Scaling for Seasonality

Formulating a Strategy for a Client in Need of Scalability

How can a leading customer loyalty program company replace a contact center provider that isn’t meeting their expectations? DATAMARK contact center specialists use a formulaic approach to develop a data-driven strategy to handle customer interactions and forecast expected interactions per month, resulting in improved customer satisfaction levels and continuous growth in customer enrollment.

Scale for Seasonality - showing a contact center representative assisting a client at a customer loyalty company

Background: In Search of a New Contact Center Specialist

A leading company, which manages customer loyalty programs for top-tier clients for over 20 years, needed a new specialist to assist in operating a contact center for one of their most recognized brands. The previous vendor wasn’t properly handling promotions and rewards and they were failing to meet service level agreements. Consequently, the client decided it was in their best interest to part ways with this vendor and find a new one. They needed to partner with a new specialist who could undertake their contact center operations—both by email and telephone calls— as the rewards program continued to grow and improve, in addition to providing exemplary customer service so they sought out DATAMARK.

Challenges with Previous Vendor

The client has been running a successful loyalty program for over two decades. Their business needs requires a superior approach to handling inbound calls and emails while maintaining exceptional customer service. Being a fuel rewards program, the user population increased as the program gained popularity. At one point, the program experienced about 18,000 customer interactions. Only a year later, the number had risen to 42,000 interactions.

Initially, the clients expected 85% of calls to be answered within 20 seconds. As well as having an average handle time of 265 seconds.

Furthermore, the client sought a specialist who could scaled their contact center workforces based on interaction intensity and promotions.

The project experienced an influx of customer interactions depending on the time of year and ongoing promotional campaigns, including one a primary telecommunications provider rolled out. When promotional campaigns ended, the project experienced a reduced amount of interactions.

The Solution: Implement a New Contact Center Specialist

The volume of inbound calls and emails can be challenging to forecast precisely. Different factors should be considered when anticipating future customer interactions and the number of agents required to handle such volume. Contact center leaders must be as accurate as possible in deploying employees contingently with the number of interactions received at any given time, either via telephone or email.

As DATAMARK contact center specialists familiarized themselves with call and email volume tendencies, it became apparent that a formulaic approach was required to continue to produce quality results for the client while sustaining a high-level customer satisfaction rate. DATAMARK’s business engineers and solutions specialists skillfully analyzed customer interaction likelihood. They gathered data from the time and day of customer interactions. DATAMARK business solutions specialists began to develop an application system to appropriately handle customers’ needs while uninterruptedly meeting the client’s metric expectations.

Developing a Data-Driven Strategy for Handling Customer Loyalty Program Interactions

DATAMARK was able to create a formula that not only forecasted the expected interactions per month in advance but was also able to schedule agents according to interaction volume and promotional campaigns strategically. Having all hands-on deck would consistently produce labor overages and rising idle times. Conversely, having a limited number of available agents would create unfavorable customer hold times, negatively impacting customer satisfaction.

By adapting the 1917 Erlang C formula, a mathematical equation geared toward calculating the right amount of agents needed at a specific time given the amount of interaction volume, DATAMARK contact center specialists found a systematic way of achieving service level goals. To enhance the partnership and trust level with the client, DATAMARK business solution specialists designed a system where both the client and project leaders could listen to any call-in real time, allowing for call-handling success levels to improve and stay consistently at a satisfactory level. Additionally, the client could view live metrics with the implemented system, never waiting for generated reports from project leaders.

The Results: DATAMARK’s Forecasting System Helps Program Thrive

Through its formulaic forecasting system, DATAMARK is able to project the days and times when the project experiences an influx of customer interactions, whether by phone or email. Because the implemented system generates variances, it informs scheduling managers when an abundance of agents is needed and when the contact center is lacking agents as well. This organized system has allowed the project to thrive, continuously experiencing growth in customer enrollment and customer satisfaction levels.

Optimizing Workforce Management for Improved Customer Service and Enrollment

The project has remained accurate by either ramping up or dwindling the workforce, depending on the projected customer interactions during a promotion or time of day.

Through a long-standing relationship, DATAMARK continues to deliver quality and satisfactory results for this client. In September 2018, customer interactions rose to an almost total of 60,000. To address the rise of interactions, DATAMARK has ramped up available agents to a capacity of 46. At the inception of the project, there were 13 agents on board.

DATAMARK handles the client’s needs through highly-trained bilingual agents, multi-channel interaction options, and cloud-based software platforms.



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