Performance Evaluation Of Skill-Based Routing In An Inbound Call Center Using Stochastic Petri Nets
Mazumdar, Chandra Sen
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Call centers have become a preferred and prevalent means for companies to communicate with their customers. As a consequence of this, the call center industry has seen a huge growth in both volume and scope in the last couple of decades. Operations managers are challenged with the fact that personnel costs, especially staffing, account for over 65% of the cost of running the typical call center. The trade-off between service quality (marketing) and efficiency (operations), thus naturally arises, and a central goal of ours is to contribute to its understanding. We present here a server switching policy for routing of calls to Customer Service Representatives (CSR) in a multi-skilled inbound call center utilizing skill-based routing (SBR). We model the system as a queueing network and propose stochastic Petri net based models for the design and performance analysis of call centers. Our models and experimentations help in identifying practices that result in efficient usage of existing personnel in a call center. In our work, we have considered two types of scenarios in which a multi-skilled SBR call center handling inbound calls can function - (i) with specialist agents only, and (ii) with a mix of specialist and flexible agents. We have developed both these models and compared the rewards obtained from each of them. This analysis helped us answer important issues regarding the routing decision of calls to CSRs, identify the hedging point where one obtains the highest rewards and the impact of varying the strategic and tactical level decisions on the overall call center performance.
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