Forecasting accuracy helps determine the percentage between the anticipated number of customer calls and actual customer calls received.
You can use this formula:
Forecasting Accuracy = [(Actual Calls Offered – Forecasted Calls) / Forecasted Calls] * 100
Here, calls offered include the calls received, abandoned, and terminated.
While it’s not easy to predict how many incoming calls you’ll receive, you can use call volume history to make an estimate.
However, you should avoid a linear forecast that simply predicts the number of calls to be offered today based on calls received the day before. It's unrealistic and oversimplified.
Instead, call centers usually use a trailing three weeks for forecasting.
To add more precision to the forecasting, you also need to consider exceptions like:
Additionally, you can forecast call volumes at 30-minute intervals to appropriately staff the call center throughout the day.
Underestimating the number of inbound calls can create instances of understaffing. This translates to long wait times for customers in the queue and high toll-free costs along with burned-out and fatigued agents.
On the other hand, overestimating the number of inbound calls can lead to overstaffing, resulting in increased agent idle time.
You can use dedicated workforce management tools to predict the call volume and determine the number of agents required. These tools help narrow down the range of inbound calls you may receive within a given day, consider other variables, and apply sophisticated forecasting models.