When will you need to use ‘True Demand’?

See below  for an article written by Martin Blacher at QPC, “True Demand”  In summary:

When will you need to use ‘True Demand’?

The first thing to remember is that 'Calls Received' is always going to be greater than or equal to 'True Demand'. You can get an indication of how far apart 'Calls Received' and 'True Demand' is going to be by looking at the number of calls that abandoned. The higher the abandonment the greater the likely difference between 'Calls Received' and 'True Demand'.

Failure is measurable, if success is unexpected then you’ll have to guess

Let's say the response from a marketing campaign was unexpectedly high (i.e. the demand created by an anticipated event could not be predicted). Although your service level may have been trashed during the actual day, you might want to figure out your 'True Demand' so that you can factor this into a forecast in the future. Unfortunately because abandonment was so high 'Calls Received' and 'True Demand' are likely to be a long way apart. Interestingly this also means that for unexpectedly successful campaigns it's difficult to accurately report to the folks in marketing the scale of their triumph.

Saved by abandonment
So what can you do about it? One way to arrive at a rough figure for 'True Demand' is to adjust 'Calls Received' based on 'Abandoned' calls. Here's how it works: If every person who abandoned a call also retried you could assume that at the end of a day within 'Calls Received' there is a block of calls that are 'Retries' and that this is equal to 'Abandoned'.

Business benefits
Whilst ‘Calls Received’ and ‘True Demand’ are going to be fairly close together when abandonment is low I would also argue that anything that can help to achieve a more accurate forecast is a good thing. In principle this forecast is helping to control 70% of your contact centre’s costs and so even a small improvement in accuracy is ultimately going to help optimise what is your centre’s most substantial expense.

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