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Mitigating Agents’ Productivity Loss when Working From Home NICE Announces Engage Release 7 NICE Named WFM Market Share Leader

Mitigating Agents’ Productivity Loss when Working From Home

Living in unprecedented times…strange days indeed.

It’s a year now since most of us became aware of the Coronavirus scourge; and it was not long thereafter that our lives began to change in a profound way. Many of our customers have moved their workforce from the office to home and the stakeholders with whom I’ve spoken have said that, while not without some minor hiccups, they were pleased with the speed and manner in which they were able to do so.

As we start to become more accustomed to a work-from-home workforce, companies are starting to rethink whether this could become a more permanent arrangement. Eliminating office space and their associated costs would certainly intrigue Finance and ditching the perils of morning and evening commutes would appeal to staff.

However, those same stakeholders have expressed concerns about the potential productivity losses over the long term. These concerns are supported with real data – a report quoted in TechRepublic showed a 14% decline in overall productivity of staff working remotely.

Monitor and Measure

Remote workers no longer have the benefit of having supervisors, coaches and even their colleagues so easily accessible as they would have if working from the office. There is no ‘water-cooler’ to gather around and chat about a difficult call, or perhaps discover that there is a feature in a promotion that they were not aware of. Could this be impacting productivity? Or is it simply a matter of “when the cat is away the mice will play…solitaire?

While some may thrive working on their own, some, otherwise good agents, will struggle for whatever reason.

Nevertheless, understanding the cause is step one. What are your agents doing while they’re on a call? How are they handling different types of calls What is their workflow? What are they doing when they are not on a call? How are they spending their productive and unproductive time? How does this compare against other agents in the same team? The answers to these questions is the first step to putting together a set of tactics designed to help individual agents raise their productivity metrics.

Technology does exist to provide valuable insight into how agents work. These technologies existed before the pandemic, but their value is even more meaningful today and they will continue to be so as companies continue embrace work from home post-pandemic.

OpenText’s Optimize solution for instance, uncovers agents’ desktop activities and workflow throughout the day. It analyzes usage patterns at a granular level such as what resources they’re using, how often and where in their workflow they’re using them to process customer interactions The analysis can be aggregated and contrasted with teammates and used to spot opportunities for agent development and corrective measures.

For more information on how Optimize can help drive performance for your remote workers, as well as your on-premise workers, contact us at sales@xentrax.com.

NICE Announces Engage Release 7

NICE announced today the release of Engage 7. Engage 7 is an enterprise class contact centre recording solution with quality assurance capabilities and real-time authentication.

Incorporating all recent Engage 6.x developments and more, Engage 7 is a new software version, up-to-date with the latest market requirements. It brings smooth integration into cloud service provider’s data centres and a collection of supported feature enhancements for seamless work-from-home needs, such as reduced screen recording bandwidth consumption, audio loss detection and unified collaboration platform real-time recording integrations.

Engage 7 expands usability and efficiency with broader coverage of resilient recording as well as an extensive technology refresh including the implementation of customer unique feature requests.

Related post: NICE to Acquire Merced Systems

NICE Named WFM Market Share Leader

January 11, 2021 – For the 11th consecutive year, NICE has been named by independent industry analyst firm DMG Consulting LLC as the market share leader for Workforce Management based on the number of seats – which grew 4.1% year over year.  Additionally, the annual Workforce Management Product and Market Report noted that NICE received the highest possible score for overall vendor satisfaction as well as in customer satisfaction for it WFM product.  Of particular note in the report are the perfect scores NICE received from customers on the use of the AI and machine learning to improve processes and/or providing agents with autonomy to self-schedule and self-manage performance.

Focusing on NICE Workforce Management, the DMG Consulting report noted that customers gave NICE top scores across 11 product capabilities of its WFM solution, nine of which were an exact 5.0. The 11 capabilities include:

  • Systemically determine the forecasting/scheduling algorithm or model most likely to produce optimal results,
  • support unique operational requirements of each voice and digital channel
  • identify and support optimal shift/skills mix,
  • support a hybrid workforce (human resources, intelligent virtual agents, robotic process automations)
  • automate real-time intraday management adjustments
  • manage real-time adherence exceptions and shrinkage
  • provide agents with autonomy to self-schedule and self-manage performance
  • create long-term hiring/staffing/training plans
  • provide an intuitive and easy-to-use administration environment for system and user setup, configuration and management
  • support back-office/branch WFM; and
  • use AI and machine learning to improve processes.