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Customer Service Call Forecasting: 5 Secrets You Should Know About

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The success of call forecasting for customer service heavily relies on accurate forecasting. We’ve unravelled the top secrets to set you apart in call volume forecasting. From the best practices, tips, tools and techniques, to demystifying work management flow, we’ve got you covered!

Why Forecasting?

Avid fans flock outside the broadways featuring some of the world’s most exhilarating smash hit musical masterpiece like Mamma Mia! and Hamilton which continue to take the theaters by storm. As a result, entertainment producers would need the ability to predict the ticketing demand that might be generated for their revenue.

In the sports arena, months before France sealed second World Cup triumph with 4-2 win over Croatia, safety agencies had to account for an increase in traffic as a result of this major sporting event.

You get the idea. The same is true for the business process outsourcing industry. Most of the time, clients hailing from all over the world consult agents for cost-efficient customer experience. And, just like the fickle weather, accurate forecasting plays an integral role in contact center scheduling with respect to call volume, especially in these changing times, to prevent high staffing costs and lost customer revenue.

Let’s get started…

Forecasting is out; accurate forecasting is in

Operational costs account for 70 to 80% of your budget. It can be severely impacted by forecasting call volume.

Accuracy is what makes call forecasting the heart of customer service success. What determines accurate call forecasting? There’s a plethora of variables that should be taken into consideration but we’ve managed to come up with what should be prioritized: Maintain detailed data by gathering information on marketing campaigns and billing cycles for several years to produce an accurate call forecast.

Call forecasting is not just about calls

Customer service has been becoming a commodity over time. Gone were the days when agents used to spend their shift taking or making calls. In a real-world environment, it is no longer purely about calls.

Emails, webchats, and other custom business operations measure an agent’s key performance index aside from inbound and outbound calls. It depends on the vendor’s services nowadays.

These metrics are utilized to forecast the amount of work per time period projected to be rendered and the amount of work that is actually presented. This can be a buying criterion for many customers.

You can’t have it all

Perhaps the question you should ask yourself is what factors drive your business.

When call volume is greater than the agents, the cost skyrockets with respect to mediocre agent performance and plummeting customer satisfaction. On the other hand, when the workforce is greater than the call volume, service levels have a chance to improve. However, there might be a risk of idle agents.

You can always strike a balance between the two if you hire and employ the right number of agents without compromising client satisfaction and other factors.

There isn’t a one size fits all method

They say, “Different strokes for different folks.” As the demand for business process outsourcing proliferates, there’s a myriad of tools to help you in forecasting call volume. They utilize software algorithms that incorporate features such as busies and abandoned calls.

In addition, forecasting call volumes use methods such as Excel spreadsheets while 49% still employ a manual approach which is susceptible to inaccurate results. Other sites offer forecast generators online for free.

These have their own pros and cons when analyzing historical call data and looking out for recurring patterns.

The X Factor(s)

Call forecast accuracy depends on many factors. In order to create a precision call forecast, there are a wide array of considerations such as recurring and non-recurring events, frequent changes to staffing plan, billing cycles, mail or catalog drops, advertising promotions, new business activity, competitor activity, weather issues, and other external factors.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

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