Workforce management is a critical function in businesses, particularly call centers, ensuring the right number of agents are hired and scheduled to meet customer support demands. Part art, part science, workforce management continuously treads a fine line between overstaffing and understaffing, incurring unnecessary labor costs, overusing project management software or damaging customer experience and burning out agents. Fortunately, good workforce management software automates many complex tasks conducted by workforce analysts.

What is workforce management software?

Workforce management software is a spreadsheet's worst nightmare and a contact center's best friend. The key workforce management tasks - forecasting, employee scheduling, attendance tracking, performance management, and intraday adjustments - can be done with a complicated system of spreadsheets or by wfm software that automates the processes, reducing time and errors and increasing employee productivity.

Using complex algorithms and historical data, workforce management software takes the guesswork out of future contact volume and helps leaders identify agent hiring needs. Additionally, the software uses the forecasts it generates to produce employee schedules designed to meet the expected demand. When things don't go according to plan, workforce management software can facilitate intraday adjustments that can save the budget or customer satisfaction. And the best solutions engage agents by giving them more control over their schedules.

Speaking of the best workforce management software, most solutions may offer the basic functionality to automate these tasks, but the way they do it and the quality of execution can differ greatly. Additionally, great platforms have features that can take the execution of workforce management tasks to the next level. Below are some examples.

Workforce management software features that can take your contact center from good to great

Why settle for average workforce management software when you can have access to the features that will make your workforce team management function best-in-class?

Agent interface

The best workforce management software provides an agent interface that empowers agents to have more control of their schedules. These interfaces allow agents to complete tasks like swapping shifts with other agents, bidding on shifts, or sending time-off requests to their supervisors. The outcomes of these activities can then automatically be incorporated into upcoming schedules. Having this increased control will result in higher agent engagement which is good for customers and the business.

"Best pick" forecasting algorithms

World-class workforce management software provides the ability to select from several different algorithms to calculate forecasts. This gives users the option to choose the forecasting method that is right for their business. If forecasters need help choosing, software with "best pick" capabilities will select the best algorithm for them based on the time period and their forecast parameters.

Omnichannel forecasting

Omnichannel customer service means offering consumers multiple channels of support - like phone, chat, email, and social media - and allowing customers to move across them seamlessly, even within the same interaction. Forecasting is complex even when you’re just supporting phone calls. Throwing more channels into the mix amplifies the complexity. World-class workforce management software simplifies omnichannel forecasting through automation and calculations that holistically include all channels. Even if an organization currently only offers phone support, chances are good that they'll add digital channels in the future. Software with omnichannel forecasting supports future growth and evolution.

"What-if" capabilities

Sometimes forecasters aren't sure how to forecast the volume for an upcoming event, like that of a big upcoming promotion for example. Being able to run "what if" scenarios allows users to run best case scenarios (the promotion is wildly successful), worst case scenarios (the promo is an epic fail), and most likely scenarios (the promo results are somewhere in between). This enables the workforce management team to understand staffing needs for each scenario, which the business can then use to make staffing decisions.

Simplify while improving accuracy
World-class workforce management software simplifies forecasting and scheduling activities by automating complex and cumbersome tasks. Forecasters and schedulers no longer need to be spreadsheet jockeys, meaning they can spend more time on high-value analysis. Plus, you get the benefit of higher accuracy. It's hard to say no to that!
Increase agility
Being able to plan with flexible "what-if" scenarios gives contact centers the agility to adapt to both planned and unplanned business events. With the right workforce management software, contact centers can provide the support necessary for organizational success. It's nice to have a seat at the table.
Artificial intelligence makes it even better
Forecasting tools that include artificial intelligence and machine learning make your forecasts even more accurate. Take the guesswork out of which algorithms to use with smart "best pick" technology. Ultimately, the customer wins when your forecasts and schedules are as good as they can be. Do it for them.

NICE workforce management platform has the features to take you from good to great

NICE CXone Workforce Management software (WFM) empowers you to anticipate business demands and optimize your workforce with the industry’s most intelligent and accurate omnichannel forecasting engine. Read about the benefits Wine Country Gift Baskets experiences by using CXone Workforce Management software. And our blog post, Can Your Workforce Management Software Withstand the Mandatory Digital Transformation?, provides some very practical advice about workforce management in the digital age.

What’s New in Workforce Management: Innovations to Watch

Stay ahead with the latest innovations in workforce management software. We’ll highlight new features and trends that can help you keep your team’s management strategies up-to-date.

Contact us

If you would like to know more about our platform or just have additional questions about our products or services, please submit the contact form. For general questions or customer support please visit our Contact us page.

White Papers

Enterprise workforce management product and market report reprint

The experts have spoken NICE is recognized as a market share leader in workforce management by DMG Consulting, for the 10th consecutive year.

White Papers

Bringing workforce management and quality management together to engage employees and boost CX

In today’s dynamic and evolving world, customers expect more than ever—and so do employees. You need a complete, integrated solution to ensure that every customer need is met, regardless of the channel they use to communicate with your organization, and that quality remains high.

White Papers

Enterprise Workforce Optimization/Workforce Engagement Management Product and Market Report Reprint 2022/2023

Enterprises strive to deliver a consistently excellent customer experience to establish strong relationships with their customers and cultivate their loyalty. WFO/WEM help meet this goal by capturing and providing the insights, analytics, and automation that brands need to build and maintain outstanding relationships with customers and their employees.