A Case Study about Workload Forecasting for a Call Center: Methodology
Introduction: Many companies invest signiﬁcant resources in order to provide high quality customer service, with much or all customer interactions based on telephone or internet access. Telephone Call Centers, and their multimedia extensions called Contact Centers, support these interactions between companies and their customers. Such service centers accumulate vast amounts of data, which can be analyzed and utilized for short-term operational decisions, medium-term tactical decisions or long-term strategic decisions.
One of the main challenges in operating a telephone call center is determining stafﬁng levels that meet future demand, given desired levels of service quality and efﬁciency. A prerequisite for such a task is the forecasting of the system workload over the periods of the day, for several days in advance. The workload, or what is technically called the offered-load, depends on the arrival process and the service times that each arrival (customer) requires. For planning a stafﬁng schedule, call center operators utilize forecasts of the arrivals and service times at a sufﬁcient resolution say for every half hour.
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