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Introducing tailored staffing parameters by channel type

Increase your forecast's accuracy by tailoring it specifically to the channels you and your teams use.

By Lilith Shoemaker, Contributing Writer

Last updated May 3, 2024

This new forecast enhancement offers options that will increase your forecast’s accuracy and allow you to tailor it specifically to the most useful channels. That’s right; we are talking about allowing you to set specific parameters based on the channel you are forecasting rather than one-size-fits-all parameters for all channels.

Here’s a breakdown of what you now have to use per channel:

Email:

  • Occupancy
  • Average handle time
  • First response time and its target percentage
  • Shrinkage
  • Minimum staffing
  • Availability, if relevant

Chat:

  • Occupancy
  • Duration
  • Concurrency
  • Wait time and its target percentage
  • Shrinkage
  • Minimum Staffing
  • Availability, if relevant

Voice:

  • Occupancy
  • Average handle time
  • Speed of answer and its target percentage
  • Shrinkage
  • Minimum Staffing
  • Availability, if relevant

With this more flexible approach, you’ll have increased forecast accuracy per channel and have the option to set the minimum number of people needed regardless of the volume forecasted for that channel. Previously, Zendesk WFM would default minimum staffing to two during low/no volume times as one person may take a break. We recommend this, but now it’s up to you and your staffing strategy.

Why this is important:

When teams have customers call in after hours, unless a voicemail service is offered, we generally won’t see callbacks take place. In this case, no time is spent on this request during working hours, but this overnight ticket will remain in the queue until addressed during your team’s working hours. With this new specificity, our forecast is now considering these types of situations.

Zendesk works with tons of computer phone integration providers, and on Zendesk WFM you can use workstreams to account for this channel even if it’s not native to Zendesk. In these cases, the workstream is set up based on a ticket contact via type rather than voice. Now, in the forecast, you simply change the channel to voice, and you can customize your forecast and staffing needs based on voice metrics.

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