When you think of a call center, the last thing you’d associate it with is baseball. But for those of us who work in contact center workforce management (WFM), the connections are obvious. You might ask, what do baseball and WFM have in common? In short, it’s statistics. Predictive pattern analysis is essential to managing a baseball team, and at Blue Ocean, we live by it, too. It’s what helps us manage call center resources to meet our service levels and operate at peak performance.
“There will always be people who are ahead of the curve, and people who are behind the curve. But knowledge moves the curve.” – Bill James, Author, Statistician, Senior Advisor on Baseball Operations – Boston Red Sox
“Moving the curve” and staying ahead of it are essential in areas like roadside assistance (especially as we gear up for the winter) and grocery service (in preparing for the holidays). When you partner with an outsourced contact center, you play a key role in getting your team in the best position for a championship win. Look at it this way: you’re the team owner. Your workforce management guy is the “team manager.” You can help him (or her) empower the team and take home a win with the use of great data and clear goals.
Here’s how to turn your contact center WFM into champions.
Accurate forecasting begins with looking back on data from the last year to shed light on what may happen in the coming year. The phrase “the data doesn’t lie” is a common one and often integral to our work in data analytics and forecasting. However, the numbers don’t always reveal the big picture. Although all data is relevant, we need to be strategic in how we use it – and don’t use it.
For example, depending on your service offering – from reservations to grocery delivery to tech support and more – your call volume can be impacted by a wide range of anomalies. Sporting events, corresponding holidays (such as the highly rare occasion that Thanksgiving and Hannukah occur at the same time), and website crashes are all times when call volume likely spiked in each of these service offerings. In these cases, when conditions are unlikely to be repeated, depending solely on the data will lead to misinformed workforce management decisions. That’s why you have to get really specific about historical data. Get the whole story.
It’s not just about historical data. Collaboration across all areas of the contact center is essential to accurate forecasting. Your marketing, sales, or IT departments may not fully appreciate or understand the efforts of your workforce management team, but their departmental plans may have significant impact on how WFM plans to staff a program.
For example, if your IT team knows they are conducting a website upgrade or changes to back office functions, this is critical information for WFM in predicting related call volume. Likewise, if your marketing department plans a promotion or campaign that will impact the number of callers, WFM needs to know.
If the forecast is off, it will have a domino effect on the success of the program. If workforce management gets it wrong, then your departmental team will be off to a bad start, too, making judgements calls from inaccurate information. Although 100% accuracy in forecasting is often unrealistic, the WFM team wants to be as close as possible. Using historical data is one step; strategically using information from other collaborative sources is another critical piece of the puzzle.
“I pay you to get on first, not get thrown out at second,” said Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, in the baseball movie Moneyball. It’s a philosophy focused on what first steps are necessary to add up to a win. Stealing second base might be tempting, but is not a successful long-term strategy for winning games.
The same philosophy should apply to the goals of your contact center team. If your ultimate objective is brand loyalty in your customers, it’s essential to understand how customer experience in the contact center builds that loyalty. Thus, service level metrics should reflect your brand promise; low Average Handle Times probably won’t be as important as Average Speed of Answer and low Abandon rates.
Every inning of a baseball game might not be perfect, but it’s the score at the end of the ninth that counts. The same goes for your contact center. If your program operates with a monthly service level contact, you have to be realistic about the smaller half hour intervals that add up to those 30 days. There will likely be intervals and maybe even days that won’t make the service grade, but your WFM will do everything in their power to make sure you are on target by the end of the month. If this isn’t acceptable to your company, you may need to consider upgrading your service level to daily instead of monthly.
Although we love statistics, we recognize how easy it could be to fall prey to “paralysis by analysis.” While data can tell us how to move forward in WFM plans, trying to explain exactly why something happened isn’t always to best use of our time. The next call still needs to be answered.
That’s why every service level you choose leaves some room for error. A contract to answer 80% of calls within 30 seconds means that there will likely be a handful of calls (less than or equal to 20%) that are answered after 30 seconds. When a small percentage of calls don’t go to plan, do you want to spend time analyzing them or would you rather focus your team on making the future moves that lead to consistent, high quality service?
When services levels are being met and everything is working smoothly, a ton of preparation was done in advance. Championship teams may make it “look easy,” but you can guarantee every piece of the complex puzzle was in place to help them win.
Looking for more strategies for workforce management success? Check out this infographic:
We know it’s not easy to win every game, but we’ve been fine-tuning our craft for more than 20 years. Let’s chat about how we can help you achieve higher rates of success in your contact center.
Publish Date: September 28, 2017 5:00 AM
This real-time walldisplay is able to show every form of contact in a clear wallboard, with the necessary KPI’s per channel; like phone, chat, etc.
|2.)||Call Center Studio|
Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.
PH: +1 512-872-7565
|3.)||Call Tracking Metrics|
Today’s customers aren’t always willing to pick up the phone to talk to a business, which is why an omnichannel communications strategy is essential. Because our software tracks chats, texts, and form submissions in addition to calls, we make it easy for you to interact with customers in their preferred method of communication. Take your strategy to the next level by utilizing our automated tools which can generate instant communications back to your customers as soon as they contact you.
ContactPro empowers agents to efficiently serve customers in today's demanding world of Omni-Channel communication. The state-of-the-art technology solution helps contact centers to leverage their existing Avaya infrastructure while decreasing contact center costs and increasing customer satisfaction.
With a strong focus on Omni-Channel functionality ContactPro defines a new method for integrated traditional voice contacts, emails, fax and documents with modern web and smartphone communication for any WebRTC, chat, assistant browsing and file sharing, online presence, SMS/IM (text) and social media activities. Additionally, the web supervisor functions provide simple reporting and full me...
PH: +1 305 766 3264
|5.)||Comm100 Network Corporation|
The Comm100 omnichannel customer experience platform powers real-time interactions via web, mobile, and messaging. We make it easy for organizations to answer questions, solve problems, and keep customers happy.
From front-line marketing and sales to ongoing service and support, Comm100 enables great digital experiences that drive revenue without increasing costs.
CFront for Digital Communication Channels
CFront by Comsys is a state-of-the-art application that enriches contact centers with digital communication and collaboration capabilities. CFront is natively compatible with Aspect Unified IP and Cisco Unified Contact Center (UCCE/UCCX) platforms and connects them with all the major communication channels.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspe...
You may have seen the meme going around that captures what tipped the balance towards digital. The questionnaire asks, “who is driving your digital transformation?” After “CEO” and “chief digital officer”, the third option is “Covid-19” highlighted with a red circle. The pandemic has been tragic in the toll it has taken on the lives and health of the global population, forcing billions to stay at home. Yet, it has also been a catalyst for change in a bigger way than any event since the last world war. Who would have thought that a bank would lend a new customer a million dollars or more based on a video inspection of the mortgaged property and without any physical paperwork or face-to-face K...
PH: (+61) 406 501 368
Eckoh Experience Portal
Cloud-based portal that delivers Eckoh's complete Secure Payment and Customer Engagement solutions. Simply take the solutions you need today and add additional ones as you need them. All from one supplier.
PH: 01442 458300
eGain omnichannel customer engagement solutions power digital transformation for leading brands.
Guided by AI, knowledge, and connected analytics, eGain’s customer engagement suite enables excellence in digital-first, omnichannel customer engagement across digital self-service, including virtual assistance, messaging, chat, social, and email, seamlessly integrated with voice.
Based on a unified platform, the solution is trusted by blue-chip brands for customer engagement at scale that is effective, efficient, and consistent, while being compliant with best practices and industry regulations.
Customer Engagement Platform
The Customer Engagment Platform (CEP) collects multichannel interaction and application data from all channels, across multiple systems, providing a single, complete data source for ethosAnalytics to access and display information in useful, usable ways. CEP provides companies with scalable and repeatable software for big data solutions.
Directly engage customers through an effortless Video chat via your web page or mobile APP with a secure platform. Escalate from an existing chat or create a brand new video conversation, use desktop sharing and co browsing, record and track every step of the customer journey
|13.)||Fusion E-Solutions LLC|
omnichannel support service, BPO services
We help businesses in their administrative and repetitive jobs as a be-fitting virtual assistant service provider. With an objective to reduce in-house burden, save time & money, and regain focus, we show flexibility in working 24/7 for clients with dynamic needs.
|14.)||Hodusoft Pvt. Ltd.|
Omnichannel Contact Center Software
"HoduCC" is a comprehensive and consolidated contact center software. It guarantees to provide the best call center software that suits best for all types of call centers. Being one of the top Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions providers across the globe, HoduSoft ensures that this contact center software offers intelligence, security, and advanced features.
HoduCC has been designed in a way to make sure that user loyalty is built and the customers’ expectations are accomplished. Doesn’t matter what your business size is, HoduCC is most affordable Contact Center Software for small businesses as well.
HoduCC allows customer support teams to provide personal, productive phone...
|15.)||Lieber & Associates|
Omichannel Migration Consulting Services
Lieber & Associates provides technology, management, and operations consulting services to transform departments into omnichannel contact centers. After assessing current operations, the firm delivers a roadmap for testing and implementing technology, metrics, training, and any staffing required to meet omnichannel goals. The firm also advises on programs to migrate customers to the new channels.
A premier yet affordable VoIP phone system, working from home—or anywhere—has never been easier than with MightyCall, a no-hardware, no-nonsense solution for SMB.
PH: +1 (888) 256-8312
Noble Contact Center
Truly unified omnichannel operations. Your customers have growing expectations about how and when they want to interact with you. The noble contact centre suite helps you seamlessly communicate with your customers, no matter which channel(s) they prefer. Noble helps you optimise agent activity and improve the efficiency of customer interactions with our unified omnichannel solutions. Seamlessly manage communications over a variety of voice and non-voice channels including voice, email, sms text, web chat and social media. Simultaneously manage inbound and outbound communications without having to log in and out of programs. And combine all channels on a single platform to improve contact centre efficiency and profitability.
PH: +61 (0) 3.9008.1700
70,000 health-related searches are made on Google every minute. The digital front door as a channel is more important than ever for helping consumers access care. OrbitaENGAGE, leverages powerful conversational tools such as chatbots, voice search, and voice SEO, which guide consumers as they search for and navigate care. Capabilities focus on call deflection and include: Find a doctor or location , Appointment scheduling , Healthcare FAQs, Virtual triage
Virtual visits (via telehealth integration,) andV oice Search and Voice SEO ,
VADS Omnichannel Solutions
Omni Channel is a cross-channel business model and content strategy that companies use to improve their user experience. Omnichannel is an integrated way of thinking about people’s relationships with organisations. Rather than working in parallel, communication channels are designed to cooperate and build a coherent, evolving, cross-channel experience.
Omni Channel supersedes multichannel and includes channels such as physical locations, FAQ webpages, social media, live web chats, mobile applications and telephone communication Companies that use omnichannel contend that a customer values the ability to be in contact with a company through multiple avenues at the same time.
Synthetix has been empowering companies with conversational customer engagement tools, powered by AI since 2001. The leading cloud-based software supports your customers and employees through the power of unified solutions that promote CX. With AI-powered knowledge management, self-service, chatbot and live chat tools that can seamlessly integrate, agents become more productive and customers receive an enhanced, optimised level of customer support and digital experience.
PH: +44 1279 555 580
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