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Importance of WFM from COPC perspective

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copcDriving customer-operations excellence as per COPC

If we want our contact centers to achieve Customer Operations Performance Centre (COPC*) certification, which workforce management (WFM) tool should we use?

In response to this, I, as project manager for Teleopti and having worked with COPC certification at a former job, recommend using the Teleopti WFM system in attaining the COPC stamp of quality, both for companies and outsourcing service providers. Teleopti WFM, as a product and service, is perfect for the smooth sailing of achieving this certification – at least for the call-center activities of one’s business.

In my view, Teleopti WFM is one of the easiest tools to use in a COPC-compliant environment, thanks to the variety of modules offered: e.g. long-term forecasting of budgeting, staffing and scheduling, as well as reports.

To bring those unfamiliar with COPC up to speed, it’s comparable to the ISO of contact centers. It’s one of the more sought-after and challenging contact-center certifications and quality accolades in the service industry. Important to note is that fulfilling performance metrics is a key distinction for COPC and a certification requirement.

The key pillars of the COPC standards families involve leadership and planning, processes, people management and performance. All this makes achieving and maintaining COPC certification from year to year (in light of an ever-changing business environment) quite a feat for those involved in the process. The gatekeeper? It’s performance: if your center is not performing, it will have to improve and attain the performance metrics in order to achieve and maintain COPC certification.

COPC standards cover key processes, such as business planning, quality management, implementation, hiring, training, skills verification and of course WFM; the topic of this blog post.

Generally speaking, WFM is closely scrutinized as it’s involved in so many layers of the organization. A sound WFM process determines how well performance is met in terms of service levels for phone and chat, back-office e-mail cycle time, as well as other non-abandoning transactions. It also determines performance levels in terms of efficiency; e.g. occupancy, utilization and other metrics used to control costs.

COPC requires that forecasts are created, both for capacity planning and budgeting, as well as for day-to-day scheduling. Capacity planning should be sufficiently long term in its forecasting so as to give centers enough time for hiring and training. All forecasts should incorporate appropriate service levels and shrinkage factors.

Forecasts are compared to actuals and measured in terms of both traffic volumes and average handling time (AHT). Schedules must be created to match the forecasted staffing models with at least 30-minute intervals to match the volume and ensure that variations between schedules and requirement – up to the half-hour interval level – are minimal.

Centers will need to have clear processes in place when volumes, AHT and staff absenteeism exceed expectations. Adherence also needs to be measured to ensure the plan is being executed as designed. Finally, COPC requires that the data used for all items collected have targets, integrity and accessibility to all those who need to use it.

Teleopti WFM, designed to fulfill process requirements, achieve service levels and balance cost metrics, allows users to manage the WFM process smoothly and successfully.

For more questions, contact me.


*COPC Inc. founded in 1996, is a US-based management-consulting company, specializing in customer-contact centers. COPC Inc. provides performance improvement consulting, training, certification, and benchmarking. Clients of COPC, Inc. include Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, HTC, Mattel, RBS, DiGi, Canal Digital, UWV, ToysRus Datacom, Sitel and Citigroup. COPC, Inc. is well-known in the contact-center industry, with many of the industry-associated organizations actively promoting them.

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