Ten steps for successful Workforce Management implementation

Comments from Mark Turner, Vice President for UK and Ireland, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories

Workforce Management systems are fast becoming more flexible, adaptable and dynamic, however many organisations are failing to recognise how they can get the most from their investment. Here at Genesys, we decided to commission an independently produced ‘Industry Insider Guide’ to Workforce Management. Authored by industry analyst Steve Morell of ContactBabel, the guide focuses on how organisations can implement Workforce Management solutions to deliver break-even status after three months as opposed to the traditionally recognised ROI of between six and twelve months.

Our research forms part of a series of ‘Industry Insider Guides’ which we are producing to help businesses gain a comprehensive overview of key industry topics including Managed Services, Self-Service and Customer Interaction Management. The research on Workforce Management has identified ten key requirements for successful implementation, which are:

  1. Plan both technology and business implementation - measure continuously - successful users of Workforce Management tend to do a lot of planning up-front. These organisations consider the technical architecture as well as the business processes
  2. Include all relevant departments - a successful implementation needs to involve an organisation’s functional groups, such as IT and HR, to communicate well and understand each others’ views
  3. Recognise the necessity for change - Workforce Management is about change, optimisation and compromise. To successfully implement a Workforce Management solution, organisations will need to understand how their business processes work and when they need to be changed. The most important lesson is to be flexible
  4. Appoint a champion - due to the nature of Workforce Management and its effects on many people throughout the contact centre, there is a need for a project champion at a high level of the business who has the interest, knowledge and power to make the project succeed despite corporate politics
  5. Get buy-in from people who will be using it - by focusing on the empowering elements of the solution, organisations can prevent the suspicion and paranoia that employees may experience in the implementation of a new system
  6. Manage the culture shock - different work scheduling will impact agents, supervisors and management immediately, much more than any other form of technology
  7. Give comprehensive training - reinforce and test this training over a period of time. Workforce Management systems are feature-rich, unfortunately users may only use 20 per cent of the functionality because they have not received adequate training
  8. Know the corporate rules - a company’s business regulations must be considered fully before implementing Workforce Management solutions, it’s also important to gauge how the existing system will support them
  9. Understand employment regulations - labour laws vary from country to country. Many organisations employ people in other time zones to answer e-mails through the night. In these instances a Workforce Management system should be easily configurable to take into account any relevant union regulations and government rules
  10. Patience - getting Workforce Management up and running quickly is easy to do. Optimising the business processes is where the real value resides, and this will take longer to fine-tune

We’ve found that employee costs account for 60-70 per cent of overall expenditure in most contact centres and that is why many organisations are opting for Workforce Management solutions as a way of ensuring maximum ROI. We’ve developed the ‘Industry Insider Guide’ to identify key areas which should be taken into consideration when implementing a Workforce Management solution. We anticipate that this will provide organisations with clear guidelines for guaranteeing successful implementation. We now offer Workforce Management as part of our Genesys Managed Services solution portfolio, providing optimisation of the contact centre’s performance and cost structure while ensuring that each customer receives a high quality of service.

We have successfully implemented Workforce Management solutions in a number of major organisations. beCogent, for example, improved its overall business performance by 12 per cent after implementing the Genesys Workforce Management solution. It enables them to create and operate more cost-effective shift patterns while ensuring they have the correct number of agents in place. The solution provides essential planning, forecasting, scheduling and analysis tools needed to match agent performance with the company’s key business objectives. The solution also directly addresses concerns regarding agent variables and customer segmentation.

Note to editors: Copies of the Genesys Self-Service Industry Insider Guide are available on request from proberts@genesyslab.co.uk

About Steve Morrell:
Steve Morrell, the independent author of the Genesys Self-Service Industry Insider Guide, is a leading contact centre and CRM industry analyst with ContactBabel, which has built a reputation for providing strong, impartial analysis to end-users and providers.

About Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc:
Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc., a subsidiary of Alcatel, is 100 per cent focused on software for call centres. Genesys recognises that better interactions drive better business and build company reputations. Customer service solutions from Genesys deliver on this promise for Global 2000 enterprises, government organisations and telecommunications service providers across 80 countries, directing more than 100 million customer interactions every day. Sophisticated routing and reporting across voice, e-mail and Web channels ensure that customers are quickly connected to the best available resource - the first time. Genesys offers solutions for customer service, help desks, order desks, collections, outbound telesales and service, and workforce management. Visit www.genesyslab.com for more information.

Media Contacts:
Paul Roberts
0118 974 7144