White Paper

Accurate Forecasting: The Heart Of Call Center Success

Source: Pipkins, Inc.

In times of economic crisis and dwindling profits, it is more important than ever to ensure you are getting maximum benefit from your software investment. One of the biggest threats to a center's profit margin is wasted labor expense due to inaccurate forecasting. Staffing operational costs account for 70 to 80% of your budget, and can be severely impacted by under- and overstaffing. Unless you are using Merlang® algorithms you will always be at risk for overstaffing.

Without proper forecasting tools, overstaffing can mean the difference between profit and loss. What causes overstaffing? Simply put, overstaffing is a result of inaccurate forecasting. The importance of accurate forecasting cannot be overstated. Accurate forecasting is the foundation of call center scheduling, and without it, over- and understaffing will occur and impact the profitability of a contact center.

Accurate scheduling is dependent upon the forecast correctly estimating anticipated call volume and determining the number of agents required to meet service levels. How does this affect profitability? In a real life scenario, if call volume is underestimated to the extent that 100 callers out of 1,000 hang up before they speak to an agent in a sales environment where the average order is just $50, $5,000 in lost revenues will occur per day, $150,000 per month, or a staggering $1.8 million per year.

This paper discusses three primary components of accurate forecasting:

  • What determines accurate forecasting?
  • Variability and Predictability – what the difference means to you
  • Erlang versus Merlang®
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