How Efficient is Your Call Center Forecasting and Scheduling Process?

While every call center is different, there are some qualities that remain consistent throughout the industry, and these are the qualities that can provide a basis for your forecasting and scheduling process. Some variations may be possible based on specific call patterns and staffing, but this guideline should be helpful in establishing a process that achieves results. 1. Collect and analyze data, including call type, call volume, and call patterns. 2. Use this data to forecast call center workload (by day, by hour, even by quarter-hour). 3. Forecast special days or any other events that influence call volumes. These may include company promotions and events, holidays, seasonal fluctuations or other unique trends. 4. Calculate and plan resources requirements. These will be specified once you have defined acceptable service levels on ASA, AHT and other factors. 5. Review additional staffing considerations, including cost, personnel skills and specialties, flexibility, availability and occupancy. 6. Create a schedule that balances agent needs vs. call center capabilities, and accounts for shrinkage and exceptions. 7. Manage daily operation based on the created schedule. Track key metrics and adherence, and adjust forecast/schedule based on actual call volume and pattern. 8. Review, report and analyze, then repeat the process starting with step #1. We invite you to watch any of the forecasting and scheduling videos to visualize these process steps.