What is WFM?
Resource Planning is about effectively and efficiently assigning the correct number of resources to meet the demands of any organisation. This is achieved by defining a “Service Level”, usually based 80% of calls being answered within 20 seconds.
Failing to meet service consistently or at critical times has negative effects on your staff and your customers.
Resource Planning is based upon achieving this service level. Without defining your service level, you cannot meet or exceed your customers’ expectations.
Resource and Results
You need enough resources to keep your customers happy. In other words, work to your service level; you won't be able to achieve it, if you do not have the correct number of resources.
Service Level is used is to promote efficiency. If your company answered all calls within 20 seconds, there is no difference in being perfectly staffed, or grossly overstaffed. The result is still the same.
With the 80/20 rule, peaks of demand for your resources are purposely not achieved, but then over achieved at lower times of demand to give the final result of above but close to 80%
This principle also applies to non-telephony work.
When service deteriorates, it is more than likely that the calls your agents receive will be highly critical of the organisation, the service and in some cases the agent. Your agents will be spending time apologising to your customers, driving up the wait time for other customers and the AHT (Average Handle Time) of calls. Agents are then not able to handle as many calls as they normally would if proper resourcing had taken place.
Agent and centre morale, reputation and culture will suffer, with agents looking for work elsewhere, driving up your costs for recruitment and training.
Staffing is the art of having the right people at the right times. Although this is not rocket science, it is mathematically complex. Fortunately there are Erlang-C formulae that helps call centres in determining the approximate number of agents required. These formulas are accurate enough to enable you to determine the optimum level of staff you need to meet your service objectives.
You also need to take into consideration shrinkages (e.g. breaks, lunches, sickness etc) when doing this to ensure that the centre can meet this and other service objectives.
Forecasting is estimating down to the interval (e.g. 10:00 to 10:15) the number of staff you require to meet your service objectives and how many contacts will be offered at a future point in time. Forecasting is the very first step in determining your staffing needs and if the current capacity of the centre is able to accommodate this volume.
Regardless of the type of work that your centre does or its method of delivery or business hours, you will be able to accurately forecast for the work. The AHT and arrival patterns are always constant and may only change due to exceptional external forces for which you have no control over.
With every business process that needs solving there is without doubt software on the market that helps, U-Source have developed their own Workforce Management Application in the cloud www.u-wfm.com or you can visit our blog for tips and tricks blog.u-wfm.com