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The Contact Center Workforce Manager Skills Series

Part 2: Skills for Creating Optimized Schedules

"Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers."

This quote from Stephen R. Covey, business author and successful entrepreneur, is not just for executives to internalize. It also applies to workforce managers.

Workforce managers determine how many staff are assigned to a shift and which employee takes which specific shift. Their scheduling decisions, therefore, can have a huge impact on employee satisfaction. If they schedule too few agents for a shift, agents will become overloaded and stressed. Customers will notice this immediately. They have to wait longer until they are connected to an agent and then often have to deal with a stressed agent who has no time to answer all questions in detail.

Moreover, if workforce managers take little or no consideration of agents' preferences when planning shifts, agents may be less satisfied and be less motivated to perform well and provide good customer service. So when it comes to creating shift plans, workforce managers have a big responsibility.

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The Contact Center Workforce Manager Skill Set for Forecasting

Part 1: Workload Forecasting Skills

In contact centers today, roughly 65% to 75% of the total operating cost is consumed through paying  the frontline staff. For that reason, the biggest opportunity for contact centers to manage or reduce cost is to optimize the utilization of their frontline workforce. To do this, most contact centers today have a workforce manager or an entire workforce management (WFM) department.

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