Einstein said it best, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” There is an art to simplifying the unnecessary complexity out of our lives, and it usually involves lots of break-rock work to get there. It’s true for astrophysics and it’s true for human-computer interaction. Although the so called “user experience” or “UX” has been evolving for decades, the advent of the iPhone really changed the game for software providers. It was a seminal event that shook the software industry to its foundations and simultaneously set the bar for the software UX at a new level. The iPhone, by most accounts, was beautiful in its simplicity, drawing from the most current thinking in how humans process information and advancing it significantly. Since that time, there have been many who have followed suit, including Google Android and Microsoft Windows.
The contact center workforce optimization industry is one of many markets where the end-user software has lagged behind the UX innovations wave. DMG Consulting says, “Workforce management is never going to be a simple task, because it requires management of a large amount of constantly changing data – interaction volumes, customer needs and agent schedules. However, today’s technologies are capable of making it significantly less difficult.” If we did have a WFO UX that was significantly better, contact centers would be enjoying higher productivity, higher agent morale, broader use of complex but powerful WFO features, reduced turnover, and the list goes on. WFO is such a pervasive part of the contact center that an improved WFO UX could change the very culture of the contact center because a good UX is really a statement to the agents about how important they are. It’s a sign of attention to their needs and a vote of confidence in them.
Accordingly, I am pleased to announce that Aspect Software is changing the face of workforce optimization with a bold step forward for the WFO UX. Today, Aspect is releasing Workforce Optimization 8.0 which will include a completely new, highly intuitive user interface that sports simple icons, rich functionality widgets and customizable dashboards. The three primary components of WFO 8.0 (Workforce Management 8.0, Aspect Quality Management 8.0 and Aspect Analyze 8.0) employ tight data and functional integration and all use the same highly graphical look and feel. Built with the assistance of a globally renowned UX design firm and developed over hundreds of hours of prototyping and testing with experienced workforce management agents, Aspect has flipped the model and put the agent experience at the center. In retrospect, that’s an obvious thing to do because the scale economies of even small improvements in contact center productivity are huge. That’s what workforce management is all about. The actual improvements we are seeing from our beta test sites are big. In addition to high accolades from our customers, preliminary measurements show that for many day-to-day activities, agent productivity improved by over 50%, and that’s a quantum leap by anybody’s standards.
Take a look at some of the screen shots below:
Watch this blog for more quantified improvements in contact center metrics as they become available, and in the meantime, check out our recent whitepaper on this revolution in the WFO user experience.