With Great Software (Should) Come Great Processes: Why You Need a Workforce Department

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You may have gotten the reference in title of this blog to the Spiderman theme, “with great power comes great responsibility.” What I mean by this that if your company just adopted Aspect’s Workforce suite of applications, software alone won’t solve all of your problems. In order to get the greatest return from your purchase it requires two things: processes, and a dedicated team to help carry out and implement them.  In this series of blogs we will talk about what this involves.  So let’s start getting into some of the details.

First, I recommend the introduction of something called “The Workforce Management Theory” into your organization.  The method is one of creating a team of people who follow a certain set of gridlines and rules.  This team is an official department no different than those we already typically have in the contact center like IT, Telecom, QA, HR… well, you get the picture.  This team is usually led by a Workforce Manager and composed of dedicated Forecasters, Schedulers, Intra-day Analysis and Reporting people. Depending on the size and the number of centers some of these job functions are combined into Forecaster/Schedulers or Intra-day/Reporting roles.  Now at this point I hear many people saying that they just spent all this money to buy a solution and if they now have to create a new department and hire people then they won’t see any savings!

This mindset couldn’t be more misguided.  Let’s give a few more analogies, well because they are fun.  Let’s say my friend wants to play the violin but he is pretty new to music.  He buys a Stradivarius, having heard that this is the best violin, but when he starts to play it sounds like garbage. If he had bought a violin from the pawn shop would he have expected different results?  Being new to the violin, the quality of the instrument won’t make him a better violinist.  He really needs to take lessons, practice and dedicate a certain amount of time every day to mastering the instrument.  So, why would leadership give its contact center employees Stradivarius-quality software without training and development?

So by now you might be saying okay, okay, I get it. I need someone who knows how to use the software. But why do I need a whole department? Here’s another analogy for you. I live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area so I fly out of DFW all the time. Now, there are many airlines that fly in and out all day long–American, Delta, United, etc.  If there was no traffic tower and each airline was left with the responsibility to take off and land their planes on their own, you can imagine how this would all turn out. So think of the Workforce Department as the traffic tower of the contact center. That team is a dedicated, professional team who is constantly watching the service levels and all contact center activity minute by minute. Their main task is to ensure that service levels are always being looked at and if trouble arises then they are quickly on top of things helping leadership make the right decision.

In my next posting we will dive even deeper and talk about all the major roles that make up this team, so be sure to check back for the second part of this discussion.