Easy? I can tell you all about easy…

I’ve just been flicking through the UK Contact Centre Decision Makers Guide 2018-19.  As you’d expect, for someone in my current industry and with my background in Contact Centre Planning, this was full of really interesting facts, trends and research, covering topics like Maximising Efficiency and Optimisation, Proactive Customer Service and Strategic Directions.  But something very specific caught my eye.

I was drawn to the heading ‘Current and Future Use of Workforce Management Systems’ (as I’m sure you’d expect I would be).  It has some interesting views on the functionality within WFM systems that most centres are actually using – it won’t come as a huge surprise to learn that Forecasting, Scheduling, Reporting and Real Time Adherence monitoring scored higher here than What-if Scenario Planning, Back Office Planning or Multichannel capability.  But it was a section on WFM Capabilities that gave me reason to pause.

It was here that the guide showed that 67% of respondents – the highest in the survey – felt that their WFM system rated either Excellent or Good in ‘Ease of Making Intraday Changes’.  Now, that really surprised me – WFM solutions, as wonderful and powerful as they are, are famously not focussed on the work of Intraday changes and, in order to process them, a lot of manual work is required.  That is why resource-heavy Real Time or Intraday teams have been set up in Centres all over the world! It’s also why businesses are often unable to offer slick, easy-to-manage shift swap or holiday management processes and why the number one complaint of Real Time Analysts everywhere is that they have slowly morphed into Administrators and diary managers. The report research just didn’t make any sense to me.

But then, thinking differently  – what if those respondents only consider Intraday changes to be ‘easy’ because they have large, highly skilled teams of Intraday Analysts and well-constructed manual processes that make the changes appear easy?  Think of the swan gliding effortlessly across the water and the unseen frantic activity of its legs beneath the surface.  Or, what if they consider it as ‘easy’ because they have no frame of reference? – maybe they’ve never seen what Intraday Automation can bring and never considered how much easier things could be!

Intraday Automation is exactly that – the automation of the Intraday manual processes. Our customers have discovered that by using our automation solution  they make on-the-day schedule changes automatically at the touch of a button – all communication and schedule updates can be completed without any manual intervention.  This offers businesses the chance to become more agile, more able to flex and bend to the ever-changing needs of customer demand and the ever-increasing calls for flexibility from your agents.  They have improved agent engagement, uplifted the productivity and efficiency of their centres and helped to delight their customers, all whilst removing costs from their bottom line.

Maybe we need to redefine what ‘easy’ really looks like for Intraday Management.  Intraday automation is AI for your WFM.