Thus, forecasting becomes one of the most significant daily challenges on a manager’s schedule. But it’s a challenge that becomes manageable with a workforce management (WFM) solution that handles much of the processing and calculations automatically.
Unfortunately, many call centers are still working with Excel spreadsheets to create forecasts. And these spreadsheets simply do not have the same functionality as WFM solutions. Below is a list of key points, but if you would like to get the full story, please download the whitepaper: The Real Cost of Spreadsheet Based Forecasting and Scheduling.
What aren’t you getting with spreadsheets?
- Call volume history – this can play a significant role in determining forecasts and schedules, and WFM delivers it automatically.
- Simulations – by running automated simulations, managers can discover flaws in a forecast and correct them before it’s too late. Excel does not provide that capability.
- Coverage of other customer contact points – today’s call centers are really contact centers, accessible not just by phone but email and online chat as well. Forecasting staff needs for all of these channels is difficult with spreadsheets, but manageable with WFM.
- Forecasting by call type – predicting the types of calls coming in makes it easier to staff a shift with the agents best qualified to handle them, and to make sure you don’t have too many or too few at the same time. Not possible with Excel, but simple with WFM.