No Forecasting Software? No Sweat!

“Failure is not an option – it comes bundled with the software.” - Unknown

Before joining the ICMI team, I worked in small, medium, and large contact centers.  I’ve enjoyed the fruits of robust budgets, the latest technologies, and hallways filled with training rooms.  I also know the feeling of playing jack of all trades: figuring out a forecast in excel, coaching an agent on hygiene issues, diffusing an angry customer, and conducting “QA” from a tape recorder – all at the same time! (Well, at least it felt like it at the time...) And while I experienced different types of challenges in every one of those centers, it was my time in small contact centers that forced me to think beyond boundaries, develop creative solutions, and hone my understanding of contact center dynamics – all because of one over-arching mantra that seemed to drive every decision in those organizations:

Do More – With Less

Does this sound familiar? (I’m visualizing unison nodding heads around the globe right now)  Of course it does! Why? Because this shouldn’t come as new information to anyone reading this article.  All organizations practice fiscal responsibility but, for small contact centers, we tend to be particularly under the scope. The result is often the “peanut butter spreading” of responsibilities across a small group of managers, or in some cases, a single manager who is responsible for forecasting, quality assurance, and training, among other things.  This also means that we’re limited in tools and technology and that doesn’t appear to be something that will change anytime soon.  As such, it can be easy to get frustrated, to feel like you’re caught in a vicious cycle, to have an overwhelming desire to throw your hands up in defeat.

If that’s the case, there I two options that I see:

  1. Play the victim, create excuses, and allow the circumstances to poison your contact center and, ultimately, the customer experience.
  2. Maximize on what you do have, create alternative solutions, and use the dynamics of being a small contact center to your advantage.

I hope you’ll agree that option 2 is the right choice!  If so, it’s important for you to know that here at ICMI, we work with small contact centers on a regular basis to help them overcome such barriers and create the solutions forof “option 2”. One such way that  we’re helping you move in this direction is in our upcoming live, virtual training sessions, "Do It Yourself Workforce Management: For Small Contact Centers with the Fancy Software”. ICMI Certified Associate, Cheryl Helm will be delivering this course on Thursday, April 17 from 2-4 PM ET.  I encourage you sign up and start on the path to a fixing your forecast!

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