System Capacity Optimization
You may wonder how System Capacity Optimization gets call centers back on track so quickly. SCO corrects the timing of staff in ways that Work Force Management can’t. The immediate result is consistently short wait times and just the right queue to keep agents occupied. Without any new hiring, you get more revenue, better loyalty, faster growth and higher profits.
SCO optimizes agents, queues, toll free costs and the entire system. WFM software claims to optimize but it never does. It can’t. Their forecasts only look at average talk times and interval call counts. Nothing else. Not even your wait times.
SCO is all about perfecting the timing of your agents. The right number of agents can easily produce terrible wait times and low productivity if the timing is off. The timing differences are often subtle. If you have too many agents in one interval, the work those agents could have done is lost forever. If you have too few in one interval, you’ll accumulate a large queue that will ripple across the remainder of the day. SCO perfects your timing by precisely interpreting the second by second data of your call center.
The Call Count Paradox
True offered call counts result in crazy looking forecasts. If any one tried to use this method, the forecasts would impose outrageous staffing patterns. Those patterns would translate into massive overstaffing in one period followed by sever staffing shortages the next.
WFM Software Comparison
WFM software vendors all forecast the same way. They use answered calls and abandoned calls. They add these together for a fake offered call count. No matter how many calls are truly offered, they only count the number of calls that exit the queue. Note that each interval, answered plus abandoned is not “the number of calls that were offered to queue”, “it’s the number that left the queue”. This figure will always be very close to the number of calls that the forecast prepared you to answer.
Why does every WFM only counts as many calls as they prepared you for? It ensures that all forms of forecast inaccuracies are swept under the table. Should your business continue to place its trust in a forecast that never tells the truth?
Why SCO Works
SCO works with the best data available – the absolute truth. SCO evaluates every second of every call. It determines how to improve wait times while sustaining the ideal queue to keep agents productive. Overnight your forecasts and schedules make a quantum leap. Staff are timed perfectly to absorb the flow of activity across the day. You can spend 64% less queuing calls. Agents gain 10% to 20% in productivity. SCO keeps your call center in perfect pace with the growing changing needs of your business. It’s free to find out how much you could be saving. Just complete a survey form describing your call center and upload your data. You will get a no obligation assessment of the prevailing forecast errors and how much you would save if you switched to SCO.
Before and After SCO
These are the daily service levels of a call center that switched their largest queue over to SCO forecasts. Notice the immediate and sustained improvement starting on the cut-over date.
3 Months later they started using SCO to forecast and schedule their second queue. SCO always produces overnight improvements like these.
SCO puts a call center in a position of preparedness. It makes it easy to absorb the busiest days of the week. It also means that exceptional activity from marketing campaigns and unplanned call influxes can be absorbed without falling too far below the normal target for service levels. The following chart shows a call center’s preparedness to absorb Mondays and days after holidays. Notice how preparedness has been greatly enhanced by SCO. Also note that this call center did not do any hiring. They had the same number of agents before and after SCO.
These are daily wait time averages before and after SCO. The improvements are obvious. No hiring, no changes to any systems — just the better timing of agents, as calculated by SCO.
It’s not just average wait times that improve. More importantly, its wait time consistency. Compare the wait time distribution of a call center before and after SCO.
Before, only 20% of calls were answered in less than 100 seconds and large numbers of callers waited between 5 and 8 minutes. After, 82% of callers are answered in under 100 seconds and everyone is answered in less than five minutes. This is called wait time consistency and its by design. SCO produces planned staffing levels with a detailed understanding of how the timing of your agents affects the queue size. It picks the perfect staffing level for each interval to ensure that every caller waits only briefly while maintaining the right size of queue to sustain near 100% occupancy. You can actually see this in the wait time distribution. Zero callers were answered instantly. Every caller waited in Queue. The queue was never empty.
First Call Resolution
When agents don’t feel pressured to move on to the next caller in queue, they fully service the customer at hand. Fully serviced callers call back less frequently. The improvement to first call resolution is apparent in the following charts of Daily Calls Per Incident (CPI). CPI rates dropped by 10%. The improvements are immediate and sustained.
When agents answer a constant stream of callers who have waited too long, it takes a toll on productivity, stamina and absenteeism. These agents noticed the difference that SCO made to their lives. Every day at work became a pleasant day filled with happy grateful callers. The agents talked about it and the statistics showed the productivity impact.
The same number of agents produced an entirely new bandwidth of talk time minutes. Monday through Friday, every day that they were open, agents collectively spent more time on the phone every hour. Fewer stress breaks, less absenteeism, more time helping customers. The average daily productivity improvement was 10%.
With a 10% improvement in First Call Resolution and a 10% improvement to Talk Time productivity the total productivity improvement was 20%. Indeed over the next two years, staffing levels dropped by 20% without lowering the bar for consistently strong service levels. Those types of savings are worth $1.2 Million in savings for a call center of 100 agents.
Toll Free Costs
After SCO, total wait time dropped by 64%. That’s a 64% reduction in the toll free cost of queuing calls. Overall toll free costs dropped 25%. That saved $1000 per day per 100 agents. Annually, savings on toll free costs are between $250,000 and $360,000 depending on your hours of operations.