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Centralized or de-centralized WFM: 5 ways to strike the perfect balance - Calabrio - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Centralized or de-centralized WFM: 5 ways to strike the perfect balance

New business models and organizational change have put the debate over centralized versus decentralized workforce planning back on the table. Kanogo Njuru at Teleopti advocates a balanced approach using Workforce Management (WFM) technology to blend all types of service organizations.

In the past, workforce planning was often managed by local teams out in the field. However, as technology has progressed to automate many of the traditionally time-consuming forecasting and scheduling processes, more and more organizations have seen the advantages of centralized planning. Contact centers, in particular, have enjoyed the benefits technology brings when addressing critical long-term strategic challenges, while optimizing workforce management and end-to-end processes for improved productivity, staff satisfaction, customer service, and financial control.

It is also a trend that is not necessarily limited to the contact center world and the same debate over centralized versus decentralized planning can apply to all sorts of service models for example in retail, cleaning services and hospitality. In all instances, the aim is to improve customer and employee satisfaction and boost profitability through optimized, automated forecasting and scheduling.

Over the years, seismic shifts in business have had a transformational impact on people. Mergers and acquisitions have brought uncertainty along with fluid internal staff structures while the rise of e-commerce has turned old ways of working on their head. How do organizations change the corporate culture to adapt to the new world order? How do they find, manage and keep good talent? How do they bring together thousands of full or part-time employees at head office locations or at remote virtual contact centers around the world and of course take into account home workers? What is the best way to forecast and schedule effectively? All these questions have renewed the debate around centralized versus decentralized workforce planning.

Some organizations take a conscious decision not to centralize all their Workforce Management (WFM) processes at once if at all, regarding it to be counter-productive. There is a commonly held belief that centralized planning takes power away from local people, leading to a sense of loss of control and a demoralized workforce. Then, there is the pragmatic approach. Planners often share a special relationship with their local teams and they truly understand what their staff wants and how they work best hence the old saying - if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Other companies may choose to centralize certain functions like payroll but decentralize others such as HR and recruitment. Whichever WFM model organizations choose to adopt, good communication is essential to overcome mistrust and feelings of fear. By combining a sound communications strategy with technology, a balance between reducing unnecessary costs, while also promoting consistency and higher standards of operations, customer service, and workforce satisfaction can be achieved.

5 ways to strike the perfect balance with WFM

Fortunately, the latest WFM solutions are highly flexible and offer speed and agility to support the needs of today’s multi-channel customer experience (CX) operations and other service organizations. Being cloud-based, they eliminate the need for expensive hardware and large in-house IT departments, are fast to implement, easy to scale and simple to use. Let’s take a closer look at five key benefits:

1. One single solution – can support a whole network of planners and brings consistency to a variety of centralized and decentralized WFM processes – from forecasting and scheduling enough staff to manage changing customer requirements to keeping track of employee sickness, personal schedules, and team preferences. Even if different planning teams operate in different locations, the deployment of one solution makes it easy to connect the dots, bringing together the various elements involved in successful workforce planning such as staff information, employee requests, and forecasting while accelerating the transfer of important workforce data to accommodate specific special projects or marketing campaigns. What it more, using one WFM platform opens the door to centralized planning in the future and makes the transition a smooth and seamless one.

2. High levels of scalability – support both centralized and decentralized workforce planning through agile forecasting and scheduling that adapts to changing customer and business requirements and by helping to create effective skills matrices that identify and deploy the best talent. The latest WFM solutions can flex up to accommodate a growing network of different planning teams in different locations or they can provide end-to-end visibility and superior management of organization-wide workforce planning activities from a central point.

3. Self-service for choice – whether an organization adopts a centralized or decentralized workforce planning model, the addition of self-service empowers employees to control their working lives, to view their schedules and those of their colleagues, request shift swaps or book time off at the click of the mouse or using their mobile devices.

4. Fairness and transparency through automation – consistency and greater visibility of WFM processes both in smaller, decentralized planning teams and in centralized departments that plan for thousands of staff across the organization is made possible through automation. Transparency and openness create a sense of fairness that appeals to staff while satisfying organizations with a strong Union or Works Council presence. Managers have the information they need to ensure all employees take it in turns to do the more unpopular shifts and plan vacation time equitably while employees have total visibility of each other’s schedules and time off through self-service functionality.

5. Effective Change Management - certain customers like Germany’s biggest online retailer OTTO, cite the strategic impact that WFM technology has on actively advancing corporate change management programs. The flexibility, transparency and collaborative nature of today’s WFM technology has helped OTTO to strike a good balance between achieving high productivity levels (1,600 agents working 2 million shifts and 4,500 shift rotations - handling over 24 million enquiries per year!) and transferring the program’s core values of empowerment and fairness into 15 virtual contact centers. What is more, they have achieved this through a mixture of centralized and decentralized workforce planning methods across the company.

Centralized? Decentralized? Does it really matter? What really matters is striking the balance between operational or business efficiency and promoting a collaborative framework that leads to engaged employees and satisfied customers. It’s time to welcome WFM technology as the catalyst for change.

Source: https://www.teleopti.com/blog/centralized-or-de-centralized-wfm-5-ways-to-strike-the-perfect-balance/

Publish Date: April 8, 2019 5:00 AM


2021 Buyers Guide Speech Technology

 
1.) 
Agara

Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.

2.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

3.) 
Call Tracking Metrics

Execute automated actions based on words spoken by your customer.

Our intelligent word detection and transcription tools make it easier for you to decipher the content of your customer conversations and automate action based on those insights.

Transform the audio of your calls into speaker-organized scripts so you can easily search your call log for specific words from a conversation, or automatically detect when words of intent are spoken by your customer.

Listen in on and highlight common patterns in order to execute triggers to initiate a new action or workflow, such as emailing a manager if the word “cancel” is spoken on a call. You can also set up to automatically redact content from a transcript, such as sensitive health information transmitted on a call.

4.) 
Daisee

Daisee
Daisee builds technology that empowers people to solve problems by making interactions simple and smart so they can have a more significant impact, be more productive and be better at what they do. We believe incremental improvements carry huge potency and provide exponentially greater change for the better.

Genesys customers can now automate risk and quality management using Daisee’s speech and sentiment analytics and remediation workflow software. Daisee helps improve customer experience, ensure regulatory compliance, identify missed commercial opportunities & training requirements as well as provide valuable insights back to the business directly from the frontline – the true voice-of-...
(read more)

5.) 
Eckoh

EckohASSIST
Advanced speech recognition and natural language expertise that routes callers by simply asking ‘how can I help you?’. It allows customers to use their own words to ask for what they want and steers them to the right place.

Menus are eliminated altogether and contact centres can use a single inbound telephone number.

6.) 
MattsenKumar LLC

SmartSpeech
SmartSpeech – The Best In Class Speech Analytics Software

An all-inclusive speech analytics application that enables you to visualize your audio using state-of-the-art speech recognition, transcription, and text analytics technologies.

7.) 
Nemesysco

InTone Suite - Emotion Detection via Voice Analysis
InTone™ is a voice analysis tool geared to detect genuine emotional and cognitive reactions regardless of the speaker’s language or chosen intonation.
It integrates into existing contact center environments and provides realtime indications of both client and agent emotional reactions throughout all ongoing calls. This unique set of indications assists managers and call center representatives to truly understand the client, improve call center performance, easily detect angry calls, elevate training efficiency and provide a tailored customer experience in every single call.

Nemesysco's contact center technology is also available in API and SDK forms.
Please visit our website for information about our product portfolio.

8.) 
Voci Technologies Incorporated

V-Blaze Speech to Text
Our GPU-accelerated, AI-based technology enables you to deliver greater insights to the contact center by transcribing audio into analyzable text.

- Transcribe large volumes of recorded audio quickly
- Integrate transcripts with your analytics or business intelligence platform
- Reduce your hardware footprint and minimize total cost of ownership

9.) 
Voxjar

Voxjar
Voxjar is your one-stop-shop for driving better phone calls with your customers. We're a modern Conversation Analytics and Call Coaching Platform.

- Custom Charts and Dashboards give you the freedom to analyze calls from the highest level down to the details of each conversation.

- AI-Powered Speech Analytics transcribes, searches, and analyzes your reps' phone conversations, at scale.

- Quality Assurance and Call Coaching tools let you evaluate and improve agent performance with a human touch.

- Long term recording storage for historical analysis


All of these together provide the holistic, easy-to-use software that you need to manage a modern call team and create better con...
(read more)
 



View more from Calabrio

Recent Blog Posts:
Data is everything in the new era of customer serviceMay 20, 2019 5:00 AM
Real-Time Adherence – the art of smarter schedulingMay 8, 2019 5:00 AM
Evolving employee engagement with Workforce Management (WFM)April 30, 2019 5:00 AM
Guest Blog: There’s a brighter future for contact centre agentsApril 12, 2019 5:00 AM
Centralized or de-centralized WFM: 5 ways to strike the perfect balanceApril 8, 2019 5:00 AM
How patient are your customers? Erlang A may have the answerMarch 25, 2019 5:00 AM
Evaluating if the integration between your WFM & CX platform will be a big “Yes”February 25, 2019 5:00 AM
The whole organization is a customer service center – not everyone knows it yet!February 4, 2019 5:00 AM
Resistance to change – the arch nemesis of customer experienceJanuary 22, 2019 5:00 AM
5 steps to supercharge your customer service with contextual intelligenceJanuary 7, 2019 5:00 AM

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