Great customer support requires that you solve customer problems promptly and with empathy. As with many things, preparation is key. Accurate forecasts of contact volume put the team in a position to succeed, helping ensure that customers can connect with the right person at the right time. This article will walk you through the basics of forecasting your volume.
In many cases, those who have been working in support for a long time have developed a "spider sense" for what will happen on any given day, whether through hard-earned experience or spooky omniscience. For the rest of the team, though, good forecasts can help enable:
Good forecasts start with an understanding of what you’re trying to achieve and the fundamental dynamics of your support volume.
Start by deciding on the interval and timespan that are most relevant to your goals. It’s best to match up your interval with what you’re trying to achieve:
Most contact platforms allow you to export historical data. To enumerate a few of the most popular platforms:
In cases where data is incomplete or difficult to export, you can always use Assembled’s out-of-the-box integrations.
At its core, most forecasts use knowledge about the past to inform the future.The simplest forecasting approach is to calculate the average number of contacts over a set interval. For example, in order to forecast how many tickets you will receive at 9am on Monday, take the average of 9am’s for the past several weeks. If your volume varies based on the day of the week—often weekends are lighter than weekdays— average together only 9am’s for the past several Mondays or weekdays.
We put together and excel template to walk you through this process from beginning to end. Preview it below or click here to make a copy of the template:
We hope this article has given you a framework to get started with forecasting. Don't be discouraged if all this sounds like a lot of work, forecasting is definitely no walk in the park—after all, we're trying to predict the future! If you’d like to discuss tactics or to explore Assembled’s out-of-the-box forecasts, please drop us a line at email@example.com.