How can you predict the amount of calls coming into a contact center to ensure the it is staffed properly? DATAMARK responds to the challenge with a proprietary Contact Center Workforce Management system.
One of the largest U.S. customer engagement and promotional marketing companies needs help managing and improving their bilingual contact center. They have fluctuating levels of inbound calls coming into their contact center in English and Spanish. To maintain their reputation of high quality customer service, they need to properly staff their contact center with enough bilingual agents to handle all calls.
With up to 40 marketing programs underway at any given time, they need an agile and cost-effective contact center workforce management solution. The contact center agents must be knowledgeable about the client’s existing and future marketing programs. Workforce staffing must be scheduled effectively to ensure excellent customer service while keeping operating costs under control.
This leading U.S. marketing company challenges DATAMARK to provide a Contact Center Workforce Management Solution. The client is aiming for a service level of 80 percent of calls answered within 40 seconds. This is what they call the “80/40 response time” metric.
Contact Center Managers must maintain the right balance of agents to handle fluctuating call volumes over any given time period. To predict the number of agents needed at specific times, DATAMARK uses a call volume forecasting and workforce scheduling system. This system is part of DATAMARK’s contact center services. It ensures the contact center will meet or exceed the client’s 80/40 response time metric.
The Call Volume Forecasting and Workforce Scheduling System is an integral part of DATAMARK services for many reasons. Forecasting helps contact center analysts accurately estimate the amount of calls coming into the contact center. It also helps them manage workforce schedules effectively. Overestimating inbound calls leads to overstaffing of contact center agents and increased idle time. Because agent labor costs make up the largest part of contact center expenses, overstaffing will negatively impact the bottom line. Conversely, underestimating inbound calls leads to understaffing. Understaffing could result in lengthy wait times in queues, dissatisfied customers and increased escalation rates. While the analysts refine the forecasting and workforce management tools, DATAMARK experts apply the business process management system (BPMS) to the inbound call process.
The Business Process Management System (BPMS) is a data-driven, multi-step system of analysis and improvement used to optimized the contact center workflow. It helps to identify redundant steps within business processes so they can be removed. The BPMS system also reduces variations in quality through the application of Lean and Six Sigma process improvement methodologies. With both the call volume forecasting and workforce scheduling tools, managers were able to strike the right balance between call volumes and agent staffing.
In developing the forecasting and scheduling model, DATAMARK’s contact center managers gathered as much historical call volume data as possible to uncover seasonal, monthly, daily and time-of-day call volume patterns. The DATAMARK team analyzed historic data on agents’ average call handle time, which includes total talk time and total after-call work time.
The Contact Center Workforce Management Model incorporates a complex mix of factors including forecasted workload, average call handle times, agent occupancy levels, and time away from the contact center floor for training and one-on-one coaching. Initiatives such as BPMS, effective agent training, and automatic call distribution (ACD) based on agent skill levels can have positive effects on these factors – particularly reductions in average call handle times.
Benjamin Arras, the DATAMARK contact center quality control analyst leading the development of the solution for our client, described the forecasting and workforce management system as “dynamic and not static.” Arras said, “It should fluctuate, reflecting specific time periods as well as the client’s current offers and promotions.”
“Our model takes into account forecasted call volumes from our client, historical volumes, and present data to provide accurate forecasting of inbound calls. It then takes this information and provides an accurate estimate of agents needed during each hour of the day. Our system has helped manage appropriate staffing levels.”Benjamin Arras, DATAMARK Quality Control Analyst
DATAMARK continues to deliver exceptional results for this client. During the transition of contact center services for the client, service levels had a high variance ranging from 50 percent to 93 percent of calls answered within 40 seconds. The average service level at this time was 71 percent.
After the development and implementation of DATAMARK’s forecasting and workforce scheduling model and application of the BPMS, the inbound call process stabilized and began to produce continuous improvements. Service levels increased to an average of 86 percent, reflecting a 20 percent improvement over the baseline at the launch of contact center operations for this client. In addition, response times have steadily improved by increments of 1 percent each month.
DATAMARK’s goal of continuous process improvement has created a strong relationship with this leading engagement and promotional marketing company. The Business Process Management System was important in streamlining the workflow for our client’s contact center. In addition, our commitment to effective contact center workforce management helped our client deliver outstanding customer service for its numerous promotional marketing programs. How can we help improve your contact center?