How to Avoid the 5 Most Common Forecasting Mistakes | Calabrio
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How to Avoid the 5 Most Common Forecasting Mistakes

Whether it’s receiving consistent service or communicating through the channel of their choice, today’s consumers demand more from the modern contact center. This includes first-call resolution and easy access via phone, email, chat or SMS. Not only that, the people working in call centers are expected to be super-agents with multiple skills and knowledge.

At first glance, managing this complex environment might seem like an impossible task but it doesn’t have to be that way. By combining a robust forecasting process with the latest Workforce Management (WFM) technology, even the most challenging contact center issues can be resolved. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of ways to prevent some common forecasting mistakes to improve your call center.

Five Common Forecasting Mistakes to Avoid

Resource forecasting in contact centers doesn’t need to be a complicated process. Then again, even with a perfect forecast and the best intentions, things don’t always go to plan.  Here are the most common reasons for incorrect forecasts:

1. Lack of Historical Data

Access to accurate data along (along with a recorded audit trail of previous forecasting activities) provides a solid foundation for future forecasts. Remember to archive all forecasts so that you don’t lose access to that historical data.

2. The Validation Process

Everything changes over time including channels, agent preferences and unplanned absences. Therefore it’s essential to stay on top of change and factor it into the forecast. That way, the contact center is always ready to react swiftly and effectively to the unexpected. Generate new forecasts by day, week or month, depending on known upcoming events.

3. Working in Isolation

Make sure planning teams communicate and work with other parts of the business to improve contact center forecasting. by simplifying the communication process, it’ll be easier to keep sales and marketing in the loop, regarding planned promotions and advertising campaigns. This will also help agents be ready to tackle generated inquiries as they come.

4. What About ‘What Ifs

Why waste time and money on forecasts that don’t work when a ‘what if’ exercise can help with forecasting models for future requirements? Choose a WFM solution that includes “what if” modeling and know how to use it. Remember to incorporate buffers to allow for unexpected spikes in activity and unplanned absences.

5. Once Is Not Enough

Processes, like businesses, are not static. They are constantly moving and require frequent re-evaluation to increase efficiencies and gain a competitive edge. Reviewing processes and historical data should occur regularly. Best practices is to  set a consistent time each week, and make sure it’s reviewed at least once a month.

Woman calculating and working on forecasting mistakes

Level-Up Your Forecasting with the Latest WFM Technology

Successful forecasting is easier than it at first appears. Now that you’re aware of these common forecasting mistakes, it’s essential to adopt a process-driven approach to your forecasting method. One of the best ways to tackle these issues is to use the latest cloud-based Workforce Management (WFM) technology.

Want to learn more about improving your contact center with WFM technology? Download Calabrio’s “3 Must-Have Workforce Management Scheduling Tools” to learn how to help empower agents with added ease and flexibility.

As the Product Marketing Manager for WFM at Calabrio, Florian matches extensive experience in the contact center space with a unique bilingual worldview that gives a distinctive take on contact center challenges and technology. A contact center veteran with years of experience helming WFM teams, Florian loves to share his knowledge with other CX professionals. He can often be found walking the beach with his family hunting shells, playing guitar, or even flying the occasional airplane, but his inspiration is found in his wife and daughter. A quick "Bonjour!" to Florian will have him reminiscing of his Mother's French cuisine.
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