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What factors impact call center average handle time?

Expert Lori Bocklund explains why call centers need to adjust handling times depending on the time of day, week or year.

Should handle time predictions take into consideration things like the time of year, day of week and time of day? How can we build those factors into our forecasting?
Some call centers do need to adjust handle times by day and time. For example, a call center that has seasonal fluctuations in its volume and therefore hires more staff at certain times of the year may have increased handle times when they bring in a large group of new trainees. Also, call centers with enrollment periods or other call types that occur only part of the year will have different handle times when those call types are in play.

Fluctuations by day of week or time of day are less likely, but may occur. For example, a skeleton crew that gets...

few calls evenings and weekends may spend more time on the phone with customers than the weekday shifts do when the queue is busy. The best way to assess this for your call center is to look at historical data and see how it changes. Call center forecasting should take into account historical data and patterns.

This was last published in March 2008

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