We’ve been discussing contact center workforce optimization (WFO) suites for years. DMG defines a workforce optimization suite as a “collection of integrated modules designed to capture, analyze and give managers the information required to evaluate the performance of their department and staff, and the perceptions, needs and wants of their customers and prospects.” See Figure 1.

workforce optimization

If you want to purchase a WFO suite, check to make sure that the solution you’re considering is a true “suite” rather than a collection of applications offered by a vendor. Here are 8 criteria to help identify if a solution is a true WFO suite:

  1. Centralized administration environment – The suite should have a single admin environment for accessing and managing all of the applications. This is essential for training and ongoing usability.
  2. Unified user interface – The suite needs to employ a standardized look and feel across all applications so that users can utilize it efficiently.
  3. Fully integrated modules – All of the modules in the suite must be integrated with each other; this means that they share and use data and findings from one another to improve their effectiveness.
  4. Common rules engine – The suite should have one rules engine that allows users to specify the handling of various capabilities across all of the modules.
  5. Common coaching functionality – Users should be able to provide coaching from any of the modules, using a common framework; this is a primary benefit of a WFO suite, as it improves agent quality and the overall customer experience.
  6. Ability to leverage functionality across all channels – The WFO modules need to be flexible and address all of the channels that the company supports; this is increasingly important as organizations build out their omnichannel capabilities.
  7. Consolidated dashboards and reports – The suite should provide a standardized view into system findings and use reporting tools that help to make results more actionable.
  8. Centralized database – The suite should come with a single standardized database that enables cost-effective sharing of data and information and simplifies the technical operating environment.

There are many technical and operational benefits of using a true WFO suite. An obvious benefit is that if the applications are integrated out-of-the-box, it saves work for the end-user organization. Companies want a fully integrated WFO suite because it provides one version of the truth, simplifies reporting, and can deliver actionable recommendations and findings on a timely and increasingly real-time basis. These suites are also popular because they have a proven track record of increasing department efficiency and the performance of agents, supervisors and managers. As a result, they improve the overall customer experience while reducing operating costs and technical complexity.

As I prepared for the webinar on the topic of contact center WFO suites where I discussed how to use these solutions to improve your operating environment, I proposed a poll question on workforce optimization suites for you:

See more poll results and WFO discussions at our webinar OnDemand, Implementing Workforce Optimization Solutions from Your Contact Center Vendor.

Thanks for reading!