This study investigates the manpower planning and the performance of a national call center dealing with car repairs and on the road interventions. We model the impact of advertising on the capacity required. The starting point is a forecasting model for the incoming calls, where we take into account the impact of radio and TV commercials. An autoregressive-distributed lag model is used, which accounts for time-varying autoregressive effects. With our estimation results, we construct a forecasting tool based on a weekly media plan, and compare its forecasts with forecasts under baseline conditions without advertising. Next, the forecasts are fed into to the capacity planning simulation module. We simulate the process directly at the level of seconds. This simulation mimics the service level requirements and queue behavior (waiting times, abandoned calls and idle time). The simulations show that the call center is operating at a high level of efficiency and performance. At the same time, we show that advertising may lead to a temporary overload of the system, and this increases the amount of abandoned calls, which is suboptimal.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Call Center, Service Operations, Capacity Management, Discrete Event Simulation
Sponsor The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Flanders Research Foundation (FWO) (Project number: G.0361.07).
Persistent URL
Series Econometric Institute Research Papers
Kiygi Calli, M, Weverbergh, M, & Franses, Ph.H.B.F. (2017). Call center performance with direct response advertising (No. EI2017-04). Econometric Institute Research Papers. Retrieved from