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Top Contact Center Workforce Management Software

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We shopped each vendor on this list to finalize our picks for the best contact center workforce management software. We analyzed vendors according to important system features needed to efficiently manage your call center workforce, software limitations, costs, agent onboarding, user experience (mobile and desktop), agent performance handling, deployment, and each provider's communication channels.

We’ve validated every data point by calling, emailing, obtaining quotes, signing up for service, and live chatting with the service providers.

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Our latest report reveals our picks for the best contact center workforce management software for 2024. Written by seasoned contact center experts and analysts who conducted extensive hands-on research with leading vendors.

If there is something you'd like to see on this report or further assessed, please email Katherine Stone at katherine@getvoip.com.

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Contact Center Workforce Software Buyer's Guide

Workforce Management (WFM) software in a call/contact center is feature suite designed to monitor and optimize employee engagement and performance, streamline everyday workflows, improve the agent scheduling process, and identify trends in both customer and agent behavior.

WFM software increases employee and customer retention rates using insights from real-time/historical AI analytics, business process automation, multiple forecasting methods, customer feedback, and agent coaching.

The purpose of call center workforce management software is twofold: to improve the overall customer experience, and to improve internal business operations.

Using WFM software helps contact centers develop and maintain a data-driven strategy that increases the efficiency of day-to-day operations while anticipating upcoming customer+employee needs.

In the past, workforce management software primarily focused on boosting agent productivity, speeding up customer buying cycles, and automating as much of the support resolution process as possible.

Today, call center workforce management solutions have evolved to prioritize the employee experience–so much so that the term “Workforce Engagement Management (WEM)” has replaced the traditional concept of WFM.

WEM software still uses automation to optimize the customer journey and eliminate time-consuming tasks. However, it now also recognizes the importance of empowering agents with in-conversation knowledge base and CRM data, autonomous schedule management, and personalized performance feedback.

The top benefits of WFM software for call and contact centers are: 

  • Decreased Operating Costs: CTI screen pops and optimized routing strategies lower cost per contact, improved scheduling eliminates the costs of hiring additional agents/paying overtime, task and resource management features prevent overspending 
  • Increased Agent Retention: Employee engagement features like performance gamification, self-managed schedules/PTO and time-off requests, payroll management, and business process automation provide opportunities for employee recognition, eliminate tedious manual tasks, improve team collaboration, and give agents autonomy 
  • Improved Agent Onboarding+Training: Call recordings let admins create playlists of successful customer-agent interactions for employee training, on-demand/automatic knowledge base integration displays canned responses, call scripts, and key support information on agent screens, real-time agent performance coaching via live chat and call scoring sheets clarifies performance expectations, AI insights identify gaps in overall agent training  
  • A Better Customer Experience: Customers can reach out on their preferred voice/digital communication channel and switch between channels during a single interaction, customers receive consistent, standardized responses to support queries, more efficient call paths and intelligent routing decrease hold times and shorten average handle time, customers provide feedback via automated surveys
  • Streamlined Business Processes: Automated data entry, custom call handling rules and triggers, omnichannel customer self-service with IVA/chatbots, real-time schedule adjustments, and automated call scoring free up agents, increase productivity, and ensure customer follow-ups
  • Insight Into Customer Behavior: Automated sentiment analysis, topic clustering/word clouds, AI speech and text analytics, call recording/transcription, survey responses, KPI alerts, and live interaction monitoring provides high-level insight into customer demographics, needs/preferences, buying patterns, pain points, and more
  • Increased Customer Loyalty: Improved CX, omnichannel self-service, shorter support resolution times, and targeted marketing campaigns increase CSAT/NPS scores and improve customer retention rates
  • Optimized Schedules: Forecasting identifies peak call times and ensures staffing needs (both the number of agents and the required skill sets) are always met
  • Fewer Miscommunications: Process automation reduces human error, team collaboration tools (chat/video messaging, file sharing, etc.) let agents communicate across time zones/locations in real-time, asynchronous omnichannel shared inbox ensures all team members have access to the same file versions and task updates

The top three challenges of call and contact center workforce management are:

 

High Employee Turnover

Burnout from repetitive tasks, a lack of performance feedback, aggression from unhappy customers, and a lack of team collaboration are the main reasons why call centers have a notoriously high employee turnover rate.

Call center software increases agent retention rates with customer self-service, gamification, detailed performance scoring, employee recognition, and high-level automation to eliminate tedious tasks. It also integrates with popular team collaboration tools (or offers native collaboration features) to engage remote and geographically diverse agents. 

 

Scheduling Issues

Remote, in-house, and blended call centers of all sizes struggle with effective agent scheduling and allocation strategies–especially in peak seasons. 

Call center workforce management software offers automated intraday management, an agent portal for shift bidding/PTO requests, and suggested schedules informed by forecasting trends and past call volume data. It prevents overstaffing by optimizing available agents. 

 

Inconsistent Training

Inconsistent agent training leads to miscommunication, a poor customer experience, longer handle times, and ultimately, lost business.  

Workforce management software includes customizable and template-based training modules that can be automatically assigned to agents after a less successful interaction. 

Call recordings provide examples of quality customer service, and WFM analytics identify common problems before they spiral out of control. Custom onboarding and software training packages for admins/agents are available, as are on-demand webinars. Plus, most workforce management tools integrate with existing helpdesk/internal knowledge base software–ensuring agents all provide consistent, up-to-date responses to customer queries.

The most important features to manage workforce in call centers are:

 

Trend Forecasting

WFM trend forecasting uses predictive/historical analytics to help managers anticipate and prepare for upcoming changes to call center activity. Forecasting gives managers the time and data needed to respond to shifts in customer behavior and buying patterns, prepare for peak seasons and shifts in contact volume, manage staffing levels, optimize automated workflows, and adjust agent workloads.

There are several types of automated and manual forecasting methods, including “What If” scenarios, benchmarking, objective-based forecasting, and template-based forecasting. 

 

Agent Scheduling

Workforce scheduling tools use trend forecasting and AI analytics to optimize upcoming agent schedules. These features ensure each shift has not only the optimal number of agents working, but also a variety of skill sets, department representatives, communication channels, and call flow paths.

These tools create automated suggested schedules, make real-time adjustments according to live KPIs and service levels, and monitor agent adherence. WFM scheduling features also include shift bidding and swaps, PTO management, automated approvals for schedule changes, and intraday management.

 

Performance Management

Performance management (quality management) is a suite of WFM tools that provide deep insights into customer support quality, the agent experience, and agent understanding of current training materials. 

Performance management includes features like agent scorecards, real-time agent monitoring, in-call coaching (via chat or call whisper), time tracking, training module assignment, call recording/transcription, and call summaries. 

 

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement, a major buzzword in the WFM space, includes features like performance gamification, live leaderboards, team chat messaging, task management, and  employee recognition. Employee engagement WFM capabilities are designed to increase agent retention rates, boost productivity, foster team collaboration, and make agents feel valued. These tools also help admins recognize top performers and identify trends in agent behavior.

 

Integrations and CTI Screen Pops

WFM solutions should integrate with the most popular third-party business applications, but especially with CRM systems, team collaboration tools, and helpdesk software. These integrations enable real-time CTI screen pops and AI Agent Assist, which show essential customer and historical data, ticketing rules, call scripts, canned responses, support protocols, and other internal information directly on an agent’s screen without requiring app switching. 

 

Customer Surveys

Quality Workforce management system software includes custom and template-based customer surveys in a variety of formats (multiple choice, rankings, open-ended questions, Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction Score, etc.) Admins can configure automated post-contact surveys across voice and digital channels, as well as view customer surveys results in real-time. 

 

Conversation Intelligence 

Conversation Intelligence is a WFO feature that monitors 100% of customer-agent interactions across voice and digital channels. It uses speech recognition, natural language understanding, and machine learning to identify root causes of customer complaints, find gaps in agent training, and conduct intent or customer sentiment analysis. 

Conversation Intelligence reports can be drilled down by date range, department, customer, channel, or individual agent. These reports are usually interactive in nature and include charts, graphs, color-coded KPIs, word clouds.

 

Custom Call Rules+Routing

Workforce optimization tools should also have advanced call/contact rules and routing strategies to shorten wait times, enhance the customer support process, and increase productivity.

Admins can choose from a variety of routing strategies (skills-based, most idle, round robin, business hour routing, etc.) and adjust call flows or ring groups in real-time to optimize available agents.

When evaluating contact center workforce management platforms, we looked at the following criteria: 

  • Scalability: The provider offers a variety of tiered plans, individual add-ons/add-on packages, and different pricing structures (annual/monthly payments, pay-as-you-go, user-based pricing, etc.) 
  • Communication Channels: The provider offers voice and digital communication channels with real-time synching and a shared omnichannel inbox
  • Available Integrations: The provider offers pre-built integrations with essential third-party applications including CRM software, team collaboration tools, helpdesk systems, marketing solutions, web conferencing apps, UCaaS platforms, cloud storage platforms, etc. 
  • Mobile Access: The provider offers a flexible, full-featured mobile app for Apple and iOS devices 
  • User-Friendliness: The provider offers custom dashboards, an intuitive interface, custom push notifications, and a searchable online knowledge base with audio/video tutorials 
  • Workflow Automation: The provider includes a variety of workflow automation capabilities, including agent scheduling, canned responses, omnichannel customer self-service, agent performance scoring, and more
  • AI-Powered Analytics: The provider uses speech/text analytics enriched with machine learning to provide high-level CX and agent performance insights and trend forecasting
  • Use Cases: The provider offers a WFM solution ideal for a variety of businesses across different industries, including the healthcare, financial/banking, tech, education, nonprofit, government, and retail sectors
Provider Pricing Top Features Best For
Five9 5 plans from $149-$229/month Gamification, AI Agent Assist with call summaries Enterprise-level omnichannel contact centers that need to automate as much of the support process as possible
NICE CXone 6 plans from $71-$209/agent/month Engagement Manager, Best Pick Technology Businesses with limited agents that offer omnichannel customer support across 5+ communication channels
Talkdesk CX Cloud 4 plans from $75-$125+/user/month Talkdesk Conversations, Utterance Audio Player Security-conscious teams with few third-party integrations needs looking for an all-in-one WFM/CCaaS  platform
Genesys Cloud 5 plans from $75-$155/user/month Interaction Toolbox, Employee Hub Remote, digital-first contact centers ready to streamline ticket management
8x8 XCaaS 3 quote-based contact center plans Customer Surveys, Speech+Text Analytics Teams needing a customizable CCaaS platform with both UCaaS and WFM capabilities
Nextiva 4 quote-based contact center plans Nextiva Customer Surveys, Social Media Management Contact centers that use social media as a primary support channel, teams that want advanced customer survey/response analytics features

When evaluating contact center workforce management platforms, we looked at the following criteria: 

  • Scalability: The provider offers a variety of tiered plans, individual add-ons/add-on packages, and different pricing structures (annual/monthly payments, pay-as-you-go, user-based pricing, etc.) 
  • Communication Channels: The provider offers voice and digital communication channels with real-time synching and a shared omnichannel inbox
  • Available Integrations: The provider offers pre-built integrations with essential third-party applications including CRM software, team collaboration tools, helpdesk systems, marketing solutions, web conferencing apps, UCaaS platforms, cloud storage platforms, etc. 
  • Mobile Access: The provider offers a flexible, full-featured mobile app for Apple and iOS devices 
  • User-Friendliness: The provider offers custom dashboards, an intuitive interface, custom push notifications, and a searchable online knowledge base with audio/video tutorials 
  • Workflow Automation: The provider includes a variety of workflow automation capabilities, including agent scheduling, canned responses, omnichannel customer self-service, agent performance scoring, and more
  • AI-Powered Analytics: The provider uses speech/text analytics enriched with machine learning to provide high-level CX and agent performance insights and trend forecasting
  • Use Cases: The provider offers a WFM solution ideal for a variety of businesses across different industries, including the healthcare, financial/banking, tech, education, nonprofit, government, and retail sectors
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