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Article : The Secret Weapon for Call Centers

#contactcenterworld, @taylor_reach

Regardless of the size of the Call Center(s), you have this in your arsenal. It can be a tool of massive value. Be careful how it gets used. Forecasts of Demand make you more knowledgeable and powerful than others in your organization. A decent forecast backed by data and agreed upon by all is a point around which you can make decisions with high degrees of certainty. Let me explain.

1) Let’s check terms. A forecast is a calculated prediction of what traffic the center is likely to receive in the upcoming periods. It is not a goal, an objective or a schedule of staff. More on this later.

2) All centers and phone systems generate data, sometimes lots of data. At the heart of that data are three elements needed to create a forecast. Those are:

I. The number of calls and or other channel transactions received;
II. The date and time;
III. The duration of each call or other channel activity.

3) With as little as eighteen months of data and sometimes less, a forecast of expected calls/contacts can be calculated, with seasonal, monthly, weekly, daily and hourly load volumes.

This basic model, without adjustments, is the starting point for thinking and planning, both for your own management and for senior management, regarding what needs to be done for the duration of the planning horizon.

Let’s take a moment to consider what adjustments are likely to be needed for any forecast. The forecast we have generated above is purely based on historical volumes, yet there are other factors that will impact on contact center activity. A few common adjustments are:

- Customer or corporate growth or decline at a general level,

- Changes to channel adoption or shifts,

- Planned marketing efforts, both in general and by period and what the expected impact on the center will be,

- New equipment or tools, and when they will be deployed,

- New processes and policies that affect the customer journey

Now on to the Forecast Process

Once the basic model and forecast are created, a discussion and review with senior management and other stakeholders is needed. Check that all are in agreement with the historical data of actual past calls/contact activity etc., and are in agreement with the corporate or organic growth rate used. Even if nothing else changes, then that growth increases or decrease the number of calls and overall load. The likelihood that nothing changes, by the way, is highly improbable.

Upon agreement, next review any initiatives, product launches, new tools, marketing efforts, and changes to event timing or other load affecting decisions etc. from the next year or eighteen months. Identify expected impacts on the center and adjust for those impacts.

Now at this point, you may experience some or a lot of resistance to looking ‘so far’ ahead, often from marketing or different departments. Remember, they may or may not do this type of forecasting themselves, nor are they likely to have the available data a Call Center generates. So be kind. Explain this is only a planning tool. Forecasts can, and do, change or adjust with new factors and inputs. It is not a ‘one and done’ process. Show that you are open to their needs and that you can and will adjust the forecast up to 3 to 4 weeks out. This 3 to 4-week window is your scheduling horizon for fine tuning staff levels and shifts. A recommended approach is to offer a forecast briefing session every six weeks or so, so that whoever is interested can contribute changes based on their circumstances and known events. With each round of briefing sessions, the forecast is updated. Nevertheless, the objective of this stage is an agreement to the overall direction and a high-level forecast. Job well done. Congratulations.

With this forecast in hand, you now have the tool to see what staffing needs the center will have and when over the period. This knowledge allows the center to determine when hiring has to start, for how many staff, with what skills and what training will they require, to be available when required in the center.

The load or the number of calls and transactions by period, (hour, day, day of the week, week) allows you to calculate the number of people needed to meet and achieve the service level the firm wants. You can do this using an Erlang calculator or Excel add-in or similar WFM software tools. That number, once compared to the existing staff, minus the expected turnover, adherence and occupancy factors for the center, provide the hiring plan for the period.

Does the forecast require more staff and stations? If so, the planning for budgeting and ordering needs to start far enough in advance to enable a smooth transition and change. A high level 12-18 month forecast enables you to ‘see’ these requirements.

Finally, once the forecast is set and all are in agreement, any discussion around budgets and changes, simply can be either rebutted with the argument that the forecast is ‘agreed to’ or if the budget can’t be adjusted, then either the service level or the customer experience has to change.

Operating a call and contact is about the numbers. Many overlook and gloss over this. A good forecast, agreed to, is the armor needed for many pointed discussions around resources, timing, and equipment.

#contactcenterworld, @taylor_reach


About The Taylor Reach Group:
Company LogoThe Taylor Reach Group is a call center and contact center consultants specializing in customer experience consulting and call and contact center consulting, management, performance, technologies, site selection, tools and assessments. All we do is customer experience and contact center consulting: strategic and tactical. Our contact center and customer experience consultants have helped management in hundreds of contact centers and organizations achieve – and exceed – their business goals.
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Published: Monday, June 12, 2017

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2021 Buyers Guide Telecoms

Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:


Cloudonix’s smart voice calls enable frictionless experiences that drive better customer care and faster sales by merging voice and data into a complete service context. Cloudonix add Cloud capabilities to your existing on premise Call Center enabling your agents to work from anywhere in the world. Security, Privacy and more – rapidly deployed and cost effective without replacing your existing systems or retraining your team.

Connectica Solutions, LLC

PBX On The Cloud
We provide complete Cloud-based PBX/Phone Systems, including predictive and progressive dialers, phone lines in more than 75 countries and low cost international rates.
We specialize in the US and Latin American market.

DiRAD Technologies

AI Powered Contact Center Provider, AI Chat & Voicebot, Enterprise Telephony
Take advantage of the latest customer service innovations with Contact Center, Virtual Assistant, and Interactive Voice solutions for accessible, 24×7 services across multiple channels.

Layer One Technologies

Layer One Technologies provides information and communication technology (ICT) services to businesses in the greater Charlotte area. Whatever your cabling needs, we have you covered.


VOIP services
Stay in contact quickly and easily with your international offices through Megacall.

Megacall will fulfill all your telecommunication requirements and on top of that go the extra mile and surprise you with new possibilities for your business, speed to action your requests and keeping within your budget.

📞 Virtual Switchboard
🔌 SIP trunk
🔢 Virtual number
📠 Call Center Solutions


Our SNAPsolution – UC and Collaboration tools – can be quickly deployed so you can realize your ROI just as quick. netsapiens offers a comprehensive suite of unified communications (UC) & Contact Center (CC) feature-sets to service providers. Custom-built to provide our partners with unprecedented levels of flexibility, customization, and ease of use.

netsapiens allows you to control your margins in order to improve your ROI. As a provider of a facilities-based solution, you are able to personally choose your origination, termination, hardware costs, etc. to fit your budget. We also allow you to strategically price your product for a maximum return on your investment by charging on a conc...
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Nuxiba Technologies

Build a strong business presence and improve customer relationships!

Offer custom-tailored solutions throughout your sales cycles and customer interactions and assess service levels and control corporate goal achievement through reports and statistics.

Obtain detailed reports based on relevant activity in your contact center, access our quality module to assess calls and performance, apply surveys, develop scripts, record conversations, and more!

Schedule a live demo or request a quote today!


Long Distance and Toll Free Specialists for Contact Centers
Televergence is a facilities based US Nationwide High volume/High Capacity Inbound and Outbound VoIP Carrier for Contact Centers. We specialize in termination (outbound) and origination (toll free and local DID) for the contact center. We have a technical staff that is up to date on the majority of platforms in use today, including asterisk and Vicci dial, as well as many of the currently in use software platforms.
Contact Centers generally see cost reduction and containment when using Televergence as their contact center telecom carrier. Televergence is the only active US VoIP carrier certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which enables our services to qualify for meeting corporations Supplier Diversity Needs.

The Phone Number Testing Company

Phone Number Testing and Validation
Bulk testing and validation of UK Landline and mobile numbers, with a growing list of other coutries where we can test.

If you own a large customer or business prospect sales database, our service helps you to quickly and accurately cleanse all the dead records, by identifying all the dead phone numbers.

We offer a free no obligation test trial

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