New Research Shows Only 1 in 3 Call Centres are Planning Effectively For Skill-based Routing

Research from the Professional Planning Forum shows that only 11% of centres use advance routing options with a tactical or strategic approach.

While 76% of Call Centre Resource Planners believe they have a fair or good understanding of routing options, only 37% of respondents (approximately 1 in 3) felt that they were even close to fully using skills routing and gaining benefits from it.

In response to this research, the Professional Planning forum have announced the latest new course in their programme of specialist training. This new course focuses specifically on planning effectively for skill-based routing and scheduling in call centres. This is anticipated to become ever more popular as call centre managers attempt to close the gap between what they aspire to achieve and the poor current performance.

The research forms part of the 2007 annual benchmark research carried out by the Professional Planning Forum, the independent industry body supporting effective resourcing and planning in Contact Centres. Full details will be presented at Call Centre Planning 2007 in Dublin on April 25 – 26 and can be found at

Skills Routing Planning


Skills Routing Planning

This research represents a unique insight into what has long been suspected that call centres pay lip service to accurate skills based planning.

Schedulers know what needs to be done, but either the workforce management tool, their training or their priorities let them down explains Steve Woosey, Membership Director at the Professional Planning Forum. Not only do so few really try to implement it properly but in fact the research shows that only 10% model the exact steps used in their ACD as in their workforce management tool. 30% can’t or don’t even try.

WFM Software – Call Routing

It goes without saying that unless an accurate forecast of how centres are going to perform is prepared, then skills based routing will not be effective. Yet looking at the scheduling strategies used in more detail, it is evident that 40% of respondents do not review the impacts of holidays, sickness and absence across all queues and 22% of offline activity is planned as a single skill environment.

This means that 62% of resource planners still need to adjust manually during the day, despite using an automated system.

This represents a big challenge to call centres operating in large multi-skilled environments, where effective simulation using workforce management tools is essential. John Casey, the Planning Forum’s Director of Professional Development elaborates: As well as up-to-date systems, today’s resource planners need confidence and skills to step up to the challenge of multi-skilled resourcing challenges. Planning is an increasingly complex role and if professional development is under-resourced, then the consequence is suffered by the business.

The benchmark survey analyses results from 161 contact centre organisations from all industry sectors and was conducted during first quarter 2007. The results demonstrate that the complexity of the role of resource planners and the highly specialist contribution that they can make to the effective management of call centres is increasing.

For further details contact:

Steve Woosey,

OR Katherine Potter,

Tel: 0870 870 59 60

The Professional Planning Forum is the independent industry body for effective resourcing and planning in the contact centre industry, working across all industry sectors to provide specialist support for contact centre professionals. Championing the importance of these critical skills, the Planning Forum is widely recognized for its best practice research and case studies, as well as
the results-focused nature of its professional development training and in-company workshops. The Planning Forum runs the Call Centre Innovation of the Year Award and the Call Centre Planning 2007 conference.

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