Historically, enterprises have walked a difficult line when using workforce optimization tools to keep down labor costs while trying to improve the customer experience. The problem was really viewed as a zero sum game. You had to sacrifice one objective to improve the other. Aspect has broken the mold on that antiquated thinking by introducing technologies that give agents a much more engaging work environment, and that manifests itself in better agent performance, lower turnover and ultimately lower cost while improving the customer experience.
Importance of Skilled Labor Force
According to a study done by Forrester, the organization’s biggest challenge in improving the overall customer experience is finding, attracting and retaining staff with the correct skills. That’s not surprising. With the largest single expense in the typical contact center being labor, anything you can do to maintain your skilled labor force is a savings vs. finding, attracting and educating new employees and obviously skilled employees are better at serving customers.
Progressive contact centers are finding that you can change the zero-sum game into a win-win game by taking a more holistic approach to managing skilled labor that elevates and empowers agents rather than treating them as a commodity. The key is to create an environment that “engages” agents in their work. One of the most important elements of the agent’s (and supervisor’s) work existence in the contact center is the workforce management system and other workforce optimization tools. These tools, if poorly designed can be a source of ongoing frustration for agents. This is especially true in this era of pervasive awareness of how simple and flexible a user interface can be. We see it every day when we use our smartphones or Macs or PCs. Agents can be engaged by a good user interface just as they are with their iPhones. Aspect has created such an engaging user interface for its Aspect WFO offering using icons, widgets and other graphical techniques employed by Apple, Google and Microsoft.
Aspect is also providing accessibility to the workforce optimization system that is modern and convenient. Aspect Workforce Mobile gives agents the ability to review and change their schedules directly through an app on their mobile phones, and this is a very popular option for organizations that truly want to empower their agents. Aspect also provides Virtual Schedule Attendant that give agents the ability to review and change their schedules via IVR.
With agents that are actively engaged in their day-to-day work, your contact center will enjoy a host of benefits that will improve your bottom line as well as the overall experience of your customer:
- More enthusiastic agents performing well across the board
- Reduced turnover and associated replacement and training expense
- Better relationships between agents and supervisors
- Increased collaboration among agents
- Higher quality customer interactions
- Coaching recommendations received in a positive light
- Increased sense of team spirit and sense of a common goal
- Higher productivity throughout the day