Staffing and Routing in a Two-Tier Call Centre
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Overview: This research paper from University of Rochester determines the staffing levels and referral rates that minimize the sum of staffing, customer waiting, and mistreatment costs and also compares the optimal gatekeeper system (a two-tier system) with a system staffed with only experts. When waiting costs are high, a direct-access system is preferred unless the gatekeepers have a high skill level. The paper also shows that an easily computed referral rate from a deterministic system closely approximates the optimal referral rate.