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Using Quality Management To Improve KPIs
âDo more with less.â
This seems to be top managementâs mantra these days. Contact centersâ performance is intensively measured, often down to the second, with KPI data such as average handling time (AHT) or first contact resolution (FCR).
With so much data available, the pressure is on to shave seconds off of call lengths and solve more problems the first time around.
You can use your quality team, their expertise, and their technology, to do this. The tried and tested Lean Six Sigma process improvement methodology can be applied to such problems. It can be summarized with the handy acronym âDMAIC.â
Hereâs how we would use this approach to make systemic reductions in AHT.
D for Define
In this stage, you define the aim and the scope of your project. For our example, the aim is to reduce AHT, so reducing the cost per call and the number of agents to handle a specific call volume.
The scope of the project might be for one team as a pilot project before rolling it out across the contact center.
This is also the stage where you recruit your project team. You will want a couple of agents, someone who can get hold of and analyze data, and a senior sponsor who should take a âhands offâ role but win you the co-operation of team leaders, etc.
In our example, our aim is to reduce AHT by 10%. We are using a small team of 10 agents for the pilot, and the project team consists of two experienced agents, a data analyst, and the facilitator.
M for Measure
Our critical to quality KPI is AHT. We want to reduce this by 10%. Now we need to figure out what might be the root causes that are making the calls so long.
We ask our agents to map out the call flow and after-call work process as they experience it. Itâs tempting for the facilitator to use a flow diagram from IT. Agents often use multiple applications which donât fit easily into a flow diagram. Agents often develop âworkaroundsâ when things donât work. They start as temporary measures, but then balloon into permanent institutions.
Itâs best to have these discussions with agents without management being present. Agents may not be willing to express themselves so freely in the presence of someone who can fire them.
Start by creating a simple process description with a âSIPOCâ diagram. If need be, you can flesh it out with more detail.
Once you have defined the process, then you need to brainstorm all the possible reasons why the calls might be long. For details on how to brainstorm, please see âfurther readingâ below.
Now you have your top 10 suspected root causes. You will decide how to measure them.
You will probably use them as evaluation criteria on a call listening form. For more details on creating such a form, please see âfurther readingâ below. If you have speech analytics technology, you may be able to automate some or all of these measurement activities, which will give you a much larger sample size.
Calls are either longer than or shorter than AHT, so we want to select two sample groups, one longer and one shorter
We listen to the calls and count the presence of the suspected root causes in them.
A for Analyze
Once you have listened to your sample, count how many times evidence of each root cause is found in the sample of âlongâ calls and how many times evidence of each root cause is found in the sample of âshortâ calls.
Where the evidence mostly appears in the longer calls, these are likely to be the real root causes. Where the evidence appears equally in both samples or mostly in the shorter calls, then these will not be the root causes of the calls being longer.
You have now identified your root causes based on data.
I for Improve
If the verified root cause is the result of agent behavior, then you can correct it with appropriate training.
If the verified root cause is the result of some system issueâfor example, agents are using an application that loads slowlyâthen you may need to look into improving the applicationâs performance.
If there are specific steps in the process that are slowing the agents down, then you may need to adjust the process.
There should be some scope for improvements.
C for Control
After taking corrective action, you will want to see if you have reduced AHT by 10%.
Itâs not hard to get those results.
You will now want to see if the change in AHT was the result of the root causes you identified.
Run the same measurement program for calls longer or shorter than AHT again. If the longer calls contain evidence of the same root causes in the same proportions as they did before, then your efforts may have been for nothing, and you did not find the root causes.
Do you need to get a grip on your KPIs and âDo more with lessâ? Perhaps this might help. If youâd like to know more, Iâd love to hear about it!
Here is my article on brainstorming: How To Run A Brainstorming Session
Here is my article on quality standards: Creating Quality Standards For Contact Centers
Summary Sunday: Issue #486
Summary Sunday includes current articles about crucial job search topics. Have a look at this week’ s release. In this week’ t summary, you’ ll discover articles to help an individual improve your job lookup: Why are some work harder to find together with how to uncover these people Watch out for rescinded job offers How that will find people hiring inside your network […]
The write-up Summary Sunday: Issue #486 appeared very first on Career Sherpa .
You may have heard people say to you, “It’s always easier to get a job when you are already employed.” But have you ever asked why this is?
There’s absolutely no evidence to prove that anyone going for a job, who is already in full-time employment, stands any better chance of being offered a position than someone who is currently out of work. So, if we are to believe this is just the way the system works, then it could be worth looking at what the reasons might be.
Here are some possible explanations as to why those in work are deemed as more employable than those who aren’t.
1. It’s Easier To Avoid Tricky Interview Questions
Having to explain why you left your last job or why you were told to leave your last job is never easy, but it’s still something potential employers love to ask you about. If you are employed, then your options are much greater in terms of what you can say in an interview. You could say, “I’m looking for a new challenge” or “My current job just doesn’t offer me the challenges I want.” So, you can take your pick of reasons for wanting to find a new employer if you’re already on the payroll. If you’re not absolutely sure how to explain why you quit your job (or why you’re not currently employed), that could cause problems for you in the job interview.
2. You Make More Contacts
You can’t underestimate the power of good networking, and there is more chance of you networking when you are working and not sitting at home. The people you work with could mention companies looking to hire people, or you may meet someone that has just left a firm—meaning a new vacancy has been created. Also, when you’re employed, you’re better able to add value to your professional network on LinkedIn by posting content about what you’re currently working on in your job, proving to your connections you’re a valuable person in your industry. If you’re unhappy at work and looking for a new job, keep your ear to the ground and prioritize online networking!
3. You Have More Time
Regardless of how much you hate your current job, the fact that you are working and still earning means you have the time to look elsewhere. You know the rent will be paid at the end of the month. So, use your time constructively.
4. You Have Greater Self-Confidence
Confidence is everything when looking for a job. If you are already in full-time employment, it’s a pretty good bet that you’ll exude more self-confidence than someone who isn’t. This might not be a conscious act, but the fact that the “pressure is off” might have something to do with it. However, don’t be cocky, because there is nothing more off-putting to an employer than arrogance—no matter confident you may be.
5. You Have Relevant Experience
The fact that you have been chosen by your current employer suggests that you have enough relevant experience to hold down your position, right? This is experience that other candidates you are up against may not have (assuming you are going for a job in a similar field). So, it’s well worth highlighting any strengths that you have when going for a new job and mentioning all the experience you have gained in your present role when starting your new job search. Quantify your work experience on your resume and use the “Experience + Learn = Grow” model to answer behavioral interview questions in your next interview to stand out from the competition!
If you’re thinking about quitting your current job before looking for a new one, think again. The above reasons are why it’s easier to find a job when you already have one. Staying employed (if you can help it) is the best way to ensure you have a quick, easy, and successful job search.
We know it’s easier said than done, though. We understand how difficult it is to find a job, especially if you’re feeling lost, trapped, or burned out in your career. If you’re struggling to find a job that’s right for you, we can help.
We’d love it if you joined our FREE community. It’s a private, online platform where workers, just like you, are coming together to learn and grow into powerful Workplace Renegades.
It’s time to find work that makes you feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. Join our FREE community today to finally become an empowered business-of-one!
This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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