Workforce Management Feature Article
December 10, 2012
Call Forecasting Stimulation Makes Workforce Management Efficient During the Holidays
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor
Whether you run a call center in a small business or an enterprise, call volume fluctuates at different times of the year, prompting business processes to get complicated. Specifically, during the holidays when call volume grows, you must schedule agents properly in order for your call center to run efficiently. In an era where technology is constantly evolving and improving, why not invest in workforce management (WFM) software to better delegate agent tasks and stay on top of call center processes?
WFM is becoming more prevalent, as it can handle tasks like scheduling, coverage management and workload planning. These days, WFM solutions can decrease the workload of call center managers by providing automation where it is needed while tracking agent tasks and monitoring their progress. Whether work is outsourced or handled in-house, WFM software can play an important role in the overall success of a call center.
According to Monet Software, a global provider of workforce optimization solutions for small and medium-sized contact centers, call forecasting is a key element of the WFM process. “The more accurate the forecast, the more efficient the schedule and better service level,” Monet wrote in a recent blog post.
WFM systems analyze the work history data received through ACD and PBX (News - Alert) systems to calculate a forecast for future call volume, average handling time and agent requirements for each 15-minute period of the day. Then, the forecast can be used to convert the anticipated call volume into the number of agents required for each time interval. With forecasting simulation, according to Monet, you can develop "what if" scenarios to explore how a change in call volume would affect your center.
“For example, you can simulate routing rules, agent skill assignments, and schedules by date range and see how that will impact the schedule and staffing requirements,” Monet wrote.
Additionally, you can build scenarios for budgeting and planning purposes by using the system to produce an estimated budget for all forecasted agent shifts. These features help you evaluate staff requirements and explore how a change in workload would affect your call center.
Overall, simulation provides regular intraday forecast updates, automatically calculating a forecast based on what has occurred to establish trends that will help proactive decision making. It enables you to make better predictions and accurate forecasts, ensuring that you are consistently managing your call center.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein