Three Lesser-Known Variables That Can Impact Forecasting Data
Great forecasts are the result of many factors: collaboration with your marketing and sales teams, consistent agent performance that makes it easier to anticipate staffing requirements, and a workforce management solution that delivers precise results.
But it all begins with data. A WFM solution cannot do its job without historical data that provides insight into service level metrics and past experience. The more you know about what happened before, the more you’ll know about preparing for tomorrow and next week and next month.
This won’t be news to most contact center managers – you already have a routine that converts data into forecasts. But the more information you have, the better those forecasts will be. Here are three variables often overlooked by managers that can increase the precision of your forecasts.
- The Days of Holidays
You already factor in holidays and how they affect call volume. But do you also consider the day of the week when holidays fall, and how that can change call patterns? If Christmas falls on a weekend rather than a weekday, it will impact the number of calls you receive both before and after the holiday. There may also be times when Thanksgiving and Hanukkah occur at the same time, resulting in deeper analysis of previous call patterns for both events.
- Sporting Events
You probably already account for the Super Bowl. But what if your local baseball team was in the playoffs or World Series last year, and failed to make the postseason this year? It probably means all those fans that had no time to call when they were still supporting the team now have a lot more time to deal with other matters. If your clientele is based in a city where professional or college sports are big news, review data on first games of the season, match-ups with archrivals, and postseason schedules. All of these can affect call patterns.
- Technical Difficulties
Website crashes, phone service interruptions and power outages are not events you can plan for in advance. But if they occurred last year, the odds are extremely remote of them occurring again on that same day this year. So if incoming calls dropped 20% as a result, that’s one variable that can be tossed out when forecasting.
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