Tour de Forefront – from New York to Chicago…

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”
Ken Blanchard

When you have a good conversation with an industry peer, exchange war stories and survivor tips, you’re building community. Forefront is a community where contact center operations and workforce management leaders, as well as IT Strategists, convene to share, learn and enjoy a productive half day out of the office.

This community of industry peers kicked off 2017 at Forefront events in New York and Chicago and heard from Asurion, UnitedHealthcare and Citi. Each company discussed the different ways they are innovating to engage agents, improve workforce effectiveness and streamline operations to meet the increasingly more complex and stringent demands of the contact center.

Their ideas on how to leverage new automation solutions were compiled to better understand the challenges they face and their thinking on how to address them. At a high level, their main focus areas were:

  • 58% workforce efficiency
  • 42% employee development and engagement

Since the unofficial mantra of contact center leaders has always been to squeeze out every possibility for efficiency, it’s not too surprising that these folks naturally lean more toward productivity and efficiency. In particular, most of the participants are looking at intraday staffing management and schedule adherence as prime improvement opportunities.

However, the human element – the agent – is  also getting significant attention. Agent empowerment including mobile apps, multi-skill development and omni-channel management are all areas of great interest. In fact, many of these leaders were extremely excited to discuss how leveraging innovation to drive efficiency also ultimately leads to many more opportunities for improving employee engagement.

The balance so far in 2017 shows a shift from the 2016 results, when attendees who gathered in Atlanta and Dallas had a higher focus on workforce efficiency (73%) than employee engagement (27%). We’ll keep an eye on how these numbers play out  in the next few months as Forefront heads to London and Toronto and then back to Atlanta in May. To see the full roster of events and find out more about getting involved with the Forefront community, visit forefront.intradiem.com.