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Top 3 Resource Planning Techniques Within The Contact Centre - Business Systems UK Ltd - Blog

Top 3 Resource Planning Techniques Within The Contact Centre

In order to meet customer demands, workforce planners need to make sure they have the right number of agents with the right skill sets available at the right time. And this starts with having the right resource planning techniques in place.

With customer contact channels increasing (email, web chat, SMS etc.), workforce scheduling has become a complex and labour-intensive job. Let’s not forget to throw into the mix variables such as absenteeism, holidays and staff-work preferences. Spreadsheets and Erlang C tables can still work well in helping you schedule if you are a small contact centre.

However, if you’re a contact centre managing multiple different contact and skill types, it’s important to remember that excel will fall short in many areas and this is where you will need to introduce a Workforce Management system.

Tip: If you’re deciding on whether it’s time to move away from spreadsheets, answer these 13 simple questions to help you decide!

Brought to you by our team of experienced WFM consultants, here are our top resource planning techniques to get you through those peaks and troughs:

1.Types of Scheduling To Consider

Considering different types of shift patterns and scheduling can be a huge benefit to ensuring your service levels are being met whilst also providing work patterns that are in line with your employee’s work/life balance. Below we’ve listed the different types of shift patterns and the pros and cons of each for you to consider:

Split Shifts – shifts with an early segment followed by an extended ‘lunch’ (>2hrs) followed by a late segment

- This can help with covering start and end of the day coverage
- Provides flexibility for employees with children at school for example

- Has been shown to be very unpopular with ‘regular’ contact centre workers
- The benefits of the ‘extended lunch’ are more than offset by the disadvantages of the shift span

Rotations / Rotas – employees work a repeating consistent pattern of shifts over a period of multiple weeks

- A well thought out rotation can give excellent shift coverage
- It is the ‘fairest’ and employees can plan their life around work

- Potentially zero ability to react to customer changes without employee agreement

Flexi Shift – contracts are based on allocating hours at short notice to cover peaks

- You get flexibility you need for last minute changes

- Employees have little control and cannot plan their life schedules around work

Shift Trading– Allowing agents of same or similar skills to swap shifts

- You keep control of your schedules
- Employees are given some degree of control over their schedules

- Can penalise highly multi skilled employees

Preference Based Scheduling – Employees express a preference of when they would prefer to work and the WFM application tries to accommodate

- In theory most of the time employees work when best suits their life schedules

- Has been poorly implemented in most systems (e.g. system doesn’t schedule you at all if you do not express a preference; system gives you a random shift if your preference isn’t available rather that ‘next best’)

Tip: When scheduling, make sure you take agent skill, specialisation, preference and type of calls handled into consideration. 

2. Scenario Planning

Another popular resource planning technique is scenario planning. Some Workforce Management tools allow you to run ‘what if’ scenarios which will improve your risk level.

An example where running a ‘what if’ scenario can come in handy is when you may have increased demand on the business. Let’s paint a picture – your organisation wants to take on a new contract which will mean demand will increase.

If you win, will your contact centre be able to cope? Do you have the capacity and if not how many more people will you need to make ends meet? Running a ‘what if’ scenario will help you identify the impact this will have on your business such as how much more staff you need and when you will need them.

Here are some more examples where running ‘what if’ scenarios could come in handy:

  • Opening Hours - you may want to find out the impact on your contact centre if you opened longer
  • New Product Launch - you may want to find out the impact of launching a product and what the implications would be on the current resource
  • Process Change - you may want to change an internal process and would like to know how this may impact on handling time

3.Be Pro-Active For When The Unexpected Occurs

Sometimes, despite factoring in accurate volume and scheduling in your contact centre, life is unpredictable and the unforeseen can always occur. Here are some resource planning techniques to keep in mind for when this happens:

Technical Techniques

  • Templates – Many Workforce Management tools allow you to keep call profile and volume templates ready. These templates mean you can use the same or similar data when re-occurrences happen. You can then adapt your forecasts accordingly without as much stress as you would have starting from scratch.
  • One click re-optimisation – Many WFM tools also come equipped with the ability to re-allocate agent activities, lunches, breaks etc. (within user driven criteria) for when the unexpected occurs.

Strategic Techniques

    • Emergency scripts – consider putting together multiple emergency scripts for different scenarios. This will ensure the issue is articulated by all in a consistent manner and will also keep your talk time consistent.
    • Set a boundary – Agree on a service level alert threshold which when breached will require urgent step by step actions (prepared beforehand). A reliable alert process is also key in ensuring you are updated throughout the whole event. This can be through wallboard notifications or SMS messages for example.
    • Measure the impact – Make sure you keep track of what went wrong and what went well. Don’t forget to evaluate the process after the event. If something could have been executed better, then adjust your processes for future references. And vice versa!
    • Consider putting together a matrix with two sides – one side holds all the seasonal events which happen throughout the year such as sport events, holidays, annual busy period etc. You are expecting these. The other side holds events which are unpredictable yet the impact of them could be huge. These events could be IT outages, weather or major billing errors in your centre. This will ultimately help you determine how these events, whether seasonal or unpredictable can be incorporated into your scheduling strategy. When listing these events, for each one ask yourself the following questions:
  1. How far in advance do/would we know about it?
  2. How big would the impact be on our shift plans and ultimately our contact centre service delivery?

Summing Up

Regardless of the industry you operate in, there are changing expectations from consumers. Consumers are demanding a level of service which is above and beyond and they will not settle for much less. Smart businesses have come to realise that improving their resource planning capabilities and looking for feature rich technologies such as Workforce Management to help them do just this, sits high on the list of variables paving the way for exceptional customer experience.

If your looking for advice on your resource planning strategy, our team of experienced WFM consultants will be able to help so get in touch today.

What Makes Our Team Unique?

  • Over 50 years combines worth of experience working within the Workforce Management/WFO industry.
  • Real-life experience in the team using a vast array of WFM solutions on the market today (e.g NICE, Teleopti)
  • Working various roles including BI Analyst, Workforce Management Analyst, Resource Planning Manager and Head of Real-time.
  • Working at companies including the likes of Virgin Media, FCA, Barclays, Vodafone & Royal SunAlliance.
  • Delivered professional services to companies including Halfords, Eurostar, Equiniti and Royal London Group.


Publish Date: March 13, 2020

2023 Buyers Guide Artificial Intelligence

Page: 12
Acqueon Technologies Inc.

Acqueon's AI-driven conversational engagement software enables sales, marketing and service organizations to engage in emotionally connected dialogs with customers via their channel of choice for significantly improved results. The Acqueon suite adds multichannel campaign management, contact center analytics, desktop, and CRM connectors for your contact center software of choice, including Amazon Connect, Cisco, Nice inContact, and Twilio. Acqueon conversational engagement software leverages the Acqueon IQ platform to aggregate data from the various applications, assemble rich customer contexts, and drive next-best-action using powerful statistical and predictive models.


Answering Machine Detection
Answering Machine Detection (AMD) enables you to determine the receiving side of an outgoing call and tailor your call flow accordingly. With AMD you can determine if a human, answering machine or fax machine has picked up an outbound voice API call.

3.) Agara

Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.


Aktify is personalizing interactions between brands and consumers at scale with machine learning. It allows contact centers to offload their leads that are not responding to agents to Aktify where AI will be used to follow up through SMS until the customer is ready to talk to an agent. Aktify produces something out of nothing, as typically unresponsive leads are not focused on.

Balto Software Inc

Real-time call guidance and post call data analytics
Balto Software is a provider of real-time intelligent call support and coaching. Our software solution leverages artificial intelligence to listen to both sides of a call and deliver mission-critical information and feedback to sales representatives immediately. Our solution is fully customizable and our current customers include sales teams and customer service groups in sectors ranging from debt collections to healthcare and home improvement.

Call Adapt

Soundboard Software
Call Adapt is a cloud-based digital soundboard application designed for contact centers. It works with any type of call and integrates with your existing dialer system. Powered by smart audio technology, Call Adapt gives your agents the ability to converse with customers in real time using programmed keyboard shortcuts. The result is perfect pitch delivery and less time spent on repetitive tasks.


Cognigy.AI is a Conversational AI Automation platform that enables enterprises to easily create and operate AI-powered virtual agents to automatically handle calls and chats from customers and employees.

Consilium Software

Consilium UniChAI™
Contacting customer service can often be a challenging experience with waiting on hold forever being one of the top reasons for client dissatisfaction. Furthermore, repeating information that was already provided to a chat agent, and generally spending too much time getting answers to questions can all lead to a lengthy, and often frustrating, customer journey. With unlimited scalability, enterprise-level security, and best-in-class data privacy features, UniChAI™ is a conversational AI platform which is playing an important role in improving some of these aspects of customer experience (CX) through chatbots – which are intelligent and natural-language virtual assistants meant to augment a c...
(read more)


ContactEngine connects conversations across entire customer journeys with One Voice delivering exceptional CX and demonstrable business value for organizations around the world.

ContactEngine provides proactive customer service by helping your customers through the channels they’re most comfortable with. It aims to contact your customer before your customer contacts you.


Daisee builds technology that empowers people to solve problems by making interactions simple and smart so they can have a more significant impact, be more productive and be better at what they do. We believe incremental improvements carry huge potency and provide exponentially greater change for the better.

Genesys customers can now automate risk and quality management using Daisee’s speech and sentiment analytics and remediation workflow software. Daisee helps improve customer experience, ensure regulatory compliance, identify missed commercial opportunities & training requirements as well as provide valuable insights back to the business directly from the frontline – the true voice-of-...
(read more)

eGain Corporation

Automate the routine and boring and augment the interesting with eGain AI (Artificial Intelligence). eGain is a pioneer in AI for contact center customer service and customer engagement and has developed cutting-edge technology as also best practices and proven use-cases over the last two decades. eGain’s patented Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) technology, called Guided Help, is a simple but powerful AI technology used to find answers to customer issues, and for process guidance and decision making. Along with Knowledge and Analytics, Artificial Intelligence forms the core of the eGain Customer Engagement Hub platform and its omnichannel and digital-first capability.

eGain Corporation

eGain Knowledge+AI
eGains omnichannel customer engagement solutions power digital-first experiences for leading brands. Infused with AI, machine learning, knowledge and analytics, our award-winning platform helps clients automate and optimize customer journeys via virtual assistance, messaging, social, mobile, web, and contact centers.


Automated Language Testing
Emmersion offers automated assessments to quickly and accurately test speaking, writing, and grammar fluency in 9 languages and counting. We help contact centers improve CSAT scores by screening for top talent and retaining top performers.


Conversational AI
We help you automate your QA program using artificial intelligence. Why just listen to 6 calls when you can listen to 100% of your calls that too without adding any additional resources.

We empower QAs to get to the right calls, find coaching and training opportunities and improve overall Customer experience.


Scale up your business using Convy AI, the artificial intelligence that acts like a human helping enterprises to better interact with their clients and agents to be focused on the value added transactions.
Convy.AI is used to support, entertain and simplify the experience of million of customers every month.
Convy.AI understand natural language (but supports also button based UIs), simply integrate many front end (chat, email, whatsapp, IVR, Alexa, google home, ...) and it's zero code admin interface enables everybody to manage conversations.


ExecVision is a conversation intelligence platform built to drive human behavior change which positively impacts individual, team, and organization performance. The software ingests, transcribes, and analyzes conversations to provide actionable insights for coaching, upskilling, and more informed decision making. Sales, QA, customer success and support teams use ExecVision to create a consistent experience across the customer journey.


Most customer-facing interfaces make it the end user’s job to figure out how to navigate and find their way to where they need to be. This is true of websites and mobile apps as much as it of touch-tone IVRs. The interface is usually designed for the most generic of uses; and because making changes is expensive and time-consuming, these interfaces tend to be inflexible with regards to evolving times, use cases or user needs.

AI can help create user interfaces that are adaptable and personalized. Advances in Conversational AI make it possible to interact with the user in natural language. Many IVRs are being re-configured to work this way and businesses are also introducing text-based cha...
(read more)


Automate up to 70% of messaging conversations on your website, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp and more. LivePerson has a complete solution to create, manage, and optimize bots for businesses of all sizes.

Master of Code

Conversational AI Solution
Conversational AI Solution offers the next wave of customer and employee experiences through business preferable digital channels: website and mobile chat, mobile app, SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google RCS, Apple Business Chat, Amazon Alexa, Slack, Microsoft Teams. Our Conversational AI Solution enables brands to easily help customers to do self-service to increase their containment rates and save time and money.

How we create conversational experiences:

Virtual Assistants/Bots: Chat or Voice.
Customer self-service helps to save you money, time and boosts your containment rate.

Conversation Design.
A user-centric conversation design methodology that converts and retains yo...
(read more)

Mediatel Data Srl

Contact Center Solution AI-Driven
Mediatel Research and Development team developed Artificial Intelligence Engine, part of the Contact Center platform, suitable for vocal interactions using Natural Language Processing modules and digital interactions, used in chat sessions, for chat bots, email management for email dispatching or text messages.
Page: 12

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