clarity (News - Alert), does a good job focusing on the basic non-negotiable functions such a suite should offer, and adds in plenty of extras.

The concept behind workforce management is really pretty simple -- “How do I do the best job getting the work done with the resources I have?” Hey we said it was simple, we didn’t say it was easy. It’s particularly suited for industries where the workload fluctuates with some rapidity, such as call centers, where the perennial problems are overstaffing or understaffing.

Overstaffing is a problem because you’re paying people to sit around and not do much. Understaffing is a problem because you don’t have enough people on hand to do a good job serving customers. Yes, we remind certain companies, understaffing is a problem. It’s not “cost-effective customer service.” It is a problem.

And workforce management isn’t just souped-up scheduling, it’s being able to roll with suddenly sick employees, unexplained spikes in demand or coping with other unforeseen situations.

Taking the CallCopy (News - Alert) call center product as a good example of what WFM should be, it offers functionality in six basic areas:  

Agent scheduling. Of course this is the bread and butter of any WFM offering. It’s an art, really, getting as close to optimal agent usage -- just the right number of people every day, nobody sitting around doing nothing and all customer calls handled promptly. CallCopy’s cc: Clarity uses algorithms analyzing historical data -- “How many people did we need on this day the past six years?” type of stuff -- to predict how many people will be needed to handle that day’s call load.

Intraday management. This is spotting and dealing with issues before they start to noticeably affect customer service. Much of this is rearranging your schedule when people call in sick, or if you need to adjust work shifts, track vacation time, whatever. If you were one of those types who liked doing Rubik’s cube you’ll enjoy this.

Agent empowerment. The idea here is that if agents can “empower” themselves, requesting time off and shift swaps, they’ll be better, more motivated employees. This means they’ll show up to work more regularly and won’t quit as quickly. And if this can be automated in the WFM system itself, well, that’s less hassle for you, right?

Effective agent communication. Your employees will live on Facebook, Twitter (News - Alert), texting and the like. They’ll be wired for social media. The cc: Clarity system lets you communicate with them via all these social media channels, instead of stodgy old email. Which is, like, so 20th century. (Note: If somebody asks you to contact them via their MySpace (News - Alert) page, you might want to reconsider that hire.)

Dashboards and wallboards. This, as X sang about Los Angeles, is the game that moves as you play. Dashboards and wallboards let you see on your screen via a toolbar such real-time info as conversation time per agent, wrap times, whatever performance metrics you need -- how many calls agents are handling in real time, for example. It also should link to scheduling so you can use it to send out pleas for anybody to work overtime, or simply remind individual agents of their schedule without ruining their flow.

External integrations and tools. If you already have call center equipment you’re using it’s possible to integrate it with cc: Clarity, you don’t need to rip it all out and throw it away.

Now, in addition to the standard workforce management bells and whistles, call recording is another option. The nice thing about CallCopy’s call recording offering [] is that it can play nicely with different systems, including TDM and other “blended environments,” company officials say, such as ones using VoIP.  (Oh, you’re not using VoIP? Why not?)

According to CallCopy officials, the call recording product promises 100 percent call logging, and is designed to take a lot of the guesswork out of compliance issues -- PCI (News - Alert), HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, whatever the government’s come up with this week. It also prevents the recording of sensitive data, configures data for efficient archiving and retrieval and keeps an eye on who’s allowed to access customer data and who’s not.

It also offers quality management with a cc: Quality module which is included without needing an additional license, and lets you play back calls and screen recording simultaneously, since such synchronization makes scoring much easier. It comes with some standard reports you can use or tweak to your own particular needs.

The call recording feature is good for dispute resolution as well, since customers will complain and there does need to be a mechanism to deal with that. But you’ll have the call recordings and screen captures so at least you’ll be able to establish exactly what happened when. Interestingly, there’s also a speech analytics feature included, to help spot “when a conversation becomes heated,” as CallCopy officials put it, or “where a competitor was mentioned or why a customer is leaving.”

And since coaching and training is such an important use for call recording, CallCopy has robust capabilities there as well -- using CallCopy’s cc: Discover module, it helps you assess agent skill sets, where employees can stand a bit more training, and what specific materials would be good for specific agents, because not everybody needs the same coaching. You can give them instant feedback, allow the agents to access their own evaluations later and include them in the process, since the product integrates self-evaluation capabilities as well.

Oh, and be sure you check with appropriate legal counsel to determine exactly what the enterprise call recording laws are in your particular jurisdiction.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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