Workforce Engagement Management

Discussion Thread View
  • 1.  Best Practice for Queues and Planning Groups

    Posted 05-27-2021 10:28
    Edited by Martin Bunting 05-27-2021 10:32
    A question came up about planning groups which led to the discussion of queues.   Is it best practice to have a queue that supports voice, email chat, or better to create interaction-specific queues per media type.  e.g. a queue for email, a queue for voice. etc.  This would create many additional queues, but would this be better practice when assigning those queues to planning groups when you have to specify the media type?

    Martin Bunting
    i3Vision Technologies Inc.

  • 2.  RE: Best Practice for Queues and Planning Groups

    GCAP Member
    Posted 05-27-2021 11:12
    Hi Martin,

    We have configured our queues as interaction specific per media type and it has worked well for us. The issue I see with having multiple media types for one queue is if you want to have agents answering emails exclusively how would you prevent them from being presented with voice calls? One drawback of having media specific queues is that you sometimes have agents mistakenly transfer voice calls to email queues or vice versa. Perhaps this wouldn't happen with multiple media types for one queue as the queue could accept transfers from all media types. My understanding of planning groups is that you want to capture historically calls answered from agents of all possible configurations (queue, media type, ACD skilling and language). That way Genesys will generate the forecast using that data and schedule the agents according to what planning groups and route paths they have historically handled. We generally create separate planning group for each route path. We don't have that many email or chat queues so the number of queues has not been an issue. I would like to hear from other organizations on the subject of configuring Workforce Management for forecasting and scheduling.

    Paul Soulodre
    Alberta Motor Association

  • 3.  RE: Best Practice for Queues and Planning Groups

    Posted 05-27-2021 16:59
    Edited by Cameron Smith 05-27-2021 17:01
    Thanks for the question Martin. Please excuse the long reply. 

    This is a fairly common question and the best practices versus organization setup always come into question. In more traditional multivendor setups the disconnect between Routing and Workforce Management is managed through that integration between two separate products itself. Quite typically there is 'translation' occurring when this happens to usually keeps both teams happy with the outcome.

    The power of Genesys Cloud brings these two elements together on a common platform and the strategies in how we approach this also need to somewhat adjust as well. The configuration of routing plays a large an important role in how Workforce Management operates as well.

    The best way we have found to help understand this is to take a bit of a further step back and look at the fundamental outcomes organizations are looking to achieve. These can be best described as Customer Segmentation and Employee Segmentation.

    Customer Segmentation
    Some of the most common questions are:

    • What the groups of customer segments that we want do design experiences for? 
      • Which Media? Chat, Email, Voice or others.
      • Which Language? English, Spanish, etc. 
      • Which Skills? Billing + iPhone + Gold Member for example
    • What role does Self Service play with this specific segments? 
    • What service expectation or target are we chasing for this particular segment?

    Employee Segmentation
    Some of the most common questions are:

    • Does your employee onboarding, training and actual job function match Customer Segmentation?
      • Is it widely different? 
      • Is it more mixed?
        • We teach billing to all but only iPhone's to some
        • Only our best employees handle Gold customers
    • Most Importantly: Does the pool of employees 'trained' match pools of resource requirements to match the customer segmentation demand for resource planning?
      • If I am short the required resources a customer segment? Which group of employees can be best enabled
      • If I am overstaffed.. Which group of employees would be best served to help those segments who are understaffed?

    In our resource center article on Planning Groups we do discuss a little on this.

    Typically, you configure planning groups with only one route path, including one queue, media, language and skill set combination per planning group. Planning groups allow users to include more than one queue, language and skill set in the planning group; however, if you combine queues, languages, and skill sets make sure to review the agents who can handle the planning group. If a planning group is made up of more than one set of queues, language and skill sets, forecasts only display the combined values for the planning group, and the schedule generation process look for agents who can handle the entire planning group, not individual pieces of it.

    Heading back to the fundamentals of a strong customer engagement plan. There are multiple factors that need to be aligned to help that execution.

    • The Predicted Customer Segments Demand (Forecasting Interactions) 
      • How many customers in this particular segment am I expecting over today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year
      • The service targets and associated templates.. 80/20 Grade of Service for example.
      • RESULT: FTE Staffing Requirements 
    • The Resource Plan and Resource Supply
      • Taking the customer segmentation demand, answering the question. How many employees do I need to service that demand?
      • Schedules are built to meet the demand
      • RESULT: Service Prediction for this Customer Segment
        • If we are short staffed. We either need more training across more resourcing, more resourcing, or a reset of our service targets and expectations
        • If we are over staffed. Maybe I can spread resources across more customer segments, which segments need assistance? Need more training across more resourcing, more resourcing, or a reset of our service targets and expectations

    The outcomes of both of these form what is the customer engagement plan. Planning Groups give flexibility to Workforce Planning teams to combine multiple route paths together if it makes logical sense to do so. And that is a big if....

    • If there is no difference in service goals for multiple route paths
    • If there is no difference in the resource capabilities
      • Trained in all route paths
      • Capable of performing all the duties of the route path

    If you answer yes to both of the above, they are a great candidate for a combined PG. It will make the forecasting and resource planning more accurate, and the service outcome more predictable. If there is any variation in either the service targets or the agent pools themselves, then the recommendation is they remain split as discrete planning groups.

    I hoped that give some wider context on planning groups and potential structures.

    Cameron Smith
    VP, Product Management - Workforce Engagement Management