How much time do you spend on forecast accuracy? You’ve probably developed a system for tracking your forecast and capturing actual. You’ve come up with a way to the compare the two. Some organizations use a daily, weekly or monthly average. Some prefer to use an absolute value, so you don’t offset an over-forecast period with an under-forecast period (If you put your head in the oven and your feet in the freezer, on “average”, do you feel fine?). Lastly, you need to decide for which metrics you want to measure accuracy - call volume, all contact volume, workload, FTE, or another measure.
I heard a story once about change based on actual research. It goes like this: Once there were 4 chimpanzees in a large enclosed structure. They had plenty of room to play, exercise and socialize. One day, at the top of a pole in the middle some bananas appeared. A chimp noticed and started to climb the pole to get the bananas. The pole was rigged so that when a chimp got halfway up, it triggered a ledge to come out of the pole, blocking access to the bananas. Unable to get around the ledge, the chimp climbed back down. One after another, each chimp tried, unsuccessfully to get at the bananas. After a few days one of the chimps was replaced with a new chimp, as he joined, he decided to go for the bananas.
Traditionally this upcoming Sunday is referred to as Super Bowl Sunday. While the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons set to square off in Super Bowl LI in Houston on Sunday, businesses around the country will brace for what is getting more commonly dubbed as Super Bowl Smunday.
A constant challenge in business is the balancing of capacity and workload/revenue. If you build out extra capacity, you’re ready for the work and can service it quickly. However, you realize less than optimal occupancy as a result. You have happy customers and employees, but take a hit to margins. On the other hand, if you react to the volume, you can add in capacity accordingly and have a very nice match between the requirement and the capacity. The tradeoff here is you maximize your profitability, but customers will have slow service until you catch up, and employees may not react well to the ups-and-downs of their workload.
When developing a strategy to improve omni-channel customer service, it’s helpful to have a few focus points that are aligned with what is most important to customers. It is one way to keep things simple and ensure that whatever channels you choose to use, you retain a customer centric approach. Recent surveys have highlighted focus points on which customers scored their experience and satisfaction or dissatisfaction. These were: Level of personalization; reliability, knowledge of customer service agents, timely response and query resolution, and how easy the customer service channel was to use. With these focus points in mind, let’s look at how at how they can be applied for calls, social media, live chat and email customer service: