I recently had the opportunity to attend the Interactive Intelligence Partner Conference. This is our opportunity to meet with the product marketing and development folks, hear what new things are coming and share with them what we hear from you – our customers. I attended many sessions and came home with lots of good information. I’ll try to update you on all that I learned over the next few blog posts. Today, I want to let you know what’s new with Interaction Optimizer.
Every call center needs some sort of workforce management tool. When I managed a small center of 19 agents, I had a well sharpened pencil and a spreadsheet. When I managed a center of 150 agents, I had a full-time staff person using software to schedule our staff. Interaction Optimizer is a fully-integrated tool that takes your call data from CIC and helps call center managers produce schedules for their agents. The development team has been hard at work and I saw some great enhancements at the conference.
There are three new features that were released earlier this year:
1) Intraday monitor re-forecasting
Intraday monitor re-forecasting allows you to reforecast your work load through the day as specific events change your call volumes. You can enter your own assumptions for volume or handle time and do an ad-hoc “what if” reforecast anytime during a day.
2) Schedule administration re-forecasting
In addition to re-forecasting the “work” your contact center is experiencing, you can now go one step further and apply the reforecast to updating schedules for your agents. You can adjust breaks and lunches to account for more work, or agents out due to illness. Also, the schedule provides agents with activity reminders built right in their client where they’re handling interactions. It makes for a very convenient interface for your staff.
3) Allow Agents to Provide Schedule Preferences
Finally, you can now allow agents to provide schedule preferences to you within the software. Then, as you generate schedules, you can decide how much weight to give those preferences. (For example, you can tell the system to build schedules with an equal balance between considering agent preferences and call coverage needed.)
Interaction Optimizer continues to mature and there are more enhancements to come. For now, the great news is that all of this functionality is available today and you don’t have to live with the pain of trying to integrate a third-party software package. It all runs on your CIC platform
- One set of agent records to administer
- One software interface to learn
- One place for your agents to see their schedules
If you’re still using a well-sharpened pencil and spreadsheet, I’d strongly encourage you to take a look. I think you’ll like it. I sure did!