Finding the best WFM software: Choices, criteria, and more (2024)

By 
Kat Boogaard

Gone are the days when an organization’s call center was an afterthought — a cost center that you had to have, but wasn’t worth a lot of time, focus, or investment.

Today, the call center is ripe with opportunities. When the majority of customers admit they still want to talk to a live agent to get their questions answered, your call center serves as the cornerstone of your customer experience. It’s the channel you use to forge strong relationships, enhance your brand, collect feedback, and differentiate your company from your competitors. 

But here’s the thing: You only reap those benefits if you have the right staffing and resources. Without that in place, customers deal with long hold times, inadequate support, and other frustrating roadblocks that chip away at their trust, enthusiasm, and loyalty. 

That’s where workforce management (WFM) software comes into play. When you find the best WFM software for your organization, you streamline your contact center operations — and keep both your team and your customers happy and committed for the long haul. 

What exactly is call center workforce management software?

Call center or contact center WFM software is a technology solution designed to optimize the allocation of human resources within a call center. That’s a lot of fancy words, so here’s the gist:

WFM software helps you ensure you have the right agents in the right place at the right time to match your customer demand.

This software gives you valuable data and information to help you schedule just enough agents to interact with customers quickly (so they aren’t stuck waiting), but not so many that you’re way overstaffed and leave agents to do Sudoku puzzles at their desks. 

With WFM software, call center managers and supervisors can efficiently plan, schedule, monitor, and manage their workforce to meet service level agreements (SLAs) while also maximizing productivity and keeping an eye on the budget. 

A comprehensive WFM solution will help with:

  • Forecasting and scheduling: Using historical data, call volume patterns, and other factors to predict future staffing requirements and generate optimized schedules based on workload, availability, skills, and preferences.
  • Real-time management and monitoring: Tracking indicators like call volume, average wait times, and agent adherence to schedules in real-time so managers can make immediate adjustments to staffing levels or workflows.
  • Performance analytics and reporting: Assessing call center performance using data analytics, tools, and reports. 

Needless to say, if you’re currently trying to do all of the above with a tangle of clunky spreadsheets, finding the best WFM software for you will be a major difference-maker for your entire organization. 

5 best call center workforce management software options

As you start your search, you’ll quickly realize that there are plenty of WFM software options out there. And the truth is, since they’re all focused on helping you with workforce management, they all do largely the same thing. 

That makes it even trickier to sort through them and figure out which one is the best match for your organization’s needs and priorities. We’re here to help by giving you a detailed look at five of the most popular WFM software choices on the market. Here are the ones we’ll cover:

  1. Assembled
  2. Playvox
  3. Calabrio
  4. NICE
  5. Verint 

Let’s dig in so you can get the nitty-gritty and make your most informed choice. 

1. Assembled

Average G2 rating: 4.7 stars

Okay, so of course we’re going to put Assembled first on the list. And while we’ll readily admit that we’re a little biased, that’s not the only reason we’re up here: Assembled is a top solution to achieve more accuracy in staffing, more ease and control in schedule creation, and better visibility into your call center data. 

One of the biggest things that sets Assembled apart is that it’s comprehensive without being overwhelming. Assembled has an easy and intuitive interface to navigate all sorts of powerful and helpful features like:

  • Simplified scheduling: Scheduling doesn’t have to be a headache. With templates, customizable event types, seamless time off management, and scenario testing, you can build accurate schedules without all of the hassles.
  • Automatic forecasting: Built by machine learning experts, our forecasts are accurate within 10% right out of the box.
  • Powerful integrations: Assembled offers best-in-class integrations with cloud-based contact centers, QA, and HR tools. Plus, you can use our API to easily integrate with any other business intelligence tool.
  • Detailed performance reporting: From agent scorecards to staffing heatmaps, Assembled has all sorts of analytics to help you dive into your performance and make strategic adjustments.
  • Straightforward real-time management: With a unified dashboard of all of your support channels and granular time tracking, Assembled helps call center managers keep their finger on the pulse of what’s happening right now.
  • Scalability: Scaling support is tough, but Assembled is designed to grow right along with your organization so you can provide top-notch support at every stage and size. 

Our vendor management features are another thing that helps us stand out. Assembled will integrate with whatever WFM platforms your BPOs use so you can get a single source of truth for all of your agent schedules and staffing coverage. 

What customers are saying:
“This is the most efficient and insightful way we have found to optimize our staff.” G2 reviewer

“To be able to introduce a workforce management solution to multiple teams that had no means of tracking adherence and forecasting beforehand, this tool is a dream! This was a great improvement moving away from tracking agent schedules and time off in Excel spreadsheets and now consolidating this information in one source of truth system.”G2 reviewer

2. Playvox

Average G2 rating: 4.4 stars

Playvox is another popular solution in the world of WFM. However, Playvox’s WFM software is just one of the company’s products — they also offer options for quality assurance, motivation, coaching, performance, and more.

So, while Playvox has many of the features you’d expect from this type of software, it’s a much more lightweight and less comprehensive solution than Assembled. With that said, there are a few notable features:

  • Gamification: Playvox incorporates a lot of gamification elements into its platform to motivate agents and increase engagement. That’s helpful if it’s something your team is interested in. But if not, it can add unnecessary complexity and bloat.
  • Combinations with other Playvox products: Like we mentioned, Playvox offers a lot of other solutions outside of WFM. So, you can combine their WFM software with other options like their performance tracking, quality assurance, coaching, and motivation platforms to build a more comprehensive solution. Just be aware that doing so will likely increase your cost and complexity. 

As far as drawbacks are concerned, users mention the following cons of choosing this platform:

  • Complex user interface: It can be overwhelming to start and might require additional training to fully utilize its features.
  • Steep learning curve: Because of that complexity, it takes a while to get a hang of Playvox and you tend to need advanced knowledge of WFM for the software to click.
  • Limited forecasting: Playvox’s capabilities are miles behind Assembled’s proven forecast models, and forecasts are also less customizable.
  • Integration struggles: Playvox offers integrations with some popular CRM and ticketing systems, but many users encounter challenges when trying to integrate other third-party applications or use the API. 

Playvox has the basic features to get the job done. But it’s not a complete WFM solution that will grow along with your organization — which is why we think Assembled is the best alternative to Playvox

What customers are saying: 

“With all the bells and whistles that it does have, Playvox misses the mark in some quality-of-life areas.”G2 reviewer

“The setup process has been very long, difficult, and grueling. If you are not a tech expert and/or a WFM expert, do not venture into this alone. The implementation team really does try their best, but they seem to have limited knowledge of all the different integrations and setups.”G2 reviewer

3. Calabrio

Average G2 rating: 4.2 stars

Calabrio is another comprehensive WFM software option, which means you’ll find a lot of overlap in features like:

  • Predictive forecasting: Calabrio’s advanced analytics dig through your historical data to forecast your call volume while machine learning comprehends seasonality or other spikes and lulls.
  • Omnichannel scheduling: Manage your agent schedules with visibility of all of your channels at once.
  • Robust reporting: With its built-in Data Explorer tool, Calabrio helps you build and automate reports that use data from across your entire organization. 

You may find what you need within Calabrio’s software. But where it struggles is with its ease of use. It’s not nearly as intuitive as a solution like Assembled, which means you’re likely to run into the following drawbacks: 

  • Lengthy implementation time: It takes teams four months to be fully up and running with Calabrio as their WFM solution.
  • Slow ROI: It also takes a while to see a return on your investment with Calabrio, with the typical customer waiting a full two years to see a return. 

So, if you’re looking strictly at features and capabilities, then Calabrio is fairly comparable to Assembled. But if you consider your experience when rolling out and using the software, Assembled shines as the best alternative to Calabrio. 

What customers are saying: 

“Updating schedules was easy enough but could easily be improved upon to make quality of life improvements.”G2 reviewer

“The app is not very intuitive or user-friendly. Some features take a while to upload, like overtime and absence probability.”G2 reviewer

4. NICE

Average G2 rating: 4.3 stars

NICE is another option as you continue your search, intending to disrupt outdated analytics within call centers. NICE uses what it calls “True to Interval (TTI) Analytics” to better understand the unique differences and challenges of digital channels. These analytics look at the actual time spent handling the interaction, rather than when the interaction ended.

Within the software, you’ll find the other WFM features you expect — like forecasting, scheduling, real-time adherence, performance management, and reports. However, there are a few notable drawbacks:

  • Clunky analytics: For all of its focus on analytics, it’s not necessarily a standout feature for the platform. Users complain that reports can be slow and cumbersome. And according to G2 reviews, Assembled outperforms NICE on workforce analytics along with other related features like reporting, dashboards, and performance analysis. 
  • Tricky, long, and complicated setup: Many users report that the setup, use, and administration of NICE’s platform can be complex, making Assembled the best alternative to NICE for both functionality and user experience. 

What customers are saying: 

“Set up and implementation is time-consuming and can be confusing (we are a company that specializes in this and still struggled). Agent user interface is lacking in some basic functionality.”G2 reviewer

“NICE is a good resource to have but report running was tedious and not user friendly.”G2 reviewer

5. Verint

Average G2 rating: 4.2 stars

Finally, there’s Verint. Much like the other options on this list, it brings together your forecasting, scheduling, and monitoring to optimize staffing in your call center. A few of the platforms’s standout features include: 

  • Agent/supervisor portal: A dedicated place where agents and supervisors can talk about schedule changes, conduct shift swaps, and request time off in an easy and centralized place.
  • Intraday management: Things come up and Verint’s graphic agent schedules make it simple to drag and drop breaks, lunches, and other exceptions to make real-time updates.

But even with those features, Assembled still outperforms Verint in team communication, agent self-service, and intraday management. According to users, Verint introduces a few other challenges as well:

  • Complexity: Lack of user-friendliness is one of the biggest complaints about Verint, with users reporting that even simple tasks take them much longer on this platform than with similar options because of the complexity and the overall speed of the software.
  • Cost: Users also point out Verint’s price tag as a drawback, noting that it’s expensive for the level of functionality (and bugginess) that you get. 

When comparing Verint with Assembled, Assembled is the best alternative to Verint in terms of ease of setup, use, features, and administration. 

What should you consider when choosing the best WFM software for you?

There’s no shortage of options available to you. So here’s the inevitable next question: How do you find the best software for your company and team?

Much like with anything else, “best” can mean something different to everyone depending on their unique circumstances and goals. Here are some criteria to think through as you evaluate your best WFM software options:

  • Scalability: Your organization is ever-changing and your software should accommodate your company’s growth and evolving workforce needs. Look for a solution that can handle changes in call volume, staff size, and operational complexity without sacrificing performance or efficiency. 
  • Ease of use: An intuitive interface and user-friendly features reduce the learning curve involved with your WFM software. Look for software that’s relatively easy to learn for both managers and agents. 
  • Customer support: Even when platforms are intuitive, you’re bound to have questions. Take a look at the software’s reviews to see what people say about customer support and responsiveness. You want to find a solution that helps you feel supported and empowered — not alone and overwhelmed. 
  • Integrations: Confirm that your software can integrate with the other systems and tools you use in your contact center, such as CRMs, ticketing systems, or communication channels. Look for integrations that are relatively painless and don’t require a lot of workarounds. 
  • ROI: When evaluating software options, it’s tempting to only look at the price tag. While budgets matter, also consider your potential return on investment and benefits like improved productivity, reduced labor costs, and enhanced customer satisfaction. Those might justify increased spend on the software that’s the best fit for you. 

It can be hard to get a good feel for the ins and outs of software from the product page alone. So, don’t hesitate to watch demos or talk to the sales team to get a better feel for how a platform works and whether it’s the right fit for your team. 

Looking for the best WFM software? You found it

Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the software that’s the best match for your business needs and goals. But for contact centers looking to streamline operations, improve efficiency, and provide a better customer experience, Assembled is the obvious choice.

You don’t have to just take our word for it, though. Our customers have achieved impressive results that speak for themselves:

  • TaskRabbit implemented Assembled in just two weeks and was able to make intraday scheduling changes within 30 seconds rather than the 30 minutes the team was spending previously
  • monday.com used Assembled’s API to build a proprietary routing tool that connects to Zendesk and intelligently assigns tickets
  • Typeform reduced time spent on forecasting by 50% while also increasing forecasting accuracy by more than 90%
  • Stripe can keep their workforce management team lean, saving more than 20% in team hiring

So, if you’re looking to provide efficient and high-quality support — without adding unnecessary complexity and cost to your operations to get there — Assembled is your key to getting the best of both worlds.

Ready to see for yourself? Contact us to see what modern WFM should look like

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