Unify Host South West Contact Centre Forum’s Planning & MI meeting
This week (Thursday 7th September), we at Unify were proud to host the South West Contact Centre Forum’s Planning and MI meeting, in partnership with Teleopti.
Focused on the use of Workforce Management Tools within contact centres, and covering many of the pressing concerns planners face in their day-to-day operations, the meeting was an extremely enjoyable, and highly engaging experience.
Reliance on Excel
Our very own Simon Furber began discussions with a brief overview of the workforce planning landscape, and a deeper look at some of the key results from a survey conducted prior to the event – which garnered a staggering 100% response rate (thanks again to all respondents).
Simon looked at the experiences of the businesses represented in the room compared to Unify’s experience over the last 20 years. We see four key communities of solution in planning, Excel, introductory tools, rich Workforce Management tools, and broader Optimisation suites. All four were used by respondents, with a reasonable correlation between complexity of the planning environment and the tool support required. Workforce Management has always had a compelling financial business case, but the advent of a SAAS approach, means that those benefit cases can be made far more quickly as the majority of Capital Expenditure disappears. Paul Allen (UCAS) suggested that for many users, longer term budgetary planning was the key driver of this reliance on Excel, even where tools were being used for near term planning and scheduling.
Turn it up to 11
Simon’s opening talk was followed by a presentation from Ben Willmott at Teleopti. This presentation was a great catalyst for discussion, prompting reflection on the behaviours encouraged by WFM, how planners might increase efficiency and profitability without sacrificing agent or customer satisfaction, and the benefits and drawbacks surrounding Adjustment and Simulation forecasting methods. There were various discussions surrounding the philosophy behind encouraging contact centre workers to “turn it up to 11”, and opinions were divided on the effectiveness of gamification.
Group Discussion & Networking Lunch
The forum closed with a group discussion and a networking lunch, which gave all attendees the chance to cover specific challenges faced by their organisations, and to gain greater insights into the ways other contact centre planners were dealing with issues such as the distinction between operations and planning when it came to accountability for performance, how granular workforce management reports should be, and how to deliver 24/7 static shifts across multiple time zones.
Overall, we at Unify were thrilled with how engaged the attendees were. We look forward to hosting further events with the South West Contact Centre Forum and would like to extend our thanks to all who braved the ring road traffic to attend. We’re extremely grateful to Teleopti for their contribution, and would like to say a huge thanks to Paul Allen, who ensured that the discussion topics ran seamlessly.
If you were unable to attend the forum, but you’d like to know more about the topics we discussed or you’re interested in speaking with a member of our team about potential Workforce Management tools/integrations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.