Call Center Management Feature Article
September 27, 2013
Contact Center Management Success: Mastering Forecasting and Scheduling
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
Good call center managers share a number of characteristics. They are often empathetic people who understand what makes others tick. They are efficient and detail-oriented and possess the skill to juggle multiple tasks at the same time. They spend much of their day solving small (or even large) emergencies while at the same time accomplishing their day-to-day tasks.
There are tasks that contact center managers need to master to be effective, and some of them are trickier than others. Perhaps the most difficult task is building an effective schedule based on historical data and projections for how the day will go. Scheduling, of course, is critical. It allows the manager to have the right number of agents in place. Too many, and the contact center is overstaffed, agents are bored and money is wasted. Too few, and agents are burned out and customer relationships are put at risk.
Chuck Ciarlo, CEO of workforce optimization solutions provider Monet Software, recently blogged about the most critical steps in the forecasting and scheduling process. By mastering these processes, a call center manager is closer than ever to building an effective schedule that can help the facility to run smoothly without danger of over-staffing or under-staffing.
1. Collect and analyze data, including call type, call volume, and call patterns.
2. Use this data to forecast call center workload (by day, by hour, even by quarter-hour).
3. Forecast special days or any other events that influence call volumes. These may include company promotions and events, holidays, seasonal fluctuations or other unique trends.
4. Calculate and plan resources requirements. These will be specified once you have defined acceptable service levels on ASA, AHT and other factors.
5. Review additional staffing considerations, including cost, personnel skills and specialties, flexibility, availability and occupancy.
6. Create a schedule that balances agent needs vs. call center capabilities, and accounts for shrinkage and exceptions.
7. Manage daily operation based on the created schedule. Track key metrics and adherence, and adjust forecast/schedule based on actual call volume and pattern.
8. Review, report and analyze, then repeat the process starting with step #1.
To see these steps demonstrated visually and help contact center managers pick up tips for mastering each of these skills, Monet Software has produced a series of informative videos that show how its Monet Live solution can help contact center managers master the entire forecasting and scheduling process.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi