The Challenge of Contact Center Management
Picture this all-too-common scenario: The Quarter is not going well. Your capacity planning forecast is wandering between 10 and 20% despite the best efforts of your new forecaster, an army of analysts, and a sea of complex spreadsheets that seem to obscure and not predict future contact volume. Reports coming in from sales and marketing show the company losing both customers and prospects three months in a row, despite the new marketing campaign that wasn’t in the model.
With call and contact volume spiking, time in queue climbed along with abandon rates – and surcharges from your outsource call centers. The staffing ramp plan rushed into place made things worse and not better, with the flood of trainees forcing average handle times up, and losing some of your most seasoned staff to a competing call center in the process. Now you are sitting with too many costly and ineffective resources, inadequate coordination with the chat center, which was supposed to reduce your staffing requirements, and at least one outsource vendor ready to fire you – if your CEO doesn’t beat them to it…
A New Approach
There has been no easy way to accurately and consistently simulate the messy, real-world interactions between workload, events and resources.
Broadly speaking, we need four things to work better:
- Real-World Models: a simulation that more closely reflects the messy, real-world interactions between workload events and resources, tailored to your business.
- Quick What-If Simulation: the ability to rapidly generate and update What-If Simulations to plan for an ever-changing market conditions.
- Secure Collaboration: a secure way to share and communicate with people and organizations counting on your forecasts and plans.
- Operational Strategy and Plans: tools that empower us to design a truly resilient operational strategy that delivers a winning customer experience within budget.
Old vs New
To accurately simulate your Contact Center Environment, we need to overcome inherent limits in spreadsheet-based modeling:
|Old Approach||New Approach|
|Creating Real World Models||Limit input to weekly summaries so model is manageable||Derive model from daily data so model is more accurate|
|Suppress changes to model to avoid rework||Encourage changes to model to support better decision-making|
|Create a standard set of blended and weighted-average Roll-Ups to approximate LOB or corporate performance||Use custom algorithms to accurately Roll-Up data across organizations and regions; re-slice data as needed, on-the-fly|
|What-If Simulation||Prepare days ahead, over several meetings||Create and refine what-if models in the meeting|
|Limit the number of what-if scenarios due to complexity of modeling||Explore as many what-if scenarios - even radical departures - as is necessary to choose the right direction|
|Secure Collaboration||Don't share source model to reduce risk of model being corrupted||Give everyone who needs it access to the data|
|Share data selectively, sometimes by hand, for data security||Give users policies that automatically protect corporate data|
|Staffing Ramp Plans||Focus on Staffing only, using simplistic capacity modeling||Accomodate multiple contact modes, multilingual and multi-skilled staff, and prioritization of functions and vendors|
|Track and reconcile staff changes in the model, by hand||Connect to relevant and up-to-date personnel information from other departments for automated updating|