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WFM vs WFO? What's the Difference? Why are they Critical to Contact Centre Operations?


So, WFM vs WFO. They are two related, but distinct terms in the context of contact centres and workforce management. Let's explore each one:

WFM (Workforce Management)

WFM refers to the process of optimising and managing the workforce to ensure that the right number of agents with the appropriate skills are available to handle customer interactions efficiently and effectively. The primary goal of workforce management is to match staffing levels to the predicted workload, considering factors like call volume, chat or email volume, service level targets, and historical data.

Key functions of WFM include:

  • Forecasting: Analysing historical data to predict future contact volumes and customer interactions.

  • Scheduling: Creating work schedules for agents to ensure adequate coverage during peak and non-peak times.

  • Real-Time Monitoring: Monitoring contact centrer activities in real-time to make adjustments as needed to meet service level goals.

  • Performance Tracking: Tracking and analysing agent performance to identify areas for improvement and provide feedback.

WFO (Workforce Optimisation)

WFO, on the other hand, is a broader concept that encompasses multiple aspects of contact centre operations with a focus on improving overall performance, agent productivity, and customer experience. While WFM is primarily concerned with staffing and scheduling, WFO goes beyond that to address various components of contact centre management.

Key components of WFO include:

  • Quality Management (QM): Monitoring and evaluating the quality of customer interactions, typically through call monitoring and evaluations.

  • Performance Management: Setting performance goals, providing coaching and feedback to agents, and tracking their progress over time.

  • Training and Learning: Providing continuous training and development opportunities to agents to improve their skills and knowledge.

  • Speech Analytics: Using advanced technology to analyse customer interactions and identify trends, sentiment, and areas for improvement.

  • Desktop Analytics: Monitoring agent desktop activities to identify process inefficiencies and suggest improvements.

  • Workforce Management: Though WFM is a separate concept, it is often considered a part of WFO due to its focus on optimising staffing and scheduling.

WFM vs WFO in summary

WFM is specifically about managing the workforce to ensure adequate staffing levels and appropriate agent scheduling, while WFO takes a more comprehensive approach by optimising various aspects of contact centre operations to enhance overall performance and customer satisfaction. Both WFM and WFO play critical roles in maintaining efficient and successful contact centre operations.

To find out more about the many capabilities of both WFM and WFO, why not contact a member of the CloudComm 360 team now? After all, as winner of the SME Northern Enterprise Award for Cloud Communication MSP of the Year 2023, it's proven, we know what we're talking about!


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