More companies are taking the plunge into speech analytics to help enhance the quality management processes.READ MORE >>
Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard the following message when calling your favorite business, "Due to unusually high call volume, our wait time is greater than expected…” When I’ve heard this message, I ask myself the following questions: Is there a service issue? Is it a busy season for the business I'm calling? What was my experience the last time I called these guys? After a short evaluation, I will make my decision to wait, leave a callback number, or just hang up and try again later. Now, raise your hand again if you’ve heard that same message played on a regular basis when calling the same business?
You know where this is going, right? Come on, ask the question… “When does 'unusually high volume' become usual?” I’m looking to the workforce managers, specifically the forecasters, to chime in here.
While the answer is certain to vary by business, the practices to normalize the data (turn unusual into usual) are the same. As you are actively forecasting for various scenarios, are you including plans on what to do if your volume seriously spikes? (Here’s a hint: Hope is not a strategy. i.e. A message on your IVR that announces that you didn’t plan appropriately doesn’t reflect well on you.)
I admit that there are definitely times where your business may be caught off guard by an influx of calls, but getting caught off guard shouldn’t be the norm. Whether it's customer growth or agent attrition that is causing a disturbance in the force, as a workforce planner, it is critical (and your responsibility) to have plans on the back-burner that account for and help recover from such scenarios.
With 2011 here, it's the perfect time to add to your New Year's resolutions and commit to dig through the data and start forecasting for your best and worst case scenarios. Then, you can change that IVR message to: "I've been expecting your call. We'll be right with you."
If your business is a victim of unexpected volume, you should check out inContact WFM 2.0. This software enables you to be the best workforce manager you can be by providing you with a proven tool set to create “what-if scenarios” that would make A. K. Erlang jealous.
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