Understanding the challenge at hand
Contact centers are the primary means by which many businesses interact with their
customers. The often toll free call is an opportunity to create a lifelong relationship with that
customer. How that call is handled then has become increasingly important. Progressive
business executives, as a result, are increasing their investments in the people and the
technology that support that phone call and other types of transactions such as email, chat and back office functions.
Every contact center has someone focused on attempting to answer calls or emails in as timely a fashion as possible, or within specific service level guidelines, with the resources at their disposal. They are attempting to deliver designated service and manage the cost of providing that service. This person is practicing workforce management. They need to match the workload to the available workforce to meet service goals, while minimizing cost and report on the results. How well they accomplish that is the fundamental challenge facing the center. The execution of this effort directly impacts customer service levels and the bottom line profitability of the company, especially in revenue producing environments.
Resource planning managers are trying to have the right number of agents on the phones at
the right time, throughout each day. Having too many agents on the phone is unproductive
and expensive in terms of payroll expense. Too few agents increase hold times, reduces
customer satisfaction, increases telecommunications expenses and may result in lost revenues and even lost customers. The objective is to be properly staffed at each interval throughout each day. Attempting to accomplish this via paper or using spreadsheets is a daunting if not impossible challenge due to a number of factors.