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A Call Center Uses Simulation to Drive Strategic Change

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Intellectual Contribution by Robert Saltzman

Contribution Title

A Call Center Uses Simulation to Drive Strategic Change




Vijay Mehrotra




A large, customer-focused software company relied on simulation modeling of its call center operations in launching a new fee-based technical-support program. Prior to launching this rapid program, call center managers were concerned about the difficulty of meeting a proposed guarantee to paying customers that they would wait less than one minute on hold. Managers also wanted to know how the new program would affect the service provided to their existing base of regular, non-paying customers. We quickly developed an animated simulation model that addressed these concerns and gave the managers a good understanding for the impact on system performance of changes in the number of customers purchasing the rapid program and in the number of agents. The one-minute guarantee would be fairly easy to achieve, even if the percentage of callers in the rapid program became quite high. Managers also gained confidence that, with appropriate staffing levels, they could successfully implement the new program, which they soon did.

Complete Citation

Saltzman, R. and V. Mehrotra, "A Call Center Uses Simulation to Drive Strategic Change," Interfaces, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 87_101, May_June 2001.


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