Workforce Management customer service

Workforce Management

Workforce Management

Last week we looked at one of the area that is becoming crucial for any business and that is business analytics. One way data can be used is for workforce management. Which is what we are going to go into this week! We will start as usual with an introduction. Later this week I want to discuss KPI:s. How the use of them might not give you the full view. Especially not over how well your agents are doing. We fill finish this week with my introduction to the customer success package I’ve been working on for a long time now. Blood sweat and tears have gone into it. I’m very excited to tell you all about it!

In a customer service or call center a majority of the budget goes to having agents. Knowing that helps you to really understand what a shaky border you are trying to balance with analytics! If the data is wrong, or the analysis is wrong, everything becomes wrong. But we have discussed expectations in earlier blog posts and it’s equally crucial here.

In science you work with data models all the time, and models are a fundamental part of analytics. You can always expect a data model to be wrong in one way or another. To add to that we are also dealing with a very unpredictable environment. So all you can expect is a hint in the right direction.

Workforce Management – Occupancy

Another very interesting aspect to workforce management is occupancy. Every team leader of a customer service have calculated on their teams occupancy on some occasions. The interesting part is how hard team leaders are pushing their agents to get a high occupancy depending on where in the world they are. In the US you can expect to see occupancy numbers over 75%. Still you will see the Service Level on an acceptable level. But in Sweden, if you see occupancy levels that exceed 30 or 40%, then you can expect low Service Level numbers. How can cultural differences affect productivity this much?

Know there are cultural differences in customer service, and service in general, should affect how you interpret articles about customer service efficiency. Most of the articles you find online are American, where the pressure is expected to be higher. So when these articles say that your occupancy level should be towards 80% remember is might not work in your culture. Also remember that efficiency is not everything. What are your goals for your customer service? Focus on those and don’t compare your efforts to your competitor. Do what you do the best you can.

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facebook messenger chatbots

Facebook messenger chatbots

Facebook Messenger chatbots

Are you curious about chatbots and would like to try one for your company’s customer service? Facebook Messenger chatbots makes it possible for any company, small or big. While if it has been poorly created it could be a waste of time, it still has the potential of lifting some of the weight of your agents. The technology is flexible and could improve your relationship with your customer. The key is to execute it well.

It’s perfect if you need to handle basic questions or booking of appointments. It’s all done with technology and not by your busy agents. You can also set the chatbot to send messages to your customers automatically. Some examples of what it can send out is reminders, updates and customer surveys. These mentioned examples are basic, and a creative mind can come up with way more examples. The possibilities are endless!

The trick though is to be clear on your objectives from the start. It’s easy to set up chatbots that are quite a waste of time and effort. If you focus on pain points, then maybe you can solve some of them. But remember not make it too complicated, keep it simple.

Facebook’s Changes in the Algorithm

Facebook Messenger chatbots are also a good idea because of the changes that have been done in the Facebook algorithm. Before you could reach your customer in their Facebook feed on a completely different level than today. Do you have an important message that you want to reach your customer with? Use Messenger instead of trying to reach them organically in their feed. Maybe a Messenger bot can do the job for you?

With all of Facebook’s changes this year it’s important for companies to update themselves on what is happening. It will affect you company if you are doing marketing on the platform. A big change is how real interactions and conversations will be prioritized over paid for content. With real engagement they hope they will be able to improve the platforms reputation after all the scandals.

I’m excited about chatbot, but I’m still not sure if it’s something that is going to last. As mentioned I think it depends a lot on the execution. Together with us on Connectel I am sure though that we can create a great chatbot and include the channel into your CEC solution. In the next blog post we will talk about including Facebook Messenger into your customer service process in the CEC solution.


This is the second blog post about Facebook Messenger. Read the first blog post here, an the third one here.

Read more about Chat Extensions for Messenger here.  

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Support your agent

Support your agent

We have in previous blog posts talked about how to cater for your customers’ needs. We have also mentioned that it’s important to take care of your agent. In this blog post we will look closer on how you can support your agent using the CEC solution.

First thing that might come to manger’s minds is the high costs of having agents. It’s pretty obvious that the biggest cost of a customer service or call center is the agents. Wouldn’t it then be a fantastic support to get at least a hint on how many agents you will need on the floor? One of our latest customer success packages is the workforce management package. Here you get historical reports and predictive reporting to give you an oversight of how your agents are performing and how you can improve your team. This will not only be good for you as a manager, but also for your agent. By making sure you have the right number of agents on the floor, you will create an environment that is not stressful but still keeps your agents engaged.

Help your agent prepare

In the past when I’ve worked as an agent in a customer service like environment the biggest problem have been the lack of preparation. I once worked (for a very short time I have to admit) as a telemarketer. The problem was that I had no idea what I actually was selling. I had no way of answering questions potential customers had for me. This means it only was embarrassing and it didn’t give me confidence in what I was doing. Do I even have to mention that I didn’t sell anything?

In CEC there are especially two great functionalities that will give your agent the preparation they need. First, we have an excellent scripting tool that is flexible and easy to use. This tool can automatically pop up when a new call is coming in and make sure that your agents asks the basic questions they always should ask. You can also set up scripts for different categories of situations that might come in. By having this set up you can make sure that every new agent asks the right questions without too much training. This will save both time and money for your organization.

Second function is if you choose to use CEC to a bigger extent. What I’m referring to is how CEC can be used as a lighter version of a CRM system. The foundation is the customer profile which can be created and managed in contact management. This together with the ‘interactions’ section (can be found in the different kind of interactions to the right) will give your agents a lot of information about a returning customer.

The agent’s process

If you think about it, any work you do to improve the process will help your agent. A big part to help with this in the CEC solution is the queueing system. That is why the omni solution is one of the best ways to support your agent. By adding all your communication channels to the platform, you will give your agent the chance to use their time effectively. They don’t need to seek out the customer because the customer will come to them as soon as they are set as ready.

In conclusion, the more you use the different features of CEC the better support you will be able to give your agents. So do yourself a favor, and your agents, and explore all of CEC:s possibilities. Remember that my colleagues and I are always there for you if you feel unsure of how to create the best possible process. Sometimes it’s a good thing to get other points of view on how to create the right process for your customer service. We know what is possible with the platform and you know what objectives your organisation has. Read more about the platform here.

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improve the statistics

3 ways to improve both statistics & how you communicate with customers

3 ways

to improve both statistics &

how you communicate with customers

We often want more and more and we rarely are satisfied with what we’ve got. Could you call it greed? Maybe. Many people have today a naive expectation on IT that it will solve all problems. But at the same time we have a high mistrust against IT. What if it actually was possible to both have the cake and eat at the same time? What if there is a scenario where we could have everything we want in both soft and hard metrics?

We will in this blog post list three solutions or processes that can both improve how you communicate and also improve the statistics your agents deliver. All that without increase the stress and pressure on your agents!

1. Gather all systems in one place for the best overview

Something you see in many successful companies is their emphasis on efficient processes. Cutting time and tasks where it’s possible can almost be an obsession with these large corporations. Because the understand that time is money. I’m pretty sure you understand that as well. A majority of your budget probably goes to agents, so every minute matters.

The problem with budgets is that when a customer support manager is under pressure that can result in added stress on agents. That is stress that will not make your numbers better long term, only short term. By helping your agents with their work process, just like the large corporations, you can improve the numbers long term. A great of doing that is to gather as many systems and tasks in the same place. That will help your agents avoid wasting time on searching for the right system and page.

2. Show the customer information where you are working

Even if this one is closely connected to the earlier topic it has more to do with easy access to relevant information. Your agents will be able to answer questions quicker and finish inquiries faster if customer information is available exactly where your agents will use it.

Don’t underestimate the time it could take for your agent to search for a customer and then finding the information they are looking for.

3. Smart distribution & automations

This is a big one, and probably one of the most important ones. A customer support system should be able to intelligently distribute new inquiries. Based on agents’ availability inquiries should be sent their way. That way agents will never be able to cherry pick easy inquiries of take unaccepted breaks without it showing in their statistics.

The even better thing is when you combine smart distribution and automations. Let the computer for example look up a customer based on their phone number or an identifier given in the phone line. It will save incredible amount of time, and the agent can put their energy on the customer instead of finding information. In this solution you can let the agent work on the customer relationship instead of your inefficient process.

As you can see it is possible to have the cake and eat it too. But you will need to rely on the expertise of IT professionals who does these things for a living. Teaming up with the right software company is key to building a process that will work in the long term.

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