Forecasting the Customer Contact Workload

Everything to do with getting resources right in a contact center begins with predicting what the workload will be. Workload is what leads to how many agents are hired, what your schedule should look like, the number of work stations you need, even how many snacks are in the cafeteria. Do you understand the three components of workload and what …

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Essential Metrics for the Service Operation

There are many variables in customer service and there are almost always different perspectives of what’s important. What should you focus on? Explore answers to that question in my Lynda.com video “Essential Metrics for the Service Operation” from my recent course “Service Metrics for Customer Service“. It defines seven key aspects of service that should always be reflected in metrics. …

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Caution: Don’t View Contact Center Performance Measures in Isolation

Consider a few examples that illustrate the interrelated nature of contact center performance measures: Cost per contact going down may actually be a bad sign. Viewed alone, a dropping cost per contact would seem like a positive indication. However, if errors and rework, or contacts not completely resolved in other channels are edging up, cost per contact will naturally decrease …

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5 Secrets to Better Scheduling Results

The very forces that are making scheduling difficult — more complex products and services, additional contact channels, faster pace of change, and the need for diverse agent skills — are creating an environment in which accurate scheduling is absolutely essential. Fortunately, scheduling is a process that can be learned and continuously improved. You get better at it with practice! We’ve …

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10 Causes of Inaccurate Forecasts (and How to Avoid Them)

Accurate workload forecasting is critical to contact center success. Recruiting, hiring, staffing and scheduling—virtually everything that goes into optimizing resources depends on having a good estimate of the work that will come your way. Recently, I was reminded of an article I wrote that was published on icmi.com “10 Causes of Inaccurate Forecasts (and How to Avoid Them)”. If it’s …

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Service Level: Realistic Targets, Taken Seriously

If your operation is chronically missing your service level target, it may be an indication of a fundamental misconception about the importance of service level. You’ll need to focus on a service level objective that your center can realistically achieve. Once you know your center’s true capabilities, you must be able to back up your objectives with the right amount …

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Tighten Up Your AHT Projections

Average handling time, like the volume of contacts, must be incorporated into planning by the half hour. Assuming the same average handling time all day for forecasting purposes will not reflect the environment accurately. Some relatively simple analysis can go a long way toward tightening up your projections. Here are a few important prerequisites for getting this part of your forecast …

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Common Pitfalls in Service Metrics

“Not everything that counts can be counted,” and “not everything that can be counted counts.” This quotation is sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein and though the source is not entirely clear, the message is. And it’s fair warning. We’ve got to be mindful about the metrics we establish and how much we read into them. We need to take care …

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