I recently conducted a survey with members of the National Association of Call Centers (NACC), a not-for-profit industry organization that offers strategic research and advice to its members. Based at The University of Southern Mississippi, the NACC strives to offer relevant, clear, demand-based research as an alternative to all the noise an information clutter that permeates the industry. I function as research director at the NACC, as I have since 2008.
This research brought a touch of reality to the idea of back office or enterprise workforce management. We simply asked end-users what they thought of the idea and what they were doing in their own contact center. Not surprisingly, the industry isn’t as far along as many vendors would have you believe.
Our survey revealed that 61 percent of our respondents have their front office contact center and the back office report to the same internal organization. This sounds promising for providers of back office workforce management. However, only 24 percent or our respondents combine the scheduling of back office personnel with front office personnel and only 15 percent of respondents use the same scheduling software for both back and front office even though, as noted, 24 percent schedule them together.
It seems to me there is still quite a bit of missionary work to do when it comes to migrating front office workforce management to the back office. While it appears that much of the ground work has been laid given that 61 percent of organizations have their front and back offices reporting to the same internal organization, it is obvious that the idea of also combining their scheduling still has a ways to go.
Verint recently released their fifth generation Impact 360 workforce optimization solution. Part of this release is a revamped back office workforce management component that addresses the unique scheduling needs of the back office while still maintaining the efficiency of its front office solution. It’s worth taking a look at.
I recently did a podcast with Oscar Alban of Verint that discusses the topic of back office workforce management. If you have a few minutes, please give it a listen or download it for later listening. You can find it at: http://verint.com/contact_center/misc/WFM_Recording-04.27.11.wmv