On Jun, 9 2023
Workforce management (WFM) technology in the contact center continually changes and evolves. Often driven by agent requests, a modern WFM software provider will keep innovation top of mind when working through both optimizations to existing features as well as new functionality. Below are 5 contact center workforce management trends to watch within contact centers alongside some additional information about the operational impact each one will have.
1) AI and automation will continue to have an increasingly larger role
While a solution like ChatGPT doesn’t really apply directly to current workforce management software trends, there are other uses cases of AI and automation that are powerful and will continue to make a major impact. For example, AI can currently be leveraged to help a WFM analyst predict their staffing needs as a day progresses so they can staff up or down in the right way. And, with WFM software, it’s easy to contact relevant agents for any staffing changes in just a few clicks through automated schedule adjustment plans. Automation and AI will remain a pillar of the future of workforce management for years to come.
2) More demand for meeting the needs of remote/hybrid agents
It’s no secret that there has been a huge increase in the number of remote and hybrid employees over the past few years and it’s having a major impact on the future of contact centers. Changes have been made and are still happening to meet the demands of the modern (and mobile) agent. One of them is utilizing WFM software with functionality that’s built to empower agents working from different locations. Even larger contact centers that once worked in protected, in office environments are now evaluating cloud WFM solutions. This change is primarily because of the poor experiences remote agents have trying to adapt to an on premise data hosting strategy that wasn’t built to support them.
3) Using WFM software to make communication more actionable
The increase in remote and hybrid work has naturally resulted in more communication happening online. Whether it’s through a chat or a video call, many agents aren’t meeting face to face with colleagues as much as in the past. All of this can result in lower workplace efficiency, so it’s become more important to engage directly within the WFM software as much as possible when it comes to scheduling, time off, and more. It’s much easier for a WFM analyst to quickly make schedule adjustments when there isn’t a need to dig through emails or chats to find an agent’s time off request. Solid, actionable communication is one of those WFM trends that can fly under the radar but holds value to everyone involved.
4) Mobile WFM app demand rising, no longer just a “nice to have”
Another area impacted by the rise of remote work is the need for a mobile WFM app. While they have been around for a few years, demand from agents continues to rise for an app with the essential functionality of traditional WFM software. This is especially true when it comes to Gen Z agents. They want to be able to view their schedule from anywhere, request time off, learn about inclement weather start times, and much more without feeling chained to their work computer. The future of WFM very much has a mobile component.
5) Agents want to work in WFM software in the language they choose
The entire world has only become more and more connected. Combining remote agents with open travel means an agent doesn’t necessarily need to be in their home country to effectively work. It’s a reason why agents are requesting WFM software that lets them work in a popular language they prefer. Sure, an agent may speak English, but working in software translated to their native language such as French or Spanish can help to improve efficiency and morale.
Hopefully looking closer into the future of contact center workforce management with these trends was helpful. The key thing to remember is that agents, not executive meetings, are driving the change when it comes to WFM technology and broader contact center trends.