WFM for Outbound Planning

There are many contact centers which have the majority of their business that depends on the Outbound Campaign.

Especially when the contact center is involved in sales or collections, outbound calls are critical to success. There are many other reasons too for why outbound calls are required and it is totally dependant on the process.
Outbound calls can give us insights about the customer’s need. It helps us to balance the sales and improve the brand awareness.
But, from a WFM planning standpoint, how to manage outbound?
Well, there are many ways to calculate the agents required for outbound campaigns.
In this blog, we will see few methods to calculate the No. of agents requires for Outbound calling using some KPIs which are generally used in the Outbound contact centers.
First, let’s gather a few prerequisites for the calculations as shown below
  • No. of Contacts to be Dialled
This is mainly the database in which data will be fed into the dialer for the agents to dial.
This data should be considered as Volume. We need to understand that every customer in this database is equivalent to one volume, therefore if we have 1000 customers in the outbound database, that means the volume is 1000.
  • Successful and Non-Successful Average Handle Time
In an Outbound Planning two types of AHT comes into picture. i.e. Successful and Non-Successful AHT. 
Now, when an agent makes an outbound call, not all the customers receive the call. Some may disconnect the call, some may not receive, some may have directed to voicemail etc. In short whenever an agent can’t talk to the customer about the product, the call is considered to be Non-Successful.
Though the call was Non-Successful, an agent would have spent certain time on that call either listening to the ring or voicemail etc. That time spent is called Non-Successful AHT.
The inverse of this is the agent successfully speaking to customer, which is called as Successful AHT. As a industry standards, the Non-Successful AHT cannot be more than 60 secs.
We will look at how both the AHTs will affect the planning in sometime.
  • Type of Dialer which will be used
The Dialer plays a major role in the Outbound Contact Center, it is like a ACD which routes the call. There are different types of dialer available for a outbound contact center.
I had written a blog on different outbound dialer few weeks back. If you have not read it, i would strongly recommend to read so that you can understand this article completely.
  • Turn Around Time
All the Outbound calls comes with certain Turn Around Time. This totally depends upon the type of outbound call, the cost factored and the Voice of Customer. Some examples of Outbound Turn Around Time is given below
– 100% calls to be made in 24 hours within the lead generation.
– 80% of the calls to be made within 4 Hours.
  • Connect Ratio
Now it is very common that all the calls made to the customer will not be successful. We ourselves would have disconnected the call from many marketing campaigns. Also some customers may have activated DND.

Therefore, the measurement of successfully placed calls against the total calls is called Connect Ratio.

For E.g. Out of 1000 Calls, only 700 calls were connected to customer and was tagged as successful, hence connect ratio is 700/1000 = 70%.

  • Number of Attempts
It is obvious that the contact center will not stop at a single attempts if the customer doesn’t receive the call. There will be multiple attempts made to a single customer.
Earlier I had mentioned that each customer in the database is equal to one volume, and if we try multiple attempts to a customer, that means the volume is also increasing. This will have an impact on the FTE Required.

The total no. of attempts to be made is deciding  by historical analysis, telecom laws and the type of outbound calls. Also there will be a specified time gap between each attempts.
  • Productivity
Productivity is a key components used in many deferred media planning such as Back Office, Email, Outbound etc.
The industrial standard is to consider around 85% and we will also do the same.
Now that we have most of the inputs required to calculate the FTE, let’s go ahead and do it. 
I have attached the Excel sheet at the end which has the calculations embedded. Please go through to get complete understanding. 
In the attachment, there are two types of FTE Calculations with 4 models for each types. Both the types shows different way of Outbound calculation which is completely dependant on how the process is designed.
As mentioned earlier, there are many types of calculations for Outbound and i’m only showing two types for the illustration purposes.
The Models mentioned in the attachment represents the type of dialer as mentioned below.
  • Model 1 – Manual Dialer
  • Model 2 – Preview Dialer
  • Model 3 – Progressive Dialer
  • Model 4 – Predictive Dialer
Let’s look at the calculations below.
  • Type 1 Calculations
Here we have used all the KPIs to calculate the FTE required. Note that the Non-Successful AHT is decreasing depending upon the type of dialer used. 
The workload is divided into Successful and Non-Successful for better understanding. The Successful Workload is simple and straight forward where the overall volume is multiplied with the connect ratio and the successful AHT.
When we say connect ratio, it is no. of calls connected as explained earlier. This essentially means that the remaining 25% was not connected at all. Therefore they turn into Non-Successful workload.
However, if you observe the Non-Successful workload calculation, i have used the no.of attempts too. Theoretically if the total no. of attempts is 4, we assume that the 75% of connected customers take only the 1st attempt and the remaining 25% customer take the 3 attempts. therefor making the total attempts as 4.
So, to have the Non-Successful Workload, i have taken 25% of the volume with Non-Successful AHT and 3 remaining attempts.
Once we have both the Workload, we just sum it up and calculate the FTE required. In the FTE Required Calculations, i have divided the workload by 8 considering it to be shift length for a day.
Now based on the type of dialer used, the Non-Successful AHT reduces decreasing the overall FTE required.
Note: The shift length and the shrinkage are subjected to change.
  • Type 2 Calculations
What we saw in the Type 1 can be theoretically implemented for planning, but it majorly relies on the assumption that all the successful contacts happens in first attempt. But is it practically possible?

I don’t think so, therefore I have also attached the Type 2 Calculations. Here, as you see in the table besides the calculation, there are attempts and the % of calls connected for each attempts.
Now we use the Daily volume and calculate the Successful Call and Non-Successful Calls. In the first attempt, when 25% of the calls are connected, the remaining 75% are dialled out. However in the second attempts, the connected calls are taken after removing the 25% which was already connected in the 1st attempt.
This bring a major difference in the workload. Since all the calls are dialled for every attempt, the Non-Successful workload is higher in the Type 2 than the Type 1, but removing the Successful calls of previous attempts reduces the Successful Workload.
Once we have both the Workload, we just sum it up and calculate the FTE required. In the FTE Required Calculations, i have divided the workload by 8 considering it to be shift length for a day.
Now based on the type of dialer used, the Non-Successful AHT reduces decreasing the overall FTE required.
If you observe both Type 1 and Type 2 calculations, the FTE required in Type 2 calculations seems to be higher.
Thank you for Reading:)
Stay Tuned!!
Disclaimer: This article is purely my personal view and understanding, this doesn’t depict any organisation data 

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