WFO capabilities will become increasingly important as contact centers and the nature of customer interactions evolve. The contact center of the future is one in which personnel are valued for their expertise and are retained for their value. The interactions ultimately flowing into the contact center will be those that are more complex or for which automation has been insufficiently designed. The introduction of IoT, artificial reality, and other advances will increase support calls in the short term. The net result is a requirement to change the perception of the role of the agent and the contact center from hoping a customer never calls to viewing these interactions as opportunities to engage, satisfy customer requirements, and perhaps learn. In fact, IDC research shows that contact center leaders expect agent numbers to increase in the next one to two years (see Worldwide Contact Center Applications Software Forecast, 2017–2021, IDC #US43009417, September 2017). WFO will be essential to the successful retention of these valuable resources.
This IDC PeerScape presents three critical practices that can help organizations prepare for balancing both the human and the operational requirements of a WFO initiative. Although the examples presented in this document come from organizations in different industries, the practices will be relevant to any organization seeking to adopt WFO technologies. By adopting some of these practices, both IT and line-of-business (LOB) managers will help ensure their investment in WFO technologies is optimized.
"With contact centers deep into their digital transformations to move to the 3rd Platform and increasing complexity of customer requests, WFO technologies will be critical to the evolved state of service expectations," says Mary A. Wardley, VP, Customer Care and CRM. "Agents are not merely a means to an end to a successful service interaction; their skills and abilities must be nurtured and deployed in a manner for optimal customer outcomes. This requires a deeper understanding of the resources on hand and careful deployment of those resources."