Workforce optimization as a concept, and indeed a product category, has long been associated with the service industry and customer contact centers. As a solution set, it typically combines scheduling, forecasting and time and attendance tools with quality or performance management and learning or training products. But as a philosophy, it has application far outside the realm of just call center customer service representatives. It's about creating a more knowledgeable and engaged workforce, deployed to deliver on the increasingly demanding requirements of today's customer.
Today's consumers – from shoppers in a mass retail outlet, to B2B buyers of customized, consulting services – are more savvy than ever before, and as a result expect any employee they interact with to bring that same, if not better, level of knowledge and sophistication to the selling and delivery processes. And at the same time, organizations are under increasing pressure to deliver this kind of customer-centric service for lower cost, and with less time spent on tactical scheduling and compliance activities. Workforce optimization brings together these complex activities, including scheduling, time and attendance, compliance, task assignments and more in order to deploy staff in the most cost-effective way while still delivering on customer expectations and improving the employee experience. This is a daunting challenge to be sure, but by bringing together the right tools and capabilities, organizations can see impressive results.