Contact center executives like the certainty contact demand, resource availability, operational efficiency, and maybe most importantly, the certainty of agent performance and customer experience delivery.
However, certainty is the one thing that the manager of such a complex operation will never have.
The best equipped contact center executives tame the uncertainty of their environment with good management and with the help of mathematical models. These models provide the next best thing to an operational crystal ball — they alert, evaluate operational risk, and propose business and resourcing solutions. And now, the best of these models determine expected experience delivery.
Simulation and mathematical modeling have been commercially available over the last decade for contact center operations. These strategic planning systems automatically develop forecasts and resource plans for multichannel and multi‐skill operations. Strategic planning models have a few advantages over homegrown spreadsheets.
- They work in two directions. They evaluate for any week over week scenario the service, revenues, costs, and customer experience scores expected under any planning scenario. In the other direction, they determine the least cost staff plan required to hit the service goals associated with any scenario.
- They are proven accurate. The best planning systems include a validation step to prove that, for each of the contact types and contact centers in a network, the model is accurate when compared to real contact center data. This is not easy, because every contact center and contact type is truly different. The models must be smart enough to consider these differences and be recalibrated as the operation changes.
- They have to be fast. The best systems can be run interactively, with only minutes required to evaluate any scenario. Speed, accuracy, and breadth of analytics enable a different sort of decision making process. With speed and accuracy, using advanced modeling, an analyst can interactively answer the executive’s query real‐time. All major decisions are vetted and all repercussions of resource decisions are known, including the expected customer experience. While complete certainty is still not attainable, using strategic planning systems, executives are a lot closer to their crystal ball.
Strategic modeling is explored in a new Interactive Intelligence white paper, Marrying the Analyses of Service, Cost, Revenue, and Customer Experience.