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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Putting Abandonment in Perspective

In many contact centers, abandonment rate is viewed as a key measure of how adequately the center is staffed. I often get questions like, what is an acceptable rate of abandonment? What is abandonment in such and such an industry? Are there any studies on how long customers will wait? What should our service level be to keep abandonment under …

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Establishing a Key Performance Indicator

Many successful leaders establish an overall measure of customer satisfaction to gauge progress. I concur that’s a wise move, but it’s important to do so with some cautions in mind. A recent Lynda.com course that I recorded addresses this topic and others associated with Customer Service Leadership. You might enjoy learning more about the best measure of overall customer satisfaction …

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Managing a Contact Center in Real-Time

Real-time management compliments contact center planning. In any center that handles contacts initiated by customers, our forecasts and plans can be off the mark. We need to be able to respond. Learn about three steps to developing an effective real-time management approach in this video from my Lynda.com course Managing a Customer Contact Center. Realtime management from Managing a Customer …

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Tools for Your Next Team Meeting

Looking to generate substantive conversation at your next team meeting? Try one of these worksheets on customer expectations, metrics and customer access strategy. It can be helpful to take a step back from the day-to-day, urgent issues to think about the bigger picture. Discussions on these bigger pictures can help keep everyone on the same page and generate ideas for …

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Does Your Executive Team Understand Staffing Tradeoffs?

Are you working through difficult discussions related to resources and budget? Just remember, contact centers must handle most customer-related work as it happens, so resource mismatches quickly result in big problems. It’s essential that those making decisions have a basic understanding of staff tradeoffs in a contact center (read: real time) environment. The following table is an example of how …

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