Forecasting Issue Multi Channel

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Fore Casting Issue Multi Channel
Hi All,

I have recently started new role within a company (Travel industry) who had no resource planning function prior. I previously worked for a larger company (Retail) within a resource planning team. Previous role we had several years of data, calls, live chat and a dated but functional WFM.

In my new role I have none of the above, I have at best 2 years worth of call Data, 2018 and so far 2019 and a years worth of email data. Currently we have no WFM and I have been recruited to try and forecast and help better plan for the companies busy bookings period in January, and then the busy summer for customer services.

The company uses Mitel to route Calls and emails to agents, all agents have work in front of them unless set to Busy, emails automatically presented and then calls interrupt.

Challenges I am facing,

Creating an Accurate forecast for each month, for example January in 2018 and 2019 where affected at different times by weather, So how do I create an accurate profile for January and remove the weather related spikes or drops?

I cannot get an accurate AVHT for emails as the system has not been set to factor in the email being paused whilst an agent takes a call. I'm thinking I will have to sit alongside advisers and do a time in motion study?

The company is making major acquisitions regularly which is also altering the trends and forecast's, I'm slowly building a log (not previously done) of when events have happened (including weather and system issues)so that I can try and identify how big or small an influence this makes on the work coming into the contact centre.

So far to create a forecast I have used Jan 18 and 19's data to create a call profile. I've broken down the 2020 full month call forecast (created by using previous years growth and also considering the already forecast bookings target). Then Broken this down to a weekly forecast then down to a daily and then down to 15 minute intervals using a daily call profile based off the last 4 weeks trend and compared against Day on Day previous year.

I have also copied the trends created when marketing have sent out campaigns and have now factored this into the Months forecast. I've used Erlang to then work out the FTE. However I have points where I have 23% occupancy but if I have 1 less staff and I am at 95% occupancy for phones? I have done Erlang at 1 Hour and also at 30 minute intervals and then 15 to create an FTE requirement for each interval.

In Jan we have 1000 calls a day, 950 emails open 9 till 9. I have at the busiest point on calls, 15 agents required to answer phones at an occupancy of 81%, this is fine as I have 24 Seats. But I am yet to factor in email and live chat (Live chat is only 10 - 20 chats a day however)

I know currently just from being in the office the call centre is Overstaffed, ASA is 20 seconds on a call and 1 hour on an email, service levels are at 90% or higher and answer rates nearly always 99%

I have put together a plan for November and December too just so I can test theories, but this is based of just 1 years worth of Data and already this November's call trend is nothing like last years, yet October and September matched 2018. The good news is that at week level I am only -1 - +4% out on call volumes and MTD is currently 2% up on my forecast, its now getting it correct at lower level. Emails are similar.

I am hoping next year I will have a WFM (|Mitel do have a forecasting and resource tool which hopefully I can find out more about and convince management to upgrade too). I am still trying to obtain further data 2017 and before, but at minute am coming up short on all avenues I have been sent to look down.

If anyone has any tips I'd greatly appreciate it, I feel I am missing a simple trick or two. At minute its all excel based.

Kind Regards



Call Centre Helper

Along the right lines
It looks like you are going along the right lines.

Here are a few pointers.
1. Start going back to see if you can build a monthly demand history for the past few years. If you cannot get these off the ACD stats you may be able to get these from the telephone company. This will enable you to create a demand forecast as you go forward.

2. In terms of spikes what you need to do is to remove the spikes from the data and then add them back in. You can do this by comparing the spike with the weeks before and after.

For example There is a spike on Wednesday week 2.

Week1 Week2
Monday 100 110
Tuesday 90 99
Wednesday 85 250
Thursday 80 110
Friday 70 87

So you can see there is a 10% increase in traffic on Monday and Tuesday compared to the week before.

So working backward you can derive the underlying traffic.

Week1 Week2
Monday 100 110
Tuesday 90 99
Wednesday 85 93 + 157 Spike = 250
Thursday 80 88 + 22 Spike = 110
Friday 70 77 + 10 Spike = 87

In this way you can see the underlying demand and you can start to model spikes in the future.


Call Centre Helper

Are you really overstaffed?
You say
"I know currently just from being in the office the call centre is Overstaffed, ASA is 20 seconds on a call and 1 hour on an email, service levels are at 90% or higher and answer rates nearly always 99%"

If ASA is 20 seconds that sounds like quite low. What is your Service Level Target?

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