I am really looking forward to catching up with lots of you over the next couple of weeks at the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane network groups. We've had lots of registrations so far for each group so I'm sure we'll have some interesting discussions. If you haven't registered yet then please do so by sending an email to me at email@example.com with your name and the session you would like to attend.
Last week at the Fifth Quadrant Customer Service Industry Symposium my colleague Chris, talked about the rise in social media and mobile apps as customer service channels. There are expected to be 16 billion mobile apps in use in 2013. In Australia 52% of consumers own a smart phone therefore as people have much easier access to the internet the need for self service and a social media strategy is increasing. Marketing often owns social media however increasingly Workforce Planning is getting involved in forecasting and scheduling requirements to ensure there are staff available when required just as they would for calls and emails. Having a self-service strategy in place also helps reduce the number of more basic contacts into the centre while increasing the number of channels requires agents to have more skills to deal with a more complex working environment. This may then attract different types of people to work there.
From a planning perspective the focus on customer experience also means that different methods need to be adapted in order to collect data and understand how and why people are contacting the organisation so that it is not just about cost saving but also growing the business. This leads to an increasing number of Workforce Optimisation teams being created rather than purely Workforce Management Teams. The Workforce Optimisation teams will pull together information from across the organisation and incorporate quality assurance, speech and data analytics as well as customer feedback to enable improved planning capabilities and enhance the customer experience.