The Dawn of WFO 2.0

The face of customer experience center workforce optimization (WFO) is changing. Traditionally, it has been the functional and technical integration of several complementary software technologies, envisioned to ensure the right people, supported by the right processes and technologies, and doing the right things to deliver the right customer results. This customary mix of technologies included workforce management, quality monitoring, agent performance analytics and some level of e-learning. Other technologies have been added to the equation over time.

However, the original incarnation of WFO – WFO 1.0, if you will – heavily emphasized technologies to help agents perform better only once on the job. It has generally overlooked technologies and processes that help recruit and hire agents who have the right skills and disposition to deliver an exceptional customer experience and make the most of the investment in WFO 1.0 tools.

HireIQ has pioneered the next generation workforce optimization – WFO 2.0 – by identifying prospective employees who are likely to be long-tenured, highly-skilled, motivated, technically proficient, and engaged before they are hired. And, therefore yield the best return on WFO 1.0 investments. With WFO 2.0, companies make better employee selection decisions, develop more relevant training and onboarding, and create more effective retention programs. Taking a holistic, employee lifecycle view of an agent’s tenure can significantly increase the overall performance of the contact center operation and improve the customer experience.

Leading industry analysts have begun to take notice. Gartner, in its latest “Magic Quadrant for Customer Engagement Workforce Optimization,” the leading analyst firm defines WFO solutions as those that “…contain complementary functions designed to improve the performance of customer engagement centers by means of optimized deployment of appropriately trained and motivated agents…” To satisfy that definition, it has included recruitment in its list of key functional domains and now evaluates vendors based on their depth of vision and ability to deliver those functions. So, clearly the notion of the agent lifecycle figures very prominently in WFO 2.0.

Integrated workforce optimization technologies have provided significant value since their introduction over ten years ago. The next evolution of workforce optimization – WFO 2.0 – will expand this definition even further to include the entire agent lifecycle all the way from attracting highly-qualified candidates to selecting and retaining them. This will include well integrated hiring and agent engagement tools as well as highly personalized coaching plans.

Companies that have implemented WFO 2.0 report improved employee retention, better business performance, increased attainment of key metrics, reduced labor costs, and increased employee engagement, so we know the approach works. For more details on key aspects of WFO 2.0, click here for our white paper.

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