Richard Mill from Business Systems explains why customer-facing businesses can learn from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) recommendation to link technology and ‘work blending’ to optimise resources and improve workflow in the contact centre.
For a long time now, HMRC has advocated the use of technology and ‘work blending’ in the front and back office, as a way of getting the maximum out of resources and giving better control and insight into processes.
Optimisation technology, which provides quantifiable SLAs and enables companies to more effectively and efficiently meet customer needs, is still central to the front office or contact centre, even though HRMC’s counsel has said that applying workforce optimisation technology to the back office is crucial to optimising business processes.
Back in 2017, the International Customer Management Institute came to the conclusion that utilising workforce optimisation procedures in the back office was business critical. Yet, in general businesses are unsuccessful in exploiting workforce optimisation (WFO) technology.
Where work blending comes in
WFO is based on the concept that, if you can access key performance data in real time and make it available to everyone, you begin to drive a number of enhancements, including reducing costs, maximising revenues and customer satisfaction.
Information is at the epicentre of workforce optimisation. If people actually know exactly what they need to do to reduce queue times, for example, they can improve their productivity. Having an engaged and knowledgeable workforce makes all the difference when it comes to customer service.
If you have the right tools available to analyse historic call data, you can accurately predict staffing levels and schedule tasks. Call analysis can enable you to match staff with the right skills to certain queries, again improving your first touchpoint resolution results.
Workforce optimisation technology exists right now that encapsulates these capabilities for ease of integration into the front and back office. Ensure you look for technology that provides a scalable, flexible approach that is easy to deploy, and most importantly, is platform agnostic, avoiding vendor tie-ins. In addition, the latest workforce optimisation technology works with multiple platforms simultaneously, not just in the contact centre, but also with existing IT platforms.
With emerging technologies and multiplying digital channels, the way you deliver your customer experience is transforming. Smart scheduling is essential to consistently meet your service levels. This is why you need to pick up on the trend of workforce blending to ensure your customer service keeps pace with customer demands – and the digital economy.