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{WorkForce} Managing the Holiday Season!

With the holidays quickly approaching, retailers are gearing up for an increase in customer service staffing needs.  Enghouse Interactive Workforce Management (WFM) offers an enterprise forecasting and scheduling application that maximizes agents work schedules across all customer communication channels, including voice interactions, chat sessions, email requests, text messaging, and social media to combat these needs.  As these service requirements change throughout the day, advanced intraday management tools help WFM analyst monitor scheduled plans against the forecast, while allowing supervisors to quickly adjust agents work schedules to meet unexpected customer volumes. Clear communication is key with employees in the retail world, especially around the holidays! The Enghouse WFM framework natively connects agents, supervisors, and analysts together using multiple notification options. Agents, supervisors, and analysts can interact about schedule changes across five different channels including desktop pop-ups, internal memos, email notifications, SMS/text messaging, and an agent mobile application.

Through any of these options, supervisors and schedulers can:

  •   Send ad-hoc information and notifications to a specific group or individual.
  •   Send reminders about upcoming scheduled events.
  •   Solicit agents for opt-in shift adjustments.
  •   Notify agents of schedule changes and processed requests.

A key to setting staff expectations regarding their work schedules is analyzing past years forecasts and shift patterns, and establishing what works and what should be avoided. Enghouse WFM offers a number of flexible forecasting options.  Schedulers can use historical call data sets such as rolling days, static timeframes, or date ranges to create forecasts in addition to supporting excel data imports.

In retail, the need to hire seasonal employees is about as likely as overindulging at Thanksgiving dinner. The forecasting and scheduling functions within Enghouse WFM deliver advanced tools to run unlimited “what-if” analysis to prepare the contact center for any scenario without impacting the production environment.   For example, it looks like a retailer may need to hire an extra fifteen seasonal employees, but using the Enghouse WFM advanced scheduling capabilities a more efficient schedule is produced that only requires five new employees, maximizing labor costs.

Enghouse WFM keeps employees engaged as it was built from the ground up with agent empowerment at the forefront of its design. With Enghouse WFM, agents are involved in the scheduling process, giving them input into critical scheduling decisions such as shift swapping, opt-in requests, or unplanned time-off which can come in handy when maintaining a healthy and happy staff during the hustle and bustle of the holidays!

Published in Contact Center Solutions customer experience quality management Retail workforce management workforce optimization