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Golfsmith Hits Hole-in-One with GMT's Call Center Workforce Management Software <


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November 11, 2009

Golfsmith Hits Hole-in-One with GMT's Call Center Workforce Management Software

By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet

Up until a few years ago, Golfsmith, a leading nationwide retailer of golf equipment and accessories, was using Excel spreadsheets to schedule the approximately 100 agents in its call center.

This presented a problem, as the company had grown significantly over the years, and its call center operations had become many times more complex. Not only had the breadth of merchandise expanded considerably, Golfsmith had increased the number of catalog drops to about 30 a year, in addition to adding new online promotions and other offers.

As a result, the volume and types of calls flooding into its call center grew in both raw numbers and sheer unpredictability. Each catalog drop and promotion generated its own demand curve -- and as the number of offers grew and overlapped, it became increasingly challenging for call center managers to plan their workforce management forecasts and schedules.

Compounding the scheduling challenge was the fact that the call center staff consisted of a large percentage of part-time students and senior citizens with limited availability.

Enter GMT Corp. and its GMT Planet workforce management solution. The system, which is available as an on-premises or Web-based solution, sports advanced analytics capabilities which enable call center managers to accurately forecast call volume and schedule agents accordingly.
As such, GMT was able to help Golfsmith address the challenge of matching supply of agents, on an inter- and intra-day basis, with the ever-changing stream of calls generated by the company’s variable pipeline of catalog drops and other promotional/marketing offers.

Using GMT Planet, Golfsmith now has the ability to create detailed staffing schedules delivering a greater degree of accuracy than spreadsheets can deliver.

In fact, when the company first put the GMT Planet workforce management solution to work and generated its first forecast, the results were so surprising that there was actually some skepticism among the call center staff regarding the system’s accuracy. Some feared that, based on the schedule, staffing would be “too lean,” resulting in unacceptably high hold time and abandon rates.

As a result, company management initially decided to keep the old system in place and use GMT Planet alongside for comparison purposes. At the end of a designated time period, management compared the two forecasts with the actual call logs and were surprised to discover that GMT’s projected forecast was in fact much more accurate than the call center team’s “experience-based” forecasts.

This, in turn, helped spur adoption of the GMT workforce management solution.

Later, Golfsmith was able to get even more value out of the system through its implementation of a home-based agent program. With GMT’s call center workforce management software, home agent stats such as schedule adherence can be tracked just the same as agents in the main center.

Later the company decided to implement the workforce management solution in its retail stores and back office departments as well.

“As we ramped up the learning curve, we became more and more impressed with GMT Planet’s powerful range of capabilities and found ourselves continually asking, ‘what else can this system do for us?’ as well as discovering that the system continued to wildly exceed our initial expectations,” said Kody Sweet, director of guest experience for Golfsmith, in a customer case study posted on GMT Corp.’s website. “I simply can’t imagine going back to our old system.”

Sweet said not only is management impressed with GMT’s technology and campaign forecasting capabilities, “but equally as important, their post-sales service is nothing short of amazing— personalized, responsive and accurate service that’s a huge differentiator in my eyes. GMT has truly delivered on their promise of helping us put the right people in the right place at the right time.”

To download a free copy of the Golfsmith customer case study, click here. To learn more about GMT Corp.’s call center workforce management solutions, click here.

Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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