North American Customer Service Management Association

Support for Contact Center Professionals

Phase 4 Strategy - Step 5 Workforce Management

Do We Have Enough Agents Here?

Workforce Management in a contact center is the art and science of having the right number of employees with the right skills at the right time, to meet accurately forecasted volumes of work while maintaining a predetermined service level.
Workforce Management is a critical function for contact centers. Poor planning and execution will have a negative impact on the business in terms of cost, poor customer satisfaction, and employee burnout and motivation.
Workforce Management software available in today’s marketplace, can quite effectively manage this task and has greatly improved in function and capability, as well as in price. There is no reason to be using spreadsheets and whiteboards in today’s contact center!
What does Workforce Management software do? Workforce management (WFM) is an integrated set of processes that an institution uses to optimize the productivity of its employees on individual, departmental, and entity-wide levels. Here are the functions of workforce management.
Calculation of an Accurate Forecast
-Collect call history data
-Identify call patterns (day, week, season, etc.)
-Identify special day patterns (holidays, etc.)
-Identify other event or business drivers that might impact call volume/pattern
Calculation of Staffing Requirements and Scheduling
-Define Service level, ASA and average handle time
-Calculate workload
-Define staffing requirements
-Include all activities (call and non-call) into schedule
-Build in flexibility (start/end times, breaks, multi-skill, etc.)
-Create schedule for 15 or 30-minute increments
Monitoring, Managing Adherence and Managing Exceptions
-Inform and educate about adherence importance and impact
-Measure and manage adherence throughout the day (real-time adherence)
-Provide incentives
-Changes in call volume or arrival pattern
-Staffing or scheduling issues
-Business related exceptions
Tracking and Reporting
-Measuring and adjusting
-Analyze daily/weekly reports
-Investigate causes for under-performance
-Apply findings into workforce management process


1. With Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) and Workforce Management integration collecting data is faster for more accurate forecasting, real-time adherence monitoring and intra-day management of call centers.
2. Plan the schedule using smaller 15-minute intervals instead of 30 minute intervals.

Take the Next Step!

You can see from these four steps that spreadsheets and whiteboards can’t possibly be effective. It is amazing how many organizations still employ a manual approach to workforce management. By relying on paper spreadsheets, they lack a way to accurately measure the degree of adherence to the schedule. Reporting, if done at all, is a nightmare. The end product is too much time and effort spent managing staff for little return. Workforce Management software helps organizations to automate key tasks that have an immediate impact on the bottom line through more accurate call volume forecasts, optimized scheduling and daily performance tracking in real-time.

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The North American Customer Service Management Association (NACSMA) assists Service Center professionals with improving the delivery of Customer Care to their clients by providing a collaborative networking approach to operational issues.