Agent Tools & Benefits
Why your agents will love it
Wisdom WFO eliminates the most common sources of stress that can infringe on Agent productivity. Much of the relief stems from improving wait times and the resulting flow of happy customers. Additional harmony is realized from convenient schedules and simple effective tools for customizing schedules to individual needs.
Wisdom WFO is entirely web based. It’s easy to use from work, home or smart phone.
Wisdom WFO recognizes something simple that the rest of the industry seems to have missed. Agents have friends and they like to take breaks with those friends. This technology allows every agent to select their friends and indicate which breaks are desirable for co-scheduling. Mutual friends are co-schedules for break when ever possible. There is no loss of schedule efficiency. Instead, everything runs smoother when agents have the privilege of unwinding with the colleagues that make them feel good.
When the schedule changes, agents are notified by email. The message includes a link to see the details of the change and to acknowledge it.
A shift trade link appears beside each shift on the My Schedules page.
Four different types of Shift Trades are available to agents.
A Regular Trade is a simple exchange like:
“you take my 9:00 AM shift on Tuesday and I’ll take your 10:00 AM Shift on the same day”
Regular trades can also take place across days or weeks provided agents have the appropriate days off. The system automatically filters out any trades that would cause double booking. The system performs all the back ground work needed to make trading a simple point and click operation. Agents only see valid trading options in a simple list. They check off the trades that suit their needs and submit the proposal. Recipients reply with equal ease.
Two Part Trades allow agents to make conditional proposal like these:
• “can you take this shift if I take that shift”
• “I’ll take the trade that you are proposing if you also agree to a different trade that I need”
• “I can’t accept the two part trade that you are proposing but I proposing a similar one that may help you.
Two part trades are simple for both agents and supervisors. Wisdom WFO does all the hard work, automatically, in the background. Agents can quickly click though to the trades that will help the most. Colleagues reply with a level of interest or propose an alternative. Supervisors can easily approve two part trades with a single click. As each trade is approved, all redundant trades are automatically cleared.
Trade Days Off allows agents to trade days off. The task has been simplified for the agent. They just need to select the day that they want to get rid of and the system automatically provides a list of agents that have the same day off. The proposer then gets to pick from a drop list of days that the other agent has off.
Recipients can accept or propose an alternative.
Shift Offers are proposals to give a shift to another agent, taking no hours in return. The system automatically finds the agents who are available to work an extra shift.
Efficient Trade Proposals and Replies
In each of the four cases above, the software does all the leg work for the agent. The agent indicates the day that they would like to change and the type of trade. The software then assembles a simple grid that includes only valid trades. This saves the agent the work of navigating the entire schedule to find trading options. It also eliminated the potential for agents to propose a trade that may later be deemed invalid.
Wisdom WFO allows agents to pitch any number of trades to any number of agents. It takes the same effort to propose a trade to one agent as is does to propose to many. Recipients are selected from a simple list and all proposals are submitted with a single click. The recipient’s of these proposals can reply with a level of interest. This allows for the participation of agents who don’t necessarily want the trade but may be willing to help if needed. The ability to present each shift to many potential traders is very important to an effective shift trading forum. The greater the number of participants, the faster and easier it is for agents to resolve their own schedule challenges.
Efficient Trade Administration for Supervisors
The approvals process for supervisors is essentially a single click operation. The supervisor sees a list of trades grouped by proposal. Within each proposal, the recipients are ordered by their level of interest. The trades of greatest convenience are ranked highest and are most likely to be approved. After each trade, the system automatically cleans up any trades that are no longer relevant or possible. These are called redundant trades. This approach ensures minimal effort for supervisors even though agents have the freedom to include any number of recipients in each proposal. The effort for supervisors is actually lower when as many agents as possible can participate in helping their colleagues find suitable trades.
The efficiencies described above present many advantages over the competing offerings in the market. Typically, those products:
• Require agents to search and evaluate the schedule to identify potential trades
• Limit trade proposals such that each shift can only be proposed to one agent at a time.
• Require supervisors to manually clear all trade remnants
Option for Agents to Self-Approve Trades
Specified agents can be granted the right to approve their own trade. In this case, the recipient agent sees an approve button beside each proposal. The supervisor’s approval is not required but the supervisor can be notified if desired. The notifications are configurable.
Each shift on the My Schedule page includes a vacation request button.
Agents can request one day, many days or partial day leave. The appropriate supervisor is notified immediately of the request. The agent is notified immediately when the request is approved or rejected. Wisdom WFO also supports vacation bidding with the bidding order set according to seniority or performance metrics or manual priority.
Availability Change Requests
Agents can submit requests to change their hours of availability. Supervisors can respond with an approval, modification or rejection of the change. Only approved changes are considered by the scheduling process.
Detailed Change Requests
Agents can request detailed changes to any shift using a simple drag and drop interface. Any lunch, break or training can be moved to a new proposed time.
Supervisors see the impact of the change on the planned schedule buffer. Requests can be approved, rejected or answered with a counter proposal. As with all change requests, the supervisor is notified immediately of the request. Agents are notified immediately of the supervisor’s reply.
Wisdom WFO Work Place Benefits for Agents
SCO Forecasts present agents with the conditions for success.
The largest single source of agent stress relief flows from the precision SCO forecast. Other WFM solutions, focus on compelling agents to comply rigidly with the schedule. One should ask why. The schedule was created weeks before the day at hand. The activity today is likely different than forecasted. The differences may be subtle or dramatic depending on the quality of the forecast or unforeseen changes outside the call center.
In an effective call center, agents should be focused on finishing a call when the customer is satisfied – not when the schedule thinks the customer should be satisfied. Agents should be able to take the initiative to take their break early if a lull in activity is under way. Ending a call abruptly to satisfy a scheduled break or forecast prediction serves-up no real benefit to the call center.
So what is the advantage of asking agents to rigidly take their break on the 15-minute mark. Honestly, the only advantage is that doing so will contribute to the illusion of forecast accuracy. Even with the worst of forecasts, rigid adherence to schedule produces the illusion of high forecast accuracy. This is achieved with very specific formulation of the forecast accuracy metric. Virtually every WFM vendor uses the same slight of hand to make weak forecasts look accurate. But forecast that always benefit from the illusion of accuracy never improve and never adapt to the needs of a growing customer base. These weaknesses place a great deal of stress on agents.
It is the agents who must cope with the customers who start their conversation irate about the amount of time they waited for service. Bad forecasts hurt agent. The hurt increases over time with the illusion of forecast accuracy.
SCO forecast have no use for the trickery of faking high forecast accuracy. Agents are among the first to experience the positive impact of Wisdom WFO. In their day to day lives, agents find happy callers, productive conversations, more gratitude, less stress and a better shared atmosphere for all agents.
Wisdom WFO is the only WFM solution on the market that makes it easy for agents to adhere intelligently to the schedule. This means agents can fully service the customer they are speaking with without being concerned that working into a scheduled break will diminish their adherence score. It also means the agent can take a break early when there are no calls in queue. The system automatically recognizes that that the break is being taken for appropriate reasons and for the appropriate duration.
Why is this important? The forecast is number that only changes every 15 minutes. The real time demand for agents changes moment-by-moment. Each agent gets a different customer and it is unlikely that any one of those customers will have their needs satisfied on the 15 minute mark. Wisdom WFO allows each agent to fully service the customer they are working with before taking their scheduled break. Customers are serviced better and diligent agents receive the high adherence scores that they deserve. But the benefits to the call center go beyond fairness to customers and agents. When you give agents the flexibility to adapt to the real time demand that is unfolding, the 15 minute plan is transformed from a jagged 15 minute estimate into a minute-by-minute “operationalized staffing level”. This is called improved operational schedule granularity. It allows agents to flow across the interval boundaries just like calls and callers flow across boundaries. The results improved labor utilization, lower wait times and more consistent wait times for customers.
Freedom to be Productive
If you are using any other WFM solution, you agents are being asked to end calls swiftly so that breaks can be taken when scheduled. This undermines the ability of agents to fully service each caller. Its also a key source of stress and mistrust. Agents are clever enough to recognize that the needs of the caller on the phone now should be more relevant than a scheduled break time that has been optimized to three week old data.
“Really? Weeks ago your schedule predicted I should be hanging up on this caller now? Really?”
When agents are penalized for doing the right thing, everybody loses.
Giving agents the freedom to flow across intervals allows them to follow the needs of real life callers. The conventional forecast assumes all calls end before the end of an interval. They don’t. SCO forecasts understands exactly how each and every call flow across intervals. It provides you with a forecast and schedule to absorb that flow with short wait times and high productivity. When agents fully satisfy each caller, they also satisfy the intent of the SCO forecast and schedule.
SCO does not manipulate your agents for the purpose of boosting forecast accuracy illusions. With Wisdom WFO, Forecast accuracy is reported fairly so that the next forecast can correctly compensate for any growth or shift in calling patterns. And by the way, the real forecast accuracy is awesome. Your agents will recognize that by the constant flow of callers who are please with their wait time and ready to cooperate in a productive call.