June 16, 2022

A new frontier: Introducing our email backlog forecast

Noah Goodman

A great support organization should run like a well-oiled machine: reliable, capable, and ready for whatever lies ahead.

But…you can only be as prepared as your forecast allows for. Most support teams have problems figuring out how their incoming email volume interacts with the existing backlog and how to staff for it. And no other workforce management tool solves for this at scale - until now. Today, we’re launching our brand new email backlog forecast to help teams everywhere better prepare for and optimize email support.

Here’s everything going live in today’s launch:

  • Visualization of your historical backlog for an accurate look back into emails that received a first response and emails that breached SLA
  • Visualization of your predicted backlog for the upcoming week to inform your staffing requirements
  • Backlog forecast simulator to test scenarios with different service levels, target response times, and email productivity levels
  • Enhanced SLA calculations with new algorithms that account for the backlog and business hours the same way support teams do

Meet SLAs all day, every day

Having an accurate forecast puts your staff in the right place at the right time to hit every SLA. Similar to other tools, our forecasts have been primarily based on Erlang-C, which is optimal for live channels like phone and chat. However, given that our customers’ customers still prefer email support over other channels, we knew we needed to tackle email head-on.

Suppose your team doesn’t staff agents on the weekends, so your SLA is only applicable during business hours. Customers may still be emailing you over the weekend, leaving you with a build-up of tickets, which fills your backlog.

Over the next few business days, you’ll want enough agents staffed to meet SLAs on live channels first, while also reducing your backlog in time to meet all email SLAs. Rest assured that our new forecast model shows you how to get there.

Even more accuracy in your forecast, for all channels, means that you’ll never have to worry about under- or over-staffing. The secret sauce lies in the new and improved algorithms we’ve developed for our SLA predictions. Behind the scenes, Assembled runs a simulation of what could happen to your backlog in every possible scenario, and then gives you the most accurate prediction. Simply input your criteria for service levels, target response times, and business hours, and Assembled will tell you exactly what percentage of the time you’ll hit your SLA within your set thresholds.

Get a glimpse into the future

Before today, teams could see their current backlog, but had no way to accurately predict what that would look like for the week ahead. Our simulator lets you test how various staffing scenarios will affect your backlog. Maintain flexibility by choosing when you want to staff agents, how many agents you want to staff, and what their productivity metrics are, and we’ll let you know how your backlog is reduced or increased.

The simulation starts from the present backlog going forward, so you can see your backlog at a particular point in time. Our forecast even tells you when you are predicted to clear your backlog, so you can decide when to let employees take time off earlier, or when to add more agents to the rotation.

Go beyond email support

Our backlog forecast doesn’t end with email. Teams doing any back-office work, like fraud, compliance, insurance, or operations can utilize this model.

We’re so excited for this launch because we believe it’s truly game-changing for teams that rely on any asynchronous support channels. The new email backlog forecast is just one of many new features we’re building this year to help our customers deliver responsive, high-quality support.

Get started here to configure your backlog forecast.

📣 We love to hear from you, especially if it’s in the form of product requests. Let us know how we can keep building for your team by visiting our suggestion board.

See us in action.

Want to know how Assembled can help your team rise to the occasion? Set up time with us to learn more!

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