Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used




Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used


This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties


Upcoming Events


How To Enter the 2020 Members' Choice Awards - For Vendors




Contact Center Workforce Optimization & Management - GCS - Blog

Contact Center Workforce Optimization & Management

“The best workforce optimization goes beyond the numbers & cultivates an understanding about how the numbers impact workforce management.”

Achieving the best customer satisfaction while minimizing costs comes with having key data that helps you see and understand how to manage your workforce. Workforce optimization is about more than just collecting data—it’s also about understanding what the data means for your customers and your staff.

Although software can give you the hard numbers, the best contact center workforce optimization (WFO) goes beyond the numbers and cultivates an understanding about how the numbers impact workforce management. True workforce optimization goes beyond the data, to the trends, and makes the best decisions based on both.

Optimizing your workforce requires an understanding of the decisions people make. In this case, the decisions of your staff and customers and why they make them. Only then can you prepare properly and optimize your response to improve customer satisfaction at the lowest possible cost.


“Anticipating your customers’ needs can help eliminate call spikes & the need to overstaff.”

How Software Trends Affect Contact Centers

 Recognizing software trends is a foundational requirement to workforce optimization. Truly understanding the data is where the real results are achieved. We’ve noticed that many managers understand the hard data, but they don’t grasp the reasons behind that data.

For example, if you have data that shows a trend of call spikes around 4 p.m., what’s the reason behind that trend?

It is not often easy to uncover the reasons behind the data. Take steps to enhance the customer experience through awareness of software trends and cultivating an understanding of them.

Here’s a recent example from one of our clients. A transit company saw spikes in calls received on the Friday after Thanksgiving from 9-11 a.m. Without digging into the data you may decide to overstaff for that spike.

If instead, you went deeper into the meaning behind the data and realized the spike was due to people scheduling rides back home after staying with family for the holiday, you could have booked that round trip when you scheduled the first leg. Anticipating your customers’ needs would eliminate the spike and the need to overstaff.

Uniting software with customer trends works to create the entire picture. In this way you can take steps to modify the behavior and optimize the workforce at a lower cost.

How Staffing Trends in Contact Centers Affect WFO

Staffing trends are one of the most important trends to monitor for optimal workforce management. Most of your budget is going to go towards staffing needs—so you’ll need to understand the data for staffing trends, how to interpret it, and what it means for your customers.

When looking at staffing trends, understand the controllable issues first. Were all the seats filled? Did your call center have any technological problems? Were there management issues, or did everyone take lunch at the same time? Once these questions are answered, move on to things out of your control, such as traffic, parking, promotions, etc.

Here is another recent example:

Staffing trends showed one of our client’s centers needed to over-schedule the Customer Service department on Fridays and Sundays. How did we figure that out? Trends showed that Fridays required over-scheduling due to the higher than normal chance employees would take vacation or call in sick on those days. Sundays were also the busiest day of the week at the center. Taking into account certain expected levels of absenteeism allowed management to over-schedule those days so the right number of customer service representatives (CSRs) would be on the phones to handle the volume.

Other trends to consider includes increasing staff when sick banks and vacation days are refilled and taking company holiday policies into account as well. Pulling data when banks are refilled shows you the preferred days out among your employees so you can accommodate with extra staff. It’s important to try to achieve a balance. For example, if the data shows many people tend to take the day off before or after a holiday, it is probably because of your company policy surrounding holiday pay. How will you compensate for this? You’ll need to understand your staffing trends and what motivates your employees.

The Importance of Call Center Cross-Training

“Optimize your workforce by hiring appropriately for each station and shift”

 Is your staff trained to handle one type of call or several? Evaluate your workforce based on knowledge, skills, and experience. Can you fill in the gaps by cross-training employees, therefore allowing them to handle nearly any type of call? Optimize your workforce by hiring appropriately for each station and shift, beginning with full-time personnel. Staff who are trained to handle multiple calls and questions are more valuable and efficient than staff who are only trained to handle one call or type of question. If you have outbound calls to make or emails to answer and other time flexible tasks, you can use those employees to answer calls during peak times.

In addition to cross-training, another way to gain efficiency for a spike in traffic is a focus on second call avoidance. This means your staff anticipates the “next” thing a customer would need. For example, if your customer orders a new printer, will they need replacement cartridges or paper?

Staffing trends also show that overlapping is important due to lunches and breaks. This is where staff trends and customer trends collide, based on the fact that your employees like to break for lunch between 11:30-1:30, and your customers find this a great time to call because it’s their lunch break too. How do you reconcile these conflicting trends?

Hiring and scheduling appropriately is the key. Scheduling different shifts, such as 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, 8-5, and 9-6, ensures there’s an overlap for lunches and breaks, allowing you to fill gaps with part-time employees. This way your customers are always getting access to trained staff who can answer their questions at any time of day, especially times that are the most popular to call.

Customer Trends in Contact Centers

Your top processes for evaluating customer trends begins with the basics—when do your customers call; how long does the typical customer call last; what exactly are they calling for?

When evaluating customer trends, consider you can’t change the trends. Customers are going to call on their lunch break, and you can’t change that, but you can change your reaction to it. Exert control where you have control, which is not over customer habits, but over your workforce!

Knowing your customers and their trends is the first step in determining how best to serve them. Ensuring that you’re appropriately staffed during call spikes, cross-training employees to handle more than one type of call, and constantly evaluating customer trends, will help you run a more efficient contact center.

There are ways to influence your customers, but we will save that for another blog.

Trend Monitoring Tools for Contact Centers

Monitoring tools can help you make sense of staffing, customer, and software trends. This includes measuring the service levels every month. This will help determine where you are as opposed to where you’d like to be for optimal workforce management. How many calls came in? What was the average duration of each call? How much time is your staff spending after the call has taken place? By looking at this data and monitoring it as it relates to the service levels, you can determine where you are and where you need to be, and then make the appropriate changes to get there.

It’s also important to factor in your overstaffed or understaffed days and how this relates to the service levels. This is where recognizing a trend becomes paramount, because although these monitoring tools are important, they don’t allow for true transparency unless trends are recognized and accommodated for. The right monitoring tools can help you further understand how to optimize your workforce management.

Measuring your deviation from the service level will determine what changes to make in order to meet your service level agreement. Your service level is an important monitoring tool to use to achieve optimal workforce management.

“Assigning the more experienced CSRs to more difficult problems, the center can handle more calls, in less time, with the same number of people.”

How to Put WFO to Use in Your Call Center – Two Examples

Let’s take a look at a call center that functioned as a technical help desk. During the transition the management team tried to keep as many people as they could in order to save time and money from hiring and training new staff. Then, they evaluated their employees based on what they already knew versus what they needed to know. Conducting trainings as needed is paramount for having a well-trained staff.

Based on their current knowledge, CSRs were placed in categories that accurately reflected their ability to help the customer. Then the caller’s journey was designed to interact with progressively more experienced and knowledgeable CSRs. For example, the first CSR a caller reached was the screener, asking if the caller had restarted their computer. The second CSR could remotely log in to a caller’s computer and walk them through the problem. If needed, a third level of service had a CSR who could help reboot or re-program the computer to fix the problem.

By assigning the more experienced CSRs to more difficult problems, the center can handle more calls, in less time, with the same number of people.

Another example is a center experiencing a 2-hour block every day of 400 calls but with only 300 seats in the center. They could hire more people or build more space, but all this costs valuable time and money.

By looking at the service level data, such as the number of calls per 30-minute interval, talk time, and wrap time, and by using the IVR system better, we created a system where only 212 seats were needed to successfully answer the 400 call demand. That is workforce optimization at its best.

The Importance of Contact Center Workforce Optimization

Monitoring staffing trends and customer trends, understanding the meaning behind the data, and consistently measuring results against the service levels will ensure an optimized contact center workforce. In the end your customers will be happier and your employees will be more satisfied, keeping down costs and potentially growing revenue.


Publish Date: January 27, 2016 5:00 AM

2020 Buyers Guide Computer Telephony Integration

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.
PH: +1 512-872-7565

ComSys S.A.

CLink for CRM and Call Center Integration
CLink by Comsys is a middleware that connects in real-time the CRM and the contact center applications. CLink enhances the CRM with interaction management capabilities from the contact center that allow agents to work more productively across all communication channels.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect Software®, and Microsoft® for the delivery of innovative interaction management and contact center optimization solutions.
PH: +302109241486

IntraNext Systems

IntraNext Systems develops agent efficiency tools and data security software solutions for medium-to-large contact centers. Our Event Intelligence® Platform solutions include SmartCTI™, iGuard®, and SmartSIP™. SmartSIP is based on our patented SIP layer technology and provides a DTMF masking solution for VoIP environments.
PH: 888.638.6398


CRM integration
We know how important it is for a business to obtain data from its customers and to manage them effectively, so we help small to large companies by integrating their CRM with the Virtual Switchboard.

This type of integration will simplify the work of your team and improve the management performance of the contact list and its information.
PH: +34 952 667 511


NovelVox CTI Connector
NextGen Cisco Finesse, Genesys & Avaya Embedded CTI Connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Zendesk & more.
PH: (+1) 301 202 3672

View more from GCS

Recent Blog Posts:
Contact Center Best Practices: 10 Areas of FocusFebruary 15, 2017 5:00 AM
Top Contact Center Industry BenchmarksFebruary 1, 2017 5:00 AM
How to Develop a Contact Center Improvement PlanJanuary 19, 2017 5:00 AM
Five Contact Center Trends to Follow in 2017January 4, 2017 5:00 AM
Call Center Outsourcing Services: How to Choose the Right Contact Center VendorDecember 8, 2016 5:00 AM
16 ROI-Proven Ways a Consultant Can Help Your Call CenterNovember 11, 2016 5:00 AM
Five Things to Ask a Contact Center Vendor Before Hiring ThemOctober 13, 2016 5:00 AM
Five Ways A Consultant Can Help Fix Your Contact CenterSeptember 9, 2016 5:00 AM
How Does Your Contact Center Vendor Measure Up?August 17, 2016 5:00 AM
Interpersonal Skills Training for Contact Center RepresentativesJuly 27, 2016 5:00 AM
Submit Event

Upcoming Events

15th annual Best Practice Conference - this is the contact center world's most highly rated event - a whopping 100% of delegates say they would recommend it!

100's of best practice tips and ideas from contact center professionals Read More...

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total =
session page-view-total =
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =