What service should we offer our customers?

Seems like a pretty straight forward question, right? It would be, if service were free. But service is not free.

At each service level goal, there is an implied cost. And lowering cost is another of those goals. So our two goals are: lower costs and provide service. But those are not the only two goals! We also don’t want to burn out our agents with too high an occupancy, we want to provide training and professional growth for our employees, we want to sell product (for sales or collections centers), and so on…

A simple trade-off sensitivity curve, cost versus service level is below.


How we answer questions with competing objectives can be tricky, but what is certain is that the analyses required to make such trade-offs explicit is a longer term model of the contact enter network.The analyst needs to be able to determine cost, service, occupancy, training, overtime, and a bunch of other important metrics associated with any planning scenario. If you know the value of these metrics for a scenario, you can determine the trade-offs associated with competing scenarios.

By using your strategic planning system, you can find the answers to your multi-objective operation.

Ric Kosiba

Ric Kosiba

Ric Kosiba

I joined Interactive Intelligence in August 2012 as part of the Bay Bridge Decision Technologies acquisition. I helped found that company back in 2000 and thoroughly enjoyed working with our brilliant development and operations research team, which helped us become the leading U.S. supplier of long-term forecasting and planning solutions. In my current role as vice president of the Bay Bridge Decisions Group, I’m responsible for the development and enhancement of our contact center capacity planning and analysis product line. I tripped into the call center industry about 22 years ago and can honestly say that I still love it. I hold an M.S.C.E., B.S.C.E., and Ph. D in Operations Research and Engineering from Purdue University (go Boilers!). I reside in Maryland with my wife and four children. I love being a dad and enjoy coaching kid’s football, basketball and lacrosse.