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Need to know the method contact centre could adapt to calculate seat requirement once the long term plan has been developed. Furthermore, we’re looking for an effective method to calculate seat utilization.

Need to know the method contact centre could adapt to calculate seat requirement once the long term plan has been developed. Furthermore, we’re looking for an effective method to calculate seat utilization.

10/8/2007

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Question
Need to know the method contact centre could adapt to calculate seat requirement once the long term plan has been developed. Furthermore, we’re looking for an effective method to calculate seat utilization.

Answer
Contact center workforce management (WFM) solutions forecast the volume of anticipated calls (or other transaction types, like emails and chat sessions) and then use this information to schedule the optimal number of agents to meet projected needs while taking into account breaks, training classes, planned vacations, and unplanned sickness. The leading solutions address both single and multi-site environments with the following seven primary modules:

  1. Administration – used to set up the application and to define work rules, agents and security.
  2. Forecasting – projects incoming call volumes, generally in 15-minute increments.
  3. Scheduling – determines the optimal schedules for the contact center, based on either contact center productivity, agent satisfaction, or a combination of both.
  4. Intra-Day Capability – allows managers to view their intra-day statistics, compare forecast vs. actual performance, make same-day changes to schedules for absences or training, and conduct “what if” analyses to project the impact of any changes.
  5. Real-Time Adherence (RTA) – reflects real-time variances between agent schedules and actual performance. Allows supervisors to detect slippage, identifying agents who are not where they are supposed to be, based on the schedules.
  6. Self-Service – allows agents to input their scheduling needs in a Web-based self-service environment. This will include reflecting their schedule preferences, hours and days they want to work, preferred vacation time, time-off accruals, overtime/under-time, etc. These environments are also set up to allow agents to do shift bidding, where they actually “bid” for their preferred hours and trade shifts.
  7. Reporting – provides standard and ad hoc reporting capabilities. The best applications have built reporting into all of their modules and allow users to produce reports from within any of them.

The exact breakdown of functionality varies among the applications. All leading WFM applications are also able to integrate out-of-the-box with all major and many smaller ACDs and PBXs in the market.

There are many optional modules, including:

  1. Multi-Channel Forecasting – forecasts incoming transaction volumes for emails and chat sessions. In the future, it will also need to address SMS transactions.
  2. Multi-Skill Support – enables the call center to schedule calls and other transactions based on the specific requirements of the transactions and the skills of available agents.
  3. Performance Management – analytics-oriented module that creates scorecards and dashboards to assist users in managing and enhancing their call centers.
  4. Long-Term/Strategic Planner – Allows a call center manager to plan a few years into the future. Will also include the ability to project staffing costs.

Increasingly, multi-channel and multi-skill functionality are considered “core” components, as most contact centers are engaged in these activities.

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