Call center forecasting: How can we predict call volume?

In this expert resonse, Lori Bocklund gives tips for predicting call volume in a new call center.

We just started a new call center, and the numbers we forecasted were much higher than the actual call volume....

How can we readjust the numbers to be more accurate, and how often should we readjust them moving forward? I assume our call volume will increase.

Now that you have some real data on call volumes, I suggest you redo your forecasts based on the actual calls. Forecasting should then be an ongoing activity. The more variable the call volumes are by day/week/month and the faster they are changing, the more frequently you will want to reforecast. You will begin to see trends in both the call volume patterns and the volume increases and that will help you to be more accurate with your forecasts over time. You will also want to look at events and make sure you factor in how those are impacting call volumes. For example, if there has been some marketing activity to trigger calls, it may cause a bump in calling, and you'll need to analyze whether that will be ongoing.

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