Illustration by Eric Jackson

Workforce management tips and takeaways were the topics on the Pipeline blog in April. WFM expert Tiffany LaReau’s insightful notes from the SWPP conference (a two-parter) were among our most-read blog posts this month. Other popular topics included agent scheduling, sales incentives and how to create a culture of accountability for achieving performance metrics. If you missed any of these informative posts, be sure to check them out below!

2017 SWPP Conference: News & Notes from the Vendor Showroom
Last week, I was hanging out at SWPP’s 2017 Annual Conference in Nashville. One thing I especially enjoy about this conference (besides the sessions) is walking through the showroom to catch up on the latest cool WFM features, products, and technology from industry vendors. I visited 16 vendor booths this year, and asked them: “What are you doing this year that’s new and exciting, or different from the rest?”

10 Tips to Improve Agent Scheduling
Work in a contact center for any length of time and it soon becomes apparent that the largest capital expenditure is in staff. Agents are both the center’s greatest asset and greatest expense. Agents are lost through the natural attrition process, call patterns change and leave holes in the work day, or it’s a beautiful day to head to the beach and unplanned absences skyrocket.

Create a Sales Incentive Program for Your Center in 3 Easy Steps
“Trinkets and trash!” That was the description a contact center agent used to describe their company’s sales incentive program. This company had recently mandated that every customer service agent had to upsell and cross-sell products. As a result, managers were throwing small prizes at anyone who attempted a sale. It was a Band-Aid approach. It also backfired since agents need proper sales training, enhanced product knowledge and a well-devised incentive program to succeed at sales.

Accountability in the Contact Center
“We want to make people more accountable.” Well, amen to that. As a concept, accountability has enormous appeal. It is discussed in relation to government, education, non-profits and every corner of the business sector. Strategically, it has almost no downside. An increase in accountability, done properly, is welcomed by executives, management and engaged staff at all levels. Tactically, it gets a little tricky.

2017 SWPP Annual Conference Wrap-up (Part 2)
Going to SWPP’s Annual Conference is like going to Workforce Management camp. Surrounding ourselves with like-minded buddies for three days is a powerful energy that rejuvenates us.