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Causes of Inaccurate Call Center Workforce Forecasting & How To Avoid Them - The Connection - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Causes of Inaccurate Call Center Workforce Forecasting & How To Avoid Them

Without effective workforce forecasting, call centers cannot serve customers well or function profitably.

Virtually everything that goes into optimizing resources — recruiting, hiring, staffing, and scheduling — depends on having an accurate estimate of the work that will come your way.

How accurate does your forecast have to be? As a general rule of thumb:

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  • Large agent groups (100 or more agents) generally see relatively stable contact patterns. You should strive to forecast workforce needs to within 5 percent (or better), down to specific intervals (see table below).
  • Small groups (15 or fewer agents) often have more volatile patterns and should shoot for plus or minus 10 percent.
  • Those in-between should strive for something as close to 5 percent as possible.

In a perfect world, workforce forecasting would also be perfect. So, think of it as a work in progress, with continuous improvement as your top priority.

To help you reach your goals, we have identified ten common barriers to forecasting accuracy. In most cases, call centers with inaccurate forecasts usually find that two or three of these issues are most prevalent. The good news is, you can avoid these problems! By identifying the culprits, remedies become evident.

READ: Call Center Forecasting Challenges Managers Face

1. No Systematic Process Exists 

No excuses! Two myths often used to justify the absence of a systematic forecasting process focus on the “impossibly unpredictable” nature of the environment or claim that forecasting is simply not worth the time and effort. These misconceptions will set you up for failure because you cannot forecast successfully without establishing a consistent process.

2. Assuming "the Forecasting Software Knows Best" 

Forecasting software can be very helpful in collecting and analyzing data, running scenarios, contrasting methodologies and predicting potential outcomes. But you cannot just plug numbers in and have accurate forecasts pop out. The software does not know about your marketing plans, competitor activity, or any significant initiatives you have recently put in place that will literally reshape services. Software is a tool, not a replacement for humans.

3. Failure to Forecast at the Agent Group Level 

Even a perfect forecast of the aggregate workload will be of limited use if you route contacts to specialized groups. If you have a group of Spanish-speaking agents handling services A, B and C, you will need to forecast contacts from Spanish-speaking customers who need help with those services. This, of course, is a prerequisite to effective recruiting and hiring.

4. Ignoring Your Forecast   

If the forecast has been wildly inaccurate in the past or if no one understands the assumptions used in the process, it will not be given the credence it needs in the planning steps to follow.

5. Including Exceptions in Building Your Forecast 

Utility companies see contact volume go up when storms knock out power. The financial industry gets swamped when markets swoon. And all contact centers know what it is like to deal with a surprise spike in volume from an unannounced marketing campaign. These events are exceptions to normal activity, so including them in workforce forecasting guarantees skewed results. Those preparing the forecast must understand the root causes of past experience in order to make sound judgments about what will most likely be needed on an ongoing basis.

6. There is no Inter-Departmental Communication 

Most of the issues that affect customers and contact centers are caused by something going on in another department of your business. The forecast, as well as any larger business transformation initiatives, can be doomed if communication and feedback don't exist across all departments.

7. Planning Is Based on Unrealistic Goals 

If staffing is based on a handling time of four minutes when actual handling time is more like seven minutes, the resulting staff calculations and schedules will be based on a pipe dream. While things like lower employee turnover, improved training, or better systems could move things toward your desired handling time. However, ignoring reality in the planning process won't help to achieve better results or build confidence in the forecast.

8. No One Is Accountable 

Someone needs to be responsible for pulling together the various types of data needed for forecasting, ensuring that data is integrated into the forecast, and investigating which assumptions were off if the forecast proves to be inaccurate.

9. Agents Are Mixing Flexible Activities into Work Modes 

If agents are not using work modes consistently, especially after-call work, then accurate forecasting will be elusive.

10. Not Making the Connection with Staffing 

Forecasts mean nothing unless they are tied to staff and system resource requirements. Once you have a sound forecasting process in place, you are prepared to hire contact center superstars.

Workforce forecasting takes practice. You will never learn all there is to know about it — but you will get better at it. The best way to improve accuracy is to compare your forecasts with actual results and then ask, "Why?"

Source: https://blog.theconnectioncc.com/inaccurate-call-center-workforce-forecasting

Publish Date: November 21, 2019 5:00 AM


2020 Buyers Guide Analytics

 
1.) 
3Fiftynine

CardBoard
CardBoard: Real-time data, shows the most important KPI’s in your Contact Center.
Built for data | Designed for business | Empowers teams

2.) 
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.
PH: +1 888-946-6878

3.) 
Call Tracking Metrics

Automate insights from all your customer communications

There's no better way to get to know your customer than through their own communications with your brand. Gain a strategic advantage and a thorough understanding of your customer's full journey with a complete suite of conversation intelligence tools and features. Measure customer sentiment, automatically identify and score qualified conversations, and give strategists everything they need to knock their campaigns out of the park.

Use conversation analytics to:

• Build your ideal customer profile
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• Maximize your resources to focus on quality conversations
• Identify trends and customer sentiment in real-time
PH: 8005771872

4.) 
CallFinder

CallFinder speech analytics
CallFinder® is a leading provider of cloud-based SaaS speech analytics, automated call scoring, and speech-to-text transcription technology with sentiment analysis. Our easy-to-use solution is designed to help businesses and contact centers automate quality monitoring to improve agent performance and provide a superior customer experience.

With CallFinder, you get…

100% visibility into agent-customer interactions
100% monitoring of interactions, up from only 5-10%
Scalability of QA reviews with the same size QA team
CallFinder isn’t just your average speech analytics provider. When you work with us, you get unparalleled, continuous support through our MyAnalyst managed client servic...
(read more)
PH: 800-639-1700

5.) 
ComSys S.A.

CCube for Business Intelligence
CCube by Comsys is a business intelligence application, developed for enterprise contact centers. It delivers powerful, and dynamic reporting that enable managers to gain insight into their business. CCube is natively compatible with Aspect Unified IP and Cisco Unified Contact Center (UCCE/UCCX) platforms
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®, Aspect...
(read more)
PH: +302109241486

6.) 
CUSTOMER SQUARE

CROSSCRM.CX - CRM Dataviz Module
CROSS-CRM manages daily interconnection with your CRM tools to centralize data and analyse CX on all channels, and is able to provide deep analytics insights.

All the Kpi’S are here for precise control of your Customer Relationship : Interactions - Quality - Satisfaction - Campains forecast MyClient

Filters, Data Extraction, Custom Views, dates sheets, email subscriptions, xls Extracts, images, pdf


PLUS ! Automated extracts
for integration to third party applications.

7.) 
Daisee

Daisee
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)
PH: +61404697151

8.) 
DialogTech

DialogAnalytics™
Powered by AI, DialogTech’s DialogAnalytics analyzes conversations to provide marketing and sales teams a wealth of insights for smarter optimizations. With the power of conversation intelligence, you can learn which channels, ads, keywords, and webpages drive the best sales calls, if the caller converted, and more.

AI analyzes how calls are handled at locations and call centers to detect issues that negatively impact ROI. See what percentage of calls go unanswered and who is best (and worst) at converting callers to appointments and customers. Get email alerts when phone leads are mishandled at locations so those leads can be called back right away.

With DialogAnalytics, you can get a...
(read more)

9.) 
eGain Corporation

eGain Analytics
eGain Analytics makes it easy to measure, analyze and refine your contact center operations, knowledge and web customer experience. Create informative reports, charts and dashboards effortlessly. Slice-&-dice the data in any number of ways and use it to manage the business effectively.

1. Operational Analytics™ empowers the business to measure and manage the call center directly and without IT involvement.
2. Knowledge Analytics™ provides insight for eGain’s knowledge and AI applications.
3. Digital Analytics™ measures contact center performance within eGain’s digital channel applications.
4. Journey Analytics™ captures customer behavior on the website—identify the churn points and cre...
(read more)

10.) 
ethosIQ, LLC

ethosAnalytics
ethosAnalytics leverages data to provide business intelligence to enhance the customer experience and beyond. The analytics dashboards are customized based on client needs. ethosAnalytics enables data-driven decisions in seconds or minutes - not days or weeks.
PH: 2816165711

11.) 
Lieber & Associates

Contact center Analytics and Metrics
Lieber & Associates provides services to develop, interpret, and improve contact center metrics and analytics. The firm's experience spans forecasting, customer service, order-taking, lead-qualification, sales, segmentation, media-source-tracking, and testing design. L&A's president pioneered segmentation for telephone scripts and the tri-level service level metric. He brings broad analytics experience to contact centers.
PH: +1-773-325-0608

12.) 
Noble Systems

Noble IQ
Turn business insights into actionable intelligence. Noble’s IQsolutions provide you with rich and robust customer data that can transform your business. Automate decision making and campaign management and refine the quality of interactions with precision and efficiency. We have developed proprietary and patented tools to help you make sense of data on your current operations and then help you make strategic decisions to improve performance and efficiency. Identify who your best customers and prospects are and the ideal methods to reach them. Understand what types of campaigns work best for your business and how to optimize underperforming campaigns. And nake real-time decisions rather than looking back to see what went wrong.
PH: +61 (0) 3.9008.1700

13.) 
PRILINK

SIP-Trunk Demarc Monitor
Analyzes SIP signalling and RTP audio stream of every call passing through the network demarcation point. Provide a real time 24/7/365 network baseline database that contains the IP bandwidth, call traffic of up to 128 voice groups, Call Detail Record (CDR), call blockage and MOS voice quality. All information are displayed in SIP-Trunk dashboards and are used in many applications, such as Telco collaboration, UC/CC analytics, Work Force Optimization (WFO) and caller identification.
PH: 905-940-8844

14.) 
QPC Ltd.

QPC Live
QPC provides realtime unstructured and structured data analytics solutions and services to contact centres globally.
We provide a complete end-to-end customer integrated offering powered by a Multichannel Intelligence Gateway which collects and inter-relates all customer interactions, from each and every customer contact across an entire contact centre ecosystem, all in real-time.
We also provide solutions for conversational and interaction analytics with solutions from our specialist portfolio.
PH: 00441352705810

15.) 
Tethr

Tethr is a cloud-based conversation intelligence platform that combines AI, machine learning and over a decade of customer experience and sales best-practice research to surface contextual insights from phone calls, chats, emails and other customer interactions. Companies use Tethr to turn large amounts of unstructured voice of customer conversation data into insights they can deploy to improve their customer experience.

16.) 
Trillys Systems

ActuCall
Imagine for a moment that you are a call center manager responsible for generating revenue through signing new customers or up-selling to existing ones. Imagine that your KPI is telling you you have an abandonment rate of 5% and someone comes along and says "No, your abandonment rate or dropped call rate is 13%." .." How do I know? AcutuCall VoIP software application can show you the dropped call data including, originating number and whether it was a network or equipment failure." Now imagine you can see your calls in progress on a mobile app, take your dashboard where ever you go! "What is a lost call worth to you?"
PH: +1 613-521-1639
 



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