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Free Webinar: Today's Unpredictable Economy Warrants More Powerful Call Center Forecasting Tools
As such, many of the traditional methods for forecasting call volume and determining staffing requirements -- such as Erlang equations or spreadsheet forecasting -- have become inaccurate and unreliable. What’s more, many of the software systems used for forecasting call (and other contact) volume have become outdated as well, due to the changes that have occurred in consumer behavior -- including the fact that customers are increasingly using alternative modes of contact, such as email and Web chat, to carry out informational interactions. That means call center managers not only need to accurately forecast call volume, but email and Web chat volume as well, so that they have an agent pool with the right mix of skills sets on hand, once those contacts start coming in.
At the same time, call center managers are under more pressure than ever to run their centers efficiently and cost effectively – and as we all know, labor is the single biggest cost facing any call center. As such, managers must continue to rely on advanced software systems that can help them predict, within a high degree of accuracy, how many agents are needed, based on skill set, to handle volume for any particular shift. With the increasing unpredictability and complexity resulting from the ongoing changes in the economy, contact centers today need advanced technologies that are capable of analyzing more than just call history data in order to arrive at accurate forecasts. What’s more, they need systems that can help them do more than just schedule agents -- they need them for things like optimizing the hiring/overtime mix for the call center network, or to produce variance and what-if analysis for the back office center.
Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard