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Much more than meets the eye: Repercussions of unhappy contact center agents - Calabrio - Blog

Much more than meets the eye: Repercussions of unhappy contact center agents

When it comes to WFM, there are some very important things that are generally not considered. What happens when contact-center agents, the frontline soldiers of your organization, are not happy?

Traditionally, WFM adopted in the past has not been very accommodating to agents. Managers would create forecasts, plan and schedule – the latter often done arbitrarily. Ok, fair enough; some would try for a measure of fairness, if possible, on their Excel spreadsheets.

What ended up happening, and still does for some contact centers, is that a good many agents with second or even third jobs, or studying in parallel, face having to leave, due to conflicts in their schedules. This creates a never-ending, down-ward, negative spiral:

  • Agents, forced to quit, leave with a bad taste in their mouth;
  • Their remaining time in the contact center – notice time of two weeks to a month –  results in sub-optimal performance (understandably so);
  • The contact-center’s environment is soured by high turnover - I mean, how cool is it to see colleagues come and go through a continually spinning, rotating door?
  • Sub-optimal performance and low morale impact customers adversely;
  • Attrition is costly: the company has to recruit, re-hire and re-train;
  • Onboarding and learning curves too, end up costing time and money.

Attrition, due to agent dissatisfaction, is not much talked about but one thing is for sure; it leaves in its wake high costs, which, worse, are often intangible – ones difficult to estimate and keep track of.

Abracadabra – let WFM reach out and grab ya’!

Today’s WFM platforms are offering mobility. In fact, growth within the mobile side of the WFM equation is expanding in leaps and bounds. Why? Because they are necessarily adapting to this age and this generation of Millennials.

That said, there are stark differences as to what vendors provide in terms of mobility quality. By quality, I mean the extent to which agent availability, their skills set and preferences can and are taken into consideration.

In parallel, this must be balanced with the operational needs of the contact center. Which resources are best utilized where? Artificial intelligence engines analyze operational needs, based on demand, to pinpoint resource needs. Superior scheduling methodologies identify where and when to best utilize one’s resources. The advantages arising from the use of such modern, automated WFM are not only remarkable but tremendous:

  • Organizations use resources more effectively and efficiently;
  • Agents are more satisfied, feeling heard - scheduling preferences respected to a greater degree;
  • Attrition is lowered;
  • Customer satisfaction is raised (Studies have proven, again and again, that satisfied agents will provide a much better customer experience).
Don’t keep fun and games at bay - Let’s play!

Furthermore, gamification is now tied to the WFM process; a methodology or engine brought to the table that rewards agents with prizes in the form of, for example, gold, silver or bronze medals at the achievement of specific KPIs. For agents, this could mean better ranking for preference-based scheduling, time off, vacations, etc.

For some organizations today, gamification is the catalyst that pushes them to modernize their WFM.  It’s the game changer: modern-day WFM with gamification implemented for KPI goal measurement. It keeps agents occupied and happy. A sense of competition gives meaning to coming to work, and staying on at the work place. Can it get better than that?

WFM across the board

Yes it can! WFM systems today are not just limited to contact-center operations. They can and are used across the organization to manage other areas of the business – back office, ground operations, etc. – extending the same functionality and mobility to the rest of the organization’s operations.

Creating synergy

Modern-day WFM is also a source of rich business intelligence. It also be direcly linked to e.g. salesforce.som, human resources, payroll, etc. allowing for a synergistic effect. Some vendors offer a toolkit, free of charge, allowing for a multi-brand approach.

A last word of advice for those looking to evolve or replace or upgrade their WFM: purchase a couple of extra days of consulting. Consultants take a close look at your contact-center operations to see where improvements can and/or need to be made. You’d be surprised at how many things they can come up with that contact centers never even thought about – including improvements.


Publish Date: October 20, 2017 5:00 AM

2020 Buyers Guide Knowledge Management


Combines knowledge management with call support as continue improvement.

eGain Corporation

eGain Knowledge + AI
eGain's knowledge management software, powered with Case-Based Reasoning, an Artificial Intelligence technology, lets you provide intranet or extranet access to the common knowledge base, enabling contact center agents to provide distinctive, productive, and brand-aligned experiences in every interaction, across all channels and touchpoints.


FuzeDigital offers an affordable yet comprehensive knowledge base to answer your consumers' and staff questions. When assistance is needed, our email management system ensures your timely and accurate delivery of responses. Used by companies large and small that seek to deflect common questions while providing exceptional support.
PH: 425-649-1246


Knowmax is a knowledge management software for enterprises. Customer service of any organization can leverage this tool to create, curate & distribute the knowledge at assisted as well as digital channels promoting self service.


Knowledge Management software
livepro are experts in Customer Experience Knowledge Management and are passionate about improving customer experience. livepro is feature-rich yet easy to use, delivering answers to agents – not long complex documents to dig through. This makes customer service quicker, easier and more efficient. Staff require next to no training on complex procedures thanks to livepro’s intuitive design, which brings confidence up and training costs down.
PH: 18442077999


Increase customer loyalty, drive revenue and boost customer lifetime value with the Synthetix suite of AI-powered integrated customer contact tools.

Synthetix was founded in 2001 and since then has become a leading innovator in creating multi-channel online customer service software. We are also known as one of the pioneers for AI-driven Virtual Agent technology, creating Virtual Agents for companies like the BBC, Vauxhall, and Ford, comparable to Siri, Cortana and Google Now, before they became the norm.

We believe that customer service across all customer touch-points should be simple, efficient and, above all, consistent. Our technology has assisted in reducing our clients’ inbound...
(read more)
PH: +441279 5555 80

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