Autumn 2015 blog series: “Workforce Management in the making – how’s it done and who’s behind it all?”
– Number 1 of 5 postings. Stay tuned weekly!
My role as product manager requires that I am the eyes and ears outwards to spot WFM trends in the macro-environment. How do I do this? By primarily being in touch with customers – both current and potential – as well as our consultants,the sales force and partners. They all provide plenty of feedback. We stay closest to our customers, however, as they’re the ones that, at the end of the day, know where the greatest needs lie and where the greatest benefits can be gained.
This way of working creates a huge amount of input and part of my job is to talk to enough people so that we can determine where to best put our focus. Often, requests are very obvious; for example, “I need a button that…,” and range from minor UI improvements to major changes.
Other needs are not as easily expressed; the user just wants a smoother experience. A good part of our work involves identifying the myriad of minute changes that need to be made. I call these “under-the-hood” improvements as they’re often not very visible. But these changes, cumulatively speaking, add up and turn into great, big, new, shiny features that become significant game changers.
The contact-center workforce today, typically made up of young people, are very much digitally in the know. My six kids, all under 21, all have a mobile phone and don’t think twice about using their laptops while watching television at the same time. A trend I’ve been following is the rising expectations of digital users in general to have instant access to information and answers for their work. Pay checks, for example, are no longer delivered in the mail and even e-mail notifications as such are starting to feel outdated. Today, this type of information is increasingly expected to be delivered digitally for instant availability.
In tandem with the relentless pace of digital advancements is then the growing customer demand for Teleopti to develop and increase real-time functionality as part of its WFM offering. Since we’ve found that the amount of data our customers and agents are dealing with has increased exponentially, Teleopti needs to effectively handle and process these big data sets by streamlining the coding and functionality to provide rapid responses – in other words, responses in real time.
Displaying a huge amount of data is easy; displaying the right data is a lot harder. If you’re a pilot flying a Dreamliner, data from thousands of sensors is available at your fingertips, yet only a fraction of that data is needed to make a specific decision. What’s needed is the right data that is accurate and delivered swiftly. This is one of the major challenges Teleopti faces today and customer feedback helps indispensably in developing such areas.
One way we’ve responded to this need has been to collaborate with a large customer – a South American business-process outsourcer (BPO) – and develop real-time adherence (RTA). The progress made here spills over to and benefits our other customers. In short, we’ve come a long way, having made great strides with RTA. Our upcoming version 8.3 reflect this and we very much welcome input from a wider customer base in order to continue our rate in making improvements.
With real-time data at hand, intraday operations can make better decisions, which makes for better planning, which, in turn, improves adherence, which, in turn, improves planning, and so on, creating not a vicious but a beneficial cycle; one that promises our customers a lot more bang for the buck!
Quite a long blog post this week but I hope it provides you with some insight on how we at Teleopti drive product management.