Intraday Management — GPS for the Contact Center

When it comes to sense of direction, I’ll admit I’m closer to “can’t find her way out of a paper bag” than “has a strong internal compass.” So you can understand that GPS navigation is riding shotgun when I’m on the road and is in my top-five most frequently used apps.

As I slogged along the 101 here in Southern California recently, I realized that my navigation is a lot like the intraday management and reforecasting capabilities available within workforce management (WFM) platforms. Say what?

First, What Is Intraday Management?

Most of us are familiar with the forecasting capabilities available within WFM platforms. For example, leveraging 40+ advanced patented algorithms and machine learning, CXone Workforce Management Pro can deliver the most accurate predictions of future call volume and create optimized schedules accordingly.

But we all know that “life” happens and that things pop up that even the best forecaster can’t predict. The forecaster couldn’t predict that your company’s online ordering platform was going to crash this morning, causing a huge influx of unexpected calls!

That’s where intraday management and reforecasting comes into play! Intraday reforecasting allows for the contact center to reevaluate needs based on the day-of trending of volume, average handle time, and service levels.

Typically, the platform will display the number of expected contacts — aka the original forecast — alongside the days’ actuals so far by interval. From there, a reforecast can be run for the rest of the day to assess what actions should be taken to help mitigate the gaps or surpluses.

GPS and Intraday Both Enable Course Correction

So now that we know what intraday is, how in the world is it anything like GPS navigation? Before the days of Google Maps and other navigation apps, we used old-school maps to chart our course to our destination. Let’s think of these maps like our forecast.

We knew what route we needed to take based on the best case scenario, but once we were on the road, there was no way to know that a traffic jam had occurred until we were stuck in bumper-to-bumper congestion. But today my navigation will alert me of the unexpected once I am in route, so I then can take a traffic-free alternative.

Similarly, intraday management and reforecasting shows me in real-time where my actuals differ from the plan, enabling me to take action to shift resources if needed before I become stuck in an inbound contact traffic jam!

Another thing that GPS navigation and intraday functionality have in common is that there is still a human element to it. While the GPS alerts me of alternative routes and yells at me when I am off course (I know, Siri, I’m just stopping for gas. I promise I’ll get back on the highway in a second!), it does not take control of my car and start driving it for me (yet).

Similarly, while there are options for automation, intraday management and reforecasting still can allow a human expert to make the appropriate staffing changes based on the intraday data.

Don’t Get Lost!

I would be lost — literally! — without GPS navigation, so it’s hard to imagine how workforce managers and supervisors can pivot and respond to unexpected same-day business needs without relying on intraday management and reforecasting.

For more ways on how to elevate your contact center workforce manaegment, check out these resources.