Tag Archives: Workforce Management

Employee Engagement is Essential to Workforce Management

Employee Engagement is Critical to the Success of an Enterprise Workforce Management program.

Successful customer service organizations create a culture that encourages it. Engaged employees are more enthusiastic about their contribution to the business and, ultimately, increase the level and consistency of service provided to their clients. Senior executives, as a result, are increasingly targeting employee engagement as a significant contributor to the quality and impact of the customer experience.

Sounds simple enough, right? But actually, creating a dynamic culture that encourages employee engagement means addressing what’s important to contact center employees:

  • Work-life balance
  • Recognition of accomplishments
  • A voice in decision-making
  • Clear and attainable goals
  • Tools needed to be successful
  • Transparent communication

Enterprise WFM

Virtual Observer Community workforce management (WFM) keeps employees engaged as it was built from the ground up with agent empowerment at the forefront of its design.



The Virtual Observer Community WFM framework natively connects agents, supervisors and analysts through tightly integrated desktop portals and multiple notification channels without the need for a third-party plug-in. It provides the tools for contact centers to have the right number of agents with the right skills, at the right time, across all channels throughout the day. But, the difference is the agents are involved in the process every step along the way, giving them input into critical scheduling decisions.

While traditional workforce management applications are good at accurately forecasting customer demand, optimizing the agent’s schedules, and have increased productivity, Virtual  Observer Community WFM expands these capabilities by engaging employees with a built-in communications network that gives agents a voice in the decision-making process. Through this framework, analysts are able to update forecasts and schedules in seconds to adapt to intraday changes in call volumes and customer demand. With more control over their work schedules, agents enjoy a better work-life balance to deal with unexpected challenges in everyday life.


Agents, supervisors, and analysts can interact across five different channels including desktop pop-ups, internal memos, email notifications, SMS/text messaging and an agent mobile application. Through any of these options, supervisors and schedulers can:

  • Send ad-hoc information and notifications to a specific group or individual.
  • Send reminders about upcoming schedule events.
  • Solicit agents for opt-in shift adjustments.
  • Notify agents of schedule changes and processed requests.


Virtual Observer Community’s mobile application, Virtual Observer Community Everywhere, empowers agents on-the-go by providing unmatched visibility and transparency. Whether employees are in the office, working at home or on the road, they can:

  • View their schedules.
  • “Call in” sick.
  • Receive notifications and accept or decline offers for schedule over- and under-time.
  • View adherence to KPIs.
  • Notify analysts and supervisors of an unplanned late arrival.
  • Request time off.


Agents and supervisors can engage in traditional intraday activities such as shift-bidding as well as swapping shifts with other co-workers all from the communications network.

As an enterprise workforce management provider of omnichannel forecasting and scheduling optimization, Community WFM is the first truly collaborative workforce management system that revolutionizes the way WFM analysts collaborate with agents and supervisors to quickly adjust schedules with precision and agility. Imagine having the ability to refine work schedules and immediately engage employees about the new schedule with just a few clicks.


With Virtual Observer Community WFM you have the ability to engage employees by offering them the framework to connect with each other, the ability to engage through the channel of their choice, and on-the-go visibility and transparency. This engagement will help your employees make happy customers.


Listen Clear Realizes Rapid Return on Investment with Virtual Observer’s Cloud U-wfm solution in Their Growing Five9 Environment

Facing a challenge due to their surging growth rate, Listen Clear set out to find an affordable and scalable workforce management solution which would handle their spiking staffing numbers and help them field all calls. They were missing 20% of their call volume.

Listen Clear is a fast-paced startup specializing in breakthrough hearing devices which everyone can afford. Combining years of expertise in audiology and sound engineering, the Listen Clear leadership team has listened to thousands of hearing loss stories.

Part of Listen Clear’s success is in the emphasis on customer experience and hiring for their call center. Their in-house phone representatives have been trained, tested and trained again in the ins-and-outs and bells and whistles that come with the hearing devices. Agent goals are to listen and answer any question a customer could possibly ask about the devices and provide the right solution to their hearing loss. Problem is, how can they achieve these goals when they’re only interacting with 80% of their callers?

Emily Hall, the “Director of Talent Acquisition and Administration”, was instrumental in the selection and roll-out of the workforce management technology which would help them achieve the necessary objective of optimal agent staffing. “We had to get a solution up and working fast, and within our startup budget. Mission accomplished!” Emily stated.

Listen Clear exceeded their objective of reducing missed calls down to 15%. The number is now at 9.9%. They were also able to flatten call center costs as a result of the new solution. Reducing costs are always a key objective, as evident in the original selection of the Five9 cloud contact center solution, a SaaS-based telephony environment designed to be reliable, secure, compliant and scalable. Five9 was also a huge influencer in introducing Listen Clear to CSI and the VO workforce management (wfm) solution, which was integrated with Five9 and ready to go.

CSI’s Virtual Observer U-wfm solution offered agent scheduling and forecasting with an intuitive user interface, scalable and affordable pricing model and a complete cloud-based architecture which fit nicely within Listen Clear’s lean IT and operating philosophies. The solution offers a quick ramp up, ongoing training as needed, and pre-built integration to essential Five9 metadata for telephony intelligence.

When asked about which Key Performance Indicators Listen Clear will be tracking with the solution, Emily replied “# of calls missed was our hot-point. Of course, this transfers to sales – missed calls=missed opportunities. Since then, sales have grown from $12m to $60m. The # of agents in our call center has gone from 20 as a startup to 110 efficiently scheduled agents!”

Emily was also eager to applaud CSI’s staff in helping to optimize process changes or to suggest operational changes to help accomplish specific and unique requirements. “They have responded to every need we’ve had, which has included some customizations which are unique to our industry,” she exclaimed.

“By far, my favorite feature in the solution is all the automation it brings to our internal manual tasks. For example, when my agents request time off, the schedule will automatically update upon approval,” she added.

When asked about what went into the selection of CSI, she stated “We selected the solution because it came highly recommended by Five9 and it was the one which most fit our budget. As a start-up, cost was a big factor. We needed scheduling features to meet our expected growth. It was also important to not have to ramp up internal IT resources to support a new technology.”

The decision to adopt Virtual Observer’s WFM was a huge success on all fronts.

“The solution was rolled out quickly and began generating an ROI very soon after implementation,” Emily said.  “Support has been fantastic. They’re super responsive. They respond in a heartbeat. They treat us like we’re a million dollar company.”

Coordinated Systems, Inc., (CSI), enjoying over 45 years in business, has thrived on building high-quality, long-term relationships with customers and partners. CSI’s flagship product, Virtual Observer (VO), is a call recording and workforce optimization solution for contact centers. VO supports nearly all telephony platforms. VO provides an extremely high value to price and tremendous customer satisfaction.



CSI adds support for Skype for Business Contact Centers via Clarity Connect Integration

Virtual Observer now supports the Clarity Connect Contact Center application for Skype for Business. Together, the integrated offering will allow both Clarity Connect and CSI to deliver a complete and robust overall contact center solution to new and existing customers with full WFO functionality.

Skype for Business Contact Center

Skype for Business Contact Center

Clarity Connect is a full featured web-based contact center native to Skype for Business. This means Clarity Connect adds the missing functionality without duplicating or complicating the infrastructure or call control. Clarity Connect steps in and adds intelligence to the conversations needed regardless of modality to deliver the best customer experience on the market. Intelligent IVR, Skills Based Routing, Real-Time metrics, historical reports and more go into this first of its kind approach to a contact center for a true collaboration platform.

Read more about this powerful end-to-end suite for Skype for Business

Are your customer initiatives also boosted by the “Voice of the Agent”?

You’ve invested in a sweet new technology platform which records all of your calls.

Great start. Now what are you doing with them?Many contact centers have deployed quality monitoring tools for evaluating and scoring calls. Sometimes this leads to live coaching of the agents and other times it leads to scheduled training based on topics where the agents did not fare too well.

Other contact centers have invested in full workforce optimization suites (typically consisting of the aforementioned call recording and quality monitoring, plus workforce management, speech analytics and surveying). These are great and extremely effective, except they lack the “Voice of the Agent“.

Empowering your agents with the ability to use a workforce optimization system will do wonders for their self-improvement and personal development. There are several key areas where they can contribute to the quality monitoring process and calibrate with your “Voice of the Customer” (VoC) intiatives:

  • Allow your agents to play back their own calls and view their recorded screens”
  • Share evaluations with them and let them respond, dispute or accept their scores
  • Provide them with targeted e-learning material based on where their scores show they need improvement
  • Allow them to collaborate with approved peers, supervisors, groups, etc.
  • Enable shift trading, bidding, etc. with integrated Workforce Management technology

Agents should buy into the whole quality-monitoring process and by giving them access to a WFO toolset, they are less likely to take on a “Big Brother” view of your technology investments and more apt to take ownership of their own developments.

Other WFO features such as CSI’s “VO Live” exist to provide management with the ability to zero in on agent behaviors which might be inefficient, counter-productive or where supervisors can intercede in real time to help an agent solve a customer issue. Agents who are introduced into the WFO process in an enthusiastic manner will also buy into the concept of pushing themselves even harder to be the best they can possibly be.

Enhanced by Zemanta