Changing Workforce Models and the Role of WEM in the Contact Centre

COVID-19 created a gig economy, introducing a new generation of contact centre workers. They include freelancers and short-term contractors with varying career aspirations around when and where they want to work. And they respond to different motivations. Especially if they’re outside the contact centre and unable to see wallboards for queues and metrics.

So, how can customer experience (CX) leaders take advantage of such new trends? How do solutions like Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) help? And what does best practice look like?

Putting customers first starts with the people

It’s hard to think of a company that doesn’t believe in putting customers first. Yet, strategic execution isn’t the same as being customer-centric, especially when it’s based on ideas from 20 or 30 years ago.

It’s amazing how many organisations still run their contact centres on simple productivity measures like average handle time and occupancy. Some see employee satisfaction surveys as a tick-box exercise and then wait six or even 12 months to give feedback via appraisals. Meanwhile, their organisations continue to carry bad work practices and behaviors.

Last year, the pandemic and home-working scramble confirmed such models were well and truly broken. Instead of using KPIs as a stick, we need to focus on nurturing and getting the best out of our people. For contact centre managers, the line between encouragement and overburdening can be a fine one. But getting it right quickly pays off.

Frost and Sullivan found companies adopting a full suite of workforce engagement management (WEM) tools and processes are 60% more likely to have highly engaged and motivated employees. They’re also 82% more likely to provide better customer service and 96% more likely to achieve overall profitability.

Smart technology and partner choice

That’s why at Genesys we’ve worked hard to introduce WEM and gamification tools into our platforms. Agents need to feel empowered and rewarded to achieve and go above and beyond, while supervisors need to be able to dig deeper into interactions to benchmark agent performance and pinpoint their training needs.

Nevertheless, it would be wrong to think technology alone can solve everything. It can’t. Success depends on how you take those tools and apply them to deliver against a wider and more meaningful dashboard including soft KPIs like employee net promoter score.

For that, Genesys looks toward its partners. Orange Business Services (OBS) is a brilliant example. They understand the growing importance of motivational methods and their role in driving contact centre transformation. They also bring systems integration skills and deep experience in business process optimisation. And they know how to get the best out of Genesys WEM.

It was great seeing how OBS helped a leading technology company deploy a global WEM solution for 12,000 agents. Spread across 18 outsourcers and 150 locations in 36 countries, along with call and screen recording it automates quality management. Routine tasks like resource planning and work scheduling come within the same ambit―ensuring the right people and skills are always in the right place at the right time. Other benefits include increased talent retention and saving money on recruitment and onboarding.

Early blossoming of best practice

Over the last 12 months, WEM and gamification have gone from being nice-to-have to key tools in driving agent engagement. They maintain healthy competition between remote-working agents, while allowing managers to quietly monitor progress and ensure training requirements are met. That’s achieved by combining game mechanics with recognition and social media tools to influence employee behaviors. In so doing, they encourage individual agents to improve performance and be more collaborative with colleagues.

An agent’s home screen includes a scorecard that acts as an incentive to excel across a range of outcomes. Agents and managers can drill down into this data to review averages, trends, and personal bests. Equally, employees can trade shifts, increase their earning potential, and establish a better work life balance.

Similarly, learning modules can be pushed out to agents when needed. For example, to inform about new product features or compliance requirements. Beyond the agent’s home page, a whole section of the workspace is devoted to performance measures like punctuality and schedule adherence. These include targets and scores that can be rolled up into leader boards across the contact centre.

The pandemic has shown how CX and contact centre supervisors can not only manage a widely distributed, home-based workforce but also inject much needed motivation and engagement. They can also take comfort in the fact that Genesys technology and our partners are on hand to help.

Orange Business Services and Genesys can provide advice and solutions for all your workforce engagement requirements and more. Download the executive brief Connecting the Dots Between Customer Satisfaction and Employee Performance to learn about crucial steps to connecting customer satisfaction and employee performance.