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Insiders Guide to Planning: Introduction to WFM Real Time Management

Insiders Guide to Planning: Introduction to WFM Real Time Management

Last Updated August 2016

What is real time management?
WFM real time management is proactively managing the contacts and queues “on the day” to ensure service levels and business targets are met. This means taking the resource plan and forecasts and monitoring volumes throughout the day, acting if thresholds are transgressed and enabling service recovery plans if required.

Get the balance right – queues are normal
A small amount of queuing calls is not necessarily an issue and indicates staffing levels are in the right zone. If there is no queue and calls are answered immediately you either have extremely high service levels or are overstaffed. So, calls queuing are not a bad thing provided they are answered within the required limits. The problems start when the contacts vary significantly from the plan and service levels are compromised. This is where real time management becomes integral to the contact centre.

Size and Scale
Real time management is central to an organisations optimisation capability. For smaller organisations, the service delivery role may be part of the scheduler’s activities. For larger multi-site organisations it can become a distinct function providing the “mission control” view of activities where real time analysts are employed to monitor, amend and drive performance.

Schedule adherence
To successfully manage in ‘real time’ a contact centre must have visibility of schedule adherence to ensure agents scheduled activities are matched against actual activities. This highlights any deviation to the staffing plans and helps keep resource availability to the required level.

The Impact of low adherence
Adherence levels and expectations differ between organisations and industries and there is often no set target. The impact of non-adherence even in smaller contact centres can be significant from a customer experience and efficiency perspective. For an organisation with 100 heads employed on a paid 7 hour per day contract, then 10% non adherence equals 70 hours per day which multiplied across the year represents a significant cost challenge.

Why you need to make it real…
An effective real time management process and governance is critical for workforce optimisation and it provides the opportunity for the planning team to really show their worth by reacting to changes as they unfold in a positive way and without compromising on service. Tune in to the next blog which will cover the building blocks for an effective real time management policy.

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