International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) recently launched a poll asking organizations what software they use to schedule their contact center agents. 51% of respondents said they are currently using Excel spreadsheets. Many organizations believe spreadsheets are effective. However, there are some big disadvantages and missed opportunities for those using this method. Does your organization fall into the spreadsheet category? If so, we have compiled three advantages your organization can gain by ditching the old spreadsheets and advancing to workforce management (WFM) solution.
Here are 3 advantages YOU can gain from workforce management:
1. Improved Accuracy
- The accuracy of schedules is difficult to guarantee when using spreadsheets and is often prone to human error. This can lead to inaccurate staffing models and forecasts with incorrect predictions. Spreadsheets consist of combining a lot of data and information from different sources resulting in a ton of manual work. Forecasting uses a lot of historical data and in-depth calculations which is hard to produce accurately with spreadsheets. WFM uses algorithms to analyze historical data to identify and forecast call patterns. Schedules are then generated to meet service goals and ensure optimal coverage.
2. Save Time
- Spreadsheets are time consuming to load and format data, whereas, WFM systems automatically do this for you. Spreadsheets become more difficult to use and produce results slowly when looking at more than 20 staff members. Managing PTO and time-off requests through spreadsheets or email is not an easy task. A WFM system can do this for you through auto approve or deny requests. Retrospective analysisof in and out times of employees can be easily reported on with a WFM system. Using a spreadsheet tool requires many calculations and data loads that might only be available directly from a database which can be a timely task.
3. Valuable Insights
- Real-time metrics collected manually or through 3rd party applications are very hard to compare to forecasted values. By using a WFM system, this information is continually available and updated with no human intervention. Reporting allows organizations to identify areas for operational improvements and cost savings. Visibility into staffing trends and performance provides ways to uncover opportunities for streamlining labor usage.
All in all, spreadsheets are not very accurate, time consuming, and do not provide useful insights. Are you contemplating the effectiveness of spreadsheets? Now is the time your organization should begin thinking about workforce management solution, the better alternative! WFM is a powerful tool for optimizing operational efficiencies, employee satisfaction and ultimately the customer experience. Stay tuned for more in-depth WFM posts.