Across every enterprise, workflow and workloads are the driving force behind many mission critical business applications and processes – especially customer service.  Yet, in today’s customer-focused environment, there exists some fundamental differences between the two and how they affect the overall customer service chain.  According to a leading analyst organization, the top two drivers for organizations to adopt Business Process Management are:

  1. Optimization of processes for customer work: 77%
  2. Increased productivity of employees doing the work: 60%

So, which is it, processes or people?  If you really want to increase the productivity of your employees, workflow is only one part of the answer.  And if you care about customer service, you should pay attention to the human side of workflows.  Here’s why…

What is Workflow?
A workflow is a sequence of steps or automated events or processes.  Workflows are elements of BPM, CRM and Case Management solutions.  They help create desired business outcomes and, as part of a BPM, case management or CRM process, they can bridge departmental or compartmental silos to help align companies to client needs.

However, at its heart, workflow is all about the process, not the people.  It is the What, Why and How of the process, not the Who, Where and When that pertain to people:

  • What are the steps needed to complete this task?
  • Why is the task required and for what purpose?
  • How are the steps in the process accomplished?

Unfortunately, workflows do very little directly for increasing productivity and effectiveness of employees.  So, what affects the performance of employees? What tools address human inefficiencies in the workflow? What helps employees with decision processes and productivity?

Why is Workload an Efficiency  and Service Killer When Handled Poorly?
Workload is the people aspect of business processes, the areas where humans get involved. Not everything is automated, and we still sometimes need people for handling the exceptions that occur in processes.   According to a University of Wisconsin study, 75% of work in an organization can be automated, but that leaves a large portion of work to be done by humans, often manually, and that is where costs and service inefficiencies mount. It’s also a place a where companies can differentiate their service.  Why?  A study showed that 28% of back office employee time is unproductive.  Additionally, cherry picking or employees self selecting work is common. Finally, with manual work distribution methods, the customer value contained within the tasks is typically lost.  A high-value customer task may be treated the same as a very low value task. So, success or failure of a customer process often happens when people get involved and it’s also the area ripe for improvement.

What is Workload Management?
Workload Management addresses the inefficiencies of the human endeavor in business processes.  Workload Management, done well, is like a business priority routing engine that prioritizes and allocates work to the best skilled resource available matching work tasks, priorities with available and appropriately skilled people.  It seeks to align the Who, Where and When by determining the 3 elements that matter most for delivering customer work on time to deliver a great experience.

  1. Who is the customer, the value of the customer and the desired expectation or SLA?
  2. Where is the best skilled resource?
  3. When does the task need to be completed and what are the business rules for the task?

To learn more about the benefits of workload management and how it complements any type of workflow, read the case study, New Zealand Ministry of Justice Transforms Collections or find out more about the Genesys Workload Management family of products.

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