Paris, France (PressExposure) September 03, 2008 -- Staffing is THE major cost when running a call center, and staff level management is known to be a cornerstone of the call center profitability. Too much staff means idle operators and direct wasted money. As a consequence, many call center managers are quite conservative and frequently under-staff their call center causing the long waiting lines that customers are very familiar with.
Call volume forecasting has been known for a long time to be the key to obtain desired service levels (e.g. ensuring that every incoming call gets answered in less than a minute), yet forecasting is also known to be especially difficult. Forecasting toolkits have been available for a long time, but since they require a lot of statistical knowledge to produce accurate forecasts, Microsoft Excel is still the number one staff scheduling tool in this business.
Yet, start-ups, such as Lokad.com are now offering forecasting as a services. Instead of letting the call center manager deals with its forecasts or forecasting models that are just too complicated to be reasonably used, the data can be send to a hosted service and get their forecasts back in 1-click. In addition, all the data for all the call centers get mutualized to improve further the overall forecasting accuracy.
This commoditization of advance forecasting methods may signify the end the long waiting lines - well, at least for the companies that are willing to provide decent customer services.
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