February 13, 2013 @ 3:57 AM

New Directions in Workforce Management

By Gregory J. Robb, Research Assistant, Applied Business Technologies, LLC

As Quality Assurance (QA) has evolved, workforce management has grown into an expanding suite of QA tools, such as Call Recording, Screen Recording and Speech Analytics. Although each element contributes uniquely to Quality Assurance, industry increasingly relies on technology to balance customer relations and workforce management. In a hybrid world, it is no surprise that humanity leans on technology to gain a competitive advantage.

Workforce Management from the Inside

Quality Assurance tools empower call center managers to coach customer service representatives (CSRs) for optimum first call resolution (FCR) rates, the prime indicator of call center accomplishment. However, QA tools offer different workforce management benefits:

Call Recording allows supervisors to randomly select CSR interactions in real-time. This, in turn, permits managers to spot-check more CSRs for their use of scripts, as well as key words and phrases. In other words, Call Recording software provides the kind of internal accountability which more accurately reflects external result, such as average speed of answer (ASA), average handling times (AHT) and FCR. A customized Call Recording system helps to resolve internal call center issues, so stakeholders can excel in producing metrics that matter.

Voice-Over IP Call Recording, such as that offered by Applied Business Technologies (ABT), can also be used to meet Industry compliance standards and protect confidential company-client interactions from unauthorized breach.

Successful workforce managers also utilize Screen Recording as an effective CSR scheduling tool. Screen Recording displays the actions of all CSRs as they occur, including start times and shrinkage (time for which CSRs are paid but are unavailable, such as coffee breaks). Workforce managers may opt to deploy ABT Screen Recording as a way of scheduling staggered start times to reduce shrinkage, which may – in turn – enhance other key performance indicators (KPI). In the Quality Assurance context, Screen Recording serve to help call centers meet performance targets with potentially-reduced costs.

Speech Analytics (SA) is a crucial infrastructural component of the big data era. When the world began to transform analog to digital, the global demand for electronic memory exploded. With the expansion of electronic memory comes big data: gargantuan amounts of digital business intelligence (BI) which simply needs to be mined for its true value. Speech Analytics software, from Applied Business Technologies, is a programmable way of achieving server-based BI for optimum call center success. Open architecture allows ABT Speech Analytics users to discover service secrets as contained in customer calls. As customer expectations go up, so does the cost-effectiveness of Speech Analytics. Consider the cost of SA compared to the cost of lost business in a globally-competitive business climate.

When leaner is meaner and more resilient, superior workforce management makes the Quality Assurance difference. The days of listening to a few calls after the fact are over. Now, business harnesses the technological tools of call center achievement: Call Recording, Screen Recording and Speech Analytics.

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