Call forecasting and call center scheduling spreadsheets? A few considerations.

Sometimes, spreadsheets for forecasting and scheduling seem to be just fine. However, one of the biggest challenges in call centers – maintaining schedule adherence – is very difficult or almost impossible to manage using spreadsheets. In addition, there are other forecasting and scheduling tasks that can be very challenging with spreadsheets and might result in sup-optimal performance. And those tasks (listed below) are often key drivers to make your call center more productive and deliver better service to your customers.Schedule adherence: Spreadsheets don’t support this well. Studies have shown that tracking and monitoring agent adherence in real-time has a tremendous postive impact on call center performance.Exception handling: This is a very manual process and complicated with spreadsheets. Automated exception handling of modern WFM solutions keep agents happy and results in higher productivity.Schedule flexibility: Spreadsheets are often limited to fixed schedules. You might not be able to take take advantage of schedules with flexible start-time, end-time & breaks to boost service levels.Call history: Spreadsheets don’t support real-time or automated data import of large amounts of data, potentially resulting in reduced forecast accuracy.Skill-based routing and scheduling: Very complicated to manage with spreadsheets, therefore, call centers often can’t realize productivity advantages of skill-based scheduling.If you are still using spreadsheets, you should review the above list from the perspective of your call center needs and evaluate the potential for improving call center operation. You can also learn more about WFM by looking at automating forecasting, scheduling and adherence tracking.