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SAP CRM and WFO: A combination for achieving customer centricity across an enterprise

by The Tip Doctor

August 12, 2010

Tip Doctor, Insider Learning Network

This week’s tip comes to us courtesy of Rajeev Venkat, Director of Solutions Marketing, Verint Witness Actionable Solutions, who wrote about the topic in the Feb. 2010 issue of CRM Expert.

Organizations are continually looking for new ways to run more efficient operations, create more loyal customers, and drive more profitable business outcomes. In most of these enterprises, SAP CRM and workforce optimization (WFO) software work independently. However, many organizations don’t realize that the two technologies are ultimately working to solve a common problem: improving the customer experience.

SAP CRM addresses maximizing customer relationships, enhancing collaboration, providing instant access to relevant information, and delivering consistent service across the channels. WFO, on the other hand, helps organizations schedule the right number of skilled people at any given time, meet service levels, deliver agent training, manage performance, analyze and identify areas for improvement, and collect customer feedback.

A simple way of defining the two is that SAP CRM focuses on front-end processes related to the customer, whereas WFO software places an emphas is on back-end technology and processes associated with managing agent performance in the contact center and back-office operations.


WFO technology, which has been relatively unknown in SAP circles, encompasses the following functionality:

  • Workforce Management (WFM) and strategic planning: WFM automates and simplifies forecasting and scheduling so organizations appropriately staff the contact center, the back-office, or even the branch to efficiently meet varying workloads. Strategic planning shows tradeoffs among costs, service levels, revenue, and staffing through what-if scenarios to support strategic planning. Additionally, integration with eLearning and agent self-service capabilities also enhances employee effectiveness and can foster greater retention rates.
  • Quality monitoring: Organizations need to better understand the quality of their employee and customer interactions to increase operational effectiveness, reduce liability, and improve the customer experience. Using audio and screen recording, organizations can put quality reporting and processes in place to improve employee performance, increase supervisory productivity, and focus quality programs to achieve maximum business impact.
  • Performance management: Clearly defining organizational goals and tracking performance against these predetermined metrics are an important part of fostering continual improvement. WFO provides role-appropriate scorecards and an extensive set of predefined key performance indicators (KPIs) to help all levels of the organization see how they’re performing against their goals.
  • Speech, data, and screen analytics: Organizations don’t just want to know what is going on in their customer-facing operations — they want to know why. Advanced WFO speech and data analytics can categorize and analyze call content to reveal the drivers of customer percep tions, business outcomes, and call volumes. Organizations can also use WFO to analyze interaction data to determine the root causes of specific performance metrics — and how addressing these causes might affect KPIs. By surfacing trends that might otherwise go undetected, analytics solutions help organizations identify market opportunities, process problems, and competitive threats.

     CRM Expert subscribers can read more with their online subscription. For information about subscribing, to CRM Expert, click here.

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