Our benchmark research into the next-generation contact center in the cloud shows that the telephone and other nondigital communication channels are far from obsolete: Participating organizations expect growth in all channels. As a consequence, contact centers are likely to remain a key channel to handle customer interactions, and it is likely that contact center agents will have to handle multiple forms of interactions, which are likely to be more complex. The research also shows that interactions are increasingly being handed by all business groups, not just the contact center. To meet these demanding customer expectations, organizations must continue to carefully manage the availability of skilled resources to handle these interactions.
Teleopti is a relatively small Swedish company (with fewer than 500 employees) whose products help organizations manage this increasingly complex situation. The company has three categories of product – one for managing contact centers, one for back offices and one for staff in branch offices or stores. All are built on a single platform made up of several products, and additional products can be purchased separately. The base platform includes applications that cover from end to end the process of forecasting required numbers of agents, managing their schedules and performance, and reporting on their performance. These capabilities are included in the platform:
- Forecasting uses historical data to predict resource requirements to handle inbound calls, email, chat and back-office tasks, taking into account seasonal variations, market trends and planned campaigns.
- Scheduling creates employee work schedules to match expected demand and to balance operational efficiency, employee satisfaction and planned customer service levels.
- Employee Empowerment tools give employees input to their own schedules by influencing day and time preferences, trading shifts, time-off requests and other aspects of their jobs.
- Intraday Management tools monitor key performance metrics and allow users to manage workloads – for example, to meet expected response targets.
- Employee Competence Development tools monitor employee performance to identify individual training and coaching requirements.
- Gamification tools reward employees based on their performance vs. key operational performance metrics or the outcome of game-like exercises.
- Staff Budgeting balances performance against set schedules and performance targets to create an overall budget for employees who carry out customer-related tasks.
- Analytics tools help produce standard reports and analysis, and the ability for users to create their own customized reports and analysis.
- Real-time notifications are part of the applications and include the ability to raise alerts and notifications to inform employees of issues such as missed targets.
- The product also supports integration with third-party products, notably payroll systems so employee performance data can be exported to calculate employees’ variable pay.
- The platform includes as well a software development kit (SDK) that enables integration with third-party products.
In addition to these base applications, Teleopti recently added a number of optional ones such as overtime management, training planning, outbound campaign scheduling and desktop analytics. In total, the products offer a comprehensive suite for workforce management along with additional capabilities to manage interaction handling and related back-office tasks.
Being a small company based in northern Europe, Teleopti has adopted a pragmatic business model. First, it does all its business through third parties such as premises-based ACD suppliers, consultancies and workforce optimization vendors – in the latter case it is typically the WFM component of a larger suite. Second, Teleopti recently transitioned the products to cloud computing, which enables it and its partners to support customers all over the world. Third, it has invested heavily in product capabilities and usability to make it attractive to a wide audience. And fourth, it focuses on partnering with customers to deliver a high quality of customer service. Added together these seem to paying off as its growth has accelerated and Teleopti is now present in most parts of the world.
Contact center workforce optimization and enterprise workforce management are both mature markets, although not very many vendors play in both markets. Our research into next-generation customer engagement shows that customer engagement is an enterprise-wide issue, so organizations ought to look for vendors that can cover all the workforce management tasks related to customers. Teleopti is one such vendor that should be considered by organizations looking to optimize this wider workforce. Our research into next-generation workforce optimization shows that many organizations are looking for integrated suites of products that include recording, quality management, WFM, e-learning, coaching and analytics. Teleopti has several of these capabilities and also can be integrated with other products to cover other capabilities. I recommend that organizations assess how it can help them improve the performance of contact center agents and other employees who handle customer-related tasks.
VP & Research Director Customer Engagement