Call Center Call Volume

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    I am stumped on this one. Definitive pattern that highest volume into the call center is weeks 1-2 of each month. However, hand offs to other departments for resolution are highest week 3. There is no correlation between the two data points. I know what causes the hand offs to occur, but I can’t locate what causes them to be higher week 3 than the other two weeks. Any insight into what I can look at to identify why call volume drops off, but hand offs increase the same week?



    billing cycle? perhaps deadlines imposed internally by your customers that aren’t readily apparent to you from the call-center? maybe the work priorities of the customer change mid-month(i.e. first priority of work is category #1 issues early in the month but around the 15th of the month the priority shifts to category #2).

    Can you break down the calls by general subject?

    Perhaps the focus from your customers makes them push through a bunch of claims early in the month and then tackle the more difficult claims mid-month which cause the hand-offs to other departments.


    Tom Griffin

    You did not state it but I am assuming that the calls are being escalated due to the fact that they are beyond the agentsΒ’ capability or job scope. As you described the issues, it occurred to me that they may be so busy during week one and two trying to maximize service levels that they queue harder problems and then have time to deal with them in the third week when volumes drop. I would look at the age of the calls being escalated in week three.

    If that is not the case, are there issues of consumer behavior. Without knowing your company or processes, it may be that the “easy” calls come close to the bill arrive date while people procrastinate or do research on the harder issues then call.

    Finally, I encourage you to consider carefully the correlation techniques that you use. I was working in a 700 seat call center for an international mobile carrier and they were having problem correlating call volume to bill drops. When I was asked to do the research, I found that the time to arrive that they used was three days. So they could not get the bills dropped to correlate to the call volume three days later.

    The problem is obvious once you put yourself in the envelope with the bill – variability – the mail did not take exactly three days and most people don’t open the bill and call on day one. By adding the weeks volume of bills to the next weekΒ’s volume of calls, I was able to get much closer and actually demonstrate the effects of late or spiked bill drops on call volume. The moral of this self-congratulatory story is to take a step back and consider the classes of calls that are being escalated, age at escalation and, consumer behavior. And, if all else fails, ask your phone agents what they think.

    Feel free to contact me if you have more questions. [email protected]

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