Seven sigma case study

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  • 1. Welcome to the Seven Sigma CaseThis interactive case study will evaluate your ability toapply the Behavior Plus model to a situation where theperformance of Customer Service Representatives youmanage must be improved. Carefully consider eachoption presented to you and select the best one. Morethan one option might be correct, but only one optioncan be the best answer to each situation.CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE
  • 2. Seven Sigma Case StudySeven Sigma Corporation (SSC) sells financial management software to a varietyof retail organizations that are primarily small businesses. Because most of SSC’scustomers are not sophisticated financial analysts or particularly “tech savvy.”Providing outstanding customer service is an important element of SSC’s valueproposition for customers.SSC customers who experience a problem with the Company’s software or simplyhave a question, can call a free “hotline” number that connects them to SSC’sCustomer Care Center. You are a manager at the Customer Care Center andsupervise a group of sixteen Customer Service Representatives. It has beenbrought to your attention that your company has been receiving some complaintsfrom customers about the service they have recently received.The company randomly contacts customers who have contacted on-line customerservice to obtain feedback about their overall level of satisfaction (on a 9-pointscale with 9 being completely satisfied) and obtain ideas about how to improvecustomer service. SSC also randomly records about 10% of all customerconversations with Customer Care Representatives (CCRs).Over the past year, the average level of customer satisfaction with the on-lineCustomer Service group has declined from 7.4 to 5.6. You must investigate thismatter and do something about improving the overall level.Mr. Lee, pictured above,is your boss and head ofCustomer Service forSeven Sigma. There is aproblem with theCustomer ServiceRepresentatives that youmanage. Mr. Leeexpects you to improvetheir performance usingwhat you have learnedabout Behavior Plus.Click HereTo continue…
  • 3. Option 2Option 3Option 1 Vghjvghj hjghjvghjv ghj vghjvghjvghjvghjvg hjvghjvghjvg jhvgjhgv asfas asfasdfs gdfgdfgdfgsdfgsdfg fdgdfsVghjvghj hjghjvghjvghj v ghjvghjvghjvghjvg hjvghjvghj vg jhvgjhgv adfd adsf sdsdfgfdgsdfgfd dfgfVghjvghj hjghjvghjvghj vghjvghjvghjvghjvg hjvghjvghjvg jhvg sdfgdsfgdfgfd gfds fgdfgdfgdfgsdf gdfsgfds df jhgvClick HereTo continue…In the slides that follow, Mr. Lee will provide some additional information aboutwhat’s happening at Seven Sigma and will ask you some questions about improvingthe performance of the people you manage. You need to respond to Mr. Lee’squestions by selecting one of the options that appear below the text boxes.In future slides you will automatically be taken to a new slide based on the Optionyou select when you click on one of the black icons on the left. Sometimes you canchose between three options and other times you will only have two options fromwhich to choose, or even four choices.To continue to the next slide that contains Mr. Lee’s first question, click on the “ClickHere” icon in the lower right corner of this slide.
  • 4. Option 2Option 3Option 1You could begin your investigation by conducting interviews with each of the CSRsworking for you to find out what their ideas are about improving customer satisfaction.These interviews could be conducted one-on-one or in small groups just before thework of a new shift begins.Seven Sigma makes random CSR recordings with customers. These recordings are keptfor one year. You could listen to these recordings to identify some of the key CSRbehaviors that seem to be related to the decline in customer satisfaction.Your company keeps contact information for all of your active customers. You couldcontact a random sample of customs who have recently called your Customer ServiceHotline and gather some of your customers’ ideas about what needs to be done toimprove your customer service.Mr. Lee knows the first step required to improve the performance ofthe Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) is to conduct adiagnostic investigation. What is the best next step you should take toconduct your investigation? Choose one of the options describedbelow.After clicking on one of the Option icons below, the wisdom of yourchoice will be revealed to you and Mr. Lee.
  • 5. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the best answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.The purpose of the Diagnosis step in the Behavior Plus process is to define the “As Is”situation along four dimensions. The first two of these steps are:First, describe the current level of the individual’s performance that needs to be improved. Itis important to be as specific as possible in describing the current performance targeted forimprovement.Second, pinpoint and describe the key behaviors that are producing the current level ofperformance.The best way for you to satisfy these first two steps is by listening to the random recordingsof your CSRs speaking with customers.
  • 6. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not pleased by your response.The purpose of the Diagnosis step in the Behavior Plus process is to define the “As Is”situation along four dimensions. The first two of these steps are:First, describe the current level of the individual’s performance that needs to be improved. Itis important to be as specific as possible in describing the current performance targeted forimprovement.Second, pinpoint and describe the key behaviors that are producing the current level ofperformance.The best way for you to satisfy these first two steps is by listening to the random recordingsof your CSRs speaking with customers.
  • 7. Option 2Option 3Option 1You should continue the diagnostic activities by conducting an investigation into theantecedents affecting the four key behaviors that seem to be producing thedissatisfaction with customer service.Investigating antecedents would be mostly a waste of time. The diagnosis should nowfocus on how to stop the four key behaviors just identified.The diagnostic phase of the Behavior Plus process is not complete. The next step in theprocess is to establish objectives related to “To Be” behaviors.After spending many hours listening to recent recordings of your CSRs’ conversationswith customers led you to conclude there are four key behaviors related to the declinein customer satisfaction:•Customer Service Representatives (CSR’s) do not always give customers theirnames or try to establish a rapport with the customer.• CSR’s do not always repeat the customer’s problem in a summary fashion toconvince the customer that the customers problem.•CSR’s too often interrupt customers while they are speaking as soon as the CSRbelieves they understand the customer’s problem.•CSR’s often re-direct the customer to another person without asking thecustomer’s permission first.Mr. Lee wants to know what you do next to continue your diagnosis?
  • 8. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the best answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.The Diagnosis phase of the Behavior Plus process is definitely not complete at this point.The next steps should involve the identification of important antecedents that are affectingthe key behaviors just identified.So, you’re on the right track. Keep up the good work and click on the blue button below tocontinue with this case study.
  • 9. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not pleased by your response.Investigating the antecedents related to the key behaviors is most definitely not a waste oftime. What were you thinking?Investigating the antecedents is exactly what you should do next. Click on the button belowto continue with this case study.
  • 10. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not pleased by your response.At least you were correct in assuming the Diagnosis step in the Behavior Plus process is notyet complete. The problem with your answer is suggesting you should focus on the “To Be”behaviors next. We will get around to that, but not next.The correct answer was the first Option – investigate the antecedents associated with thekey behaviors you just identified. Click on the button below to continue with this case study.
  • 11. Option 2Option 3Option 1 The training materials used to train the CSRs.The Customer Service Handbook the company gives to all new CSRs.Actually, I think both the training materials and the Customer Service Handbooks areimportant antecedents to the key behaviors that should be investigated.In a service center like this one, what are some of the antecedents you would like toinvestigate? What kinds of antecedents could possibly to related to the key behaviorsthat have been identified?Mr. Lee wants you to consider the four options below and select the most correctanswer.Option 4The training materials and Customer Service Handbook are not actually antecedents.Mr. Lee is trying to sneak in a “trick question” here and I’m not going to fall for it.
  • 12. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not pleased by your response.Picking Option 1 is not completely wrong, it is just not the best answer. Please click on thebutton below and you will be taken back to the four Options so you can choose anotheroption. Good luck next time!
  • 13. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not pleased by your response.Picking Option 2 is not completely wrong, it is just not the best answer. Please click on thebutton below and you will be taken back to the four Options so you can choose anotheroption. Good luck next time!
  • 14. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the best answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.Both of the antecedents described warrant further investigation. Good answer my friend!Click on the button below to continue with this case study.
  • 15. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not pleased by your response.Picking Option 4 was a big mistake. Options 1 and 2 refer to important antecedents thatshould be investigated. The question was not a trick. There were two other wrong answersto this question, but you picked the option that was the most wrong. Better luck next time.Click on the button below to continue.
  • 16. Option 2Option 3Option 1 Extinction.Punishment.Positive reinforcementMr. Lee has observed CSRs are trying to refer their customers to someone else asquickly as possible so they can avoid punishment resulting from allowing customers towait on line for more than two minutes. The Company has strongly emphasized theimportance of not allowing customers to wait for more than two minutes to speak witha CSR. Assuming Mr. Lee has accurately described what is happening, how would youdescribe the type of consequence at work here?Option 4 Negative reinforcement.
  • 17. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not pleased by your response.Not a good guess.Click on the button to return to the question so you can make another selection.
  • 18. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the best answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.Sure you got this one right, but it was really not that difficult. The key to identifying theconsequence was the revelation the CSRs were avoiding punishment. This is the basicdefinition of negative reinforcement.
  • 19. Option 2Option 3Option 1 Absolutely agree, without hesitation or qualification.Agree, but we must be careful of a potential conflict between these two objectives.Even with the revision of the goal on customer waiting more than two minutes from100% to 90%, there still could be a potential problem here. While I do agree with theproposal, it is with some hesitation.Sorry, but Mr. Lee is wrong and I’m going to tell him so. These are not reasonable “ToBe” performance objectives.You overhead Mr. Lee telling another manager there should be two “To Be”performance objectives – one related to the customer satisfaction rating and onerelated to how many customers wait more than two minutes to speak with a CSR. One“To Be” Objective should be to achieve a customer satisfaction rating of 7.5 (on the 9-point scale) within one year. This would represent a small improvement over where thecustomer satisfaction rating was about a year ago. The objective of having nocustomers wait more than two minutes to speak to a CSR must change. The newobjective should be 90% of customers should not wait more than two minutes to speakwith a CSR. These two objectives reflect the judgment that customer satisfaction is themost important objective. How long a customer has to wait to speak to a CSR isimportant, but it’s only one component of the customer’s overall service experience.Do you agree with these two “To Be” performance objectives?
  • 20. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the best answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.This is the best Option because Mr. Lee’s proposal is really fairly good, but there is apotential conflict between the two objectives. So, agreeing with the proposal but makingyour reservations known so special attention can be placed on goal conflict, makes a greatdeal of sense.Click below to continue with this case study.
  • 21. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not pleased by your response.Not a good decision. Some potential concern about potential conflict between the two goalsis realistic. But to completely dismiss these goals is just not warranted.Click below to continue.
  • 22. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee, however, is likely pleased by your response.Mr. Lee’s ideas are actually good, but there is some potential for conflict between the twogoals. So, don’t feel very bad for selecting this option.Click below to continue.
  • 23. Option 2Option 1 Absolutely agree – I would recommend these to Mr. Lee.No way! These are not appropriate and just goes to show how out of touch these CSRsreally are. Focusing on these key behaviors is a waste of time and will not improve ourcustomers’ satisfaction.Mr. Lee asked you to recommend four “To Be” key behaviors on which you should focusin order to improve performance among your CSRs. The CSRs met as a group andrecommended these four:1. Greet customers in a friendly way and introduce yourself by name.2. Secure the customer’s agreement that you understand there problem or questionby paraphrasing it. Do not transfer the call until reaching this agreement with thecustomer.3. Ask the for customer’s permission to transfer a call.4. Watch for the light that will flash red when a customer has been waiting to speakwith a CSR more than two minutes.Do you agree with these four “To Be” performance objectives and plan to recommendthem to Mr. Lee?
  • 24. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the best answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.Hey, these are quite reasonable key objectives on which to focus. They are also supportedby the CSRs since they are the ones who recommended them. Recommending them to Mr.Lee is a “no brainer.”Click below to continue with this case study.
  • 25. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is likely confused by your response.What were you thinking was the problem with these key behaviors? These are quitereasonable and appropriate for this situation.Click below to continue.
  • 26. Option 2Option 1 Absolutely agree – I would recommend this proposal to Mr. Lee.No way! This is just a waste of money.Mr. Lee wants to know if there is a potential problem with the competencies ofyour CSRs, given what the diagnosis revealed? A training firm recently proposeda one-day seminar to train new CSRs rather than relying so much on mentoring.The training firm will also revise the Customer Service Manual and review itscontent during their conduct of the proposed training program.What do you think about this proposal? Do you believe training and a revision tothe Customer Service Manual is really needed?
  • 27. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the best answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.Hey, it should be obvious that some type of CSR training is needed. Revising the CustomerService Manual also seems like a good idea at this point.Click below to continue with this case study.
  • 28. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is likely confused by your response.What were you thinking? This proposal seems quite reasonable and appropriate for thissituation.Click below to continue.
  • 29. Option 2Option 1Absolutely agree – recommend this proposal to Mr. Lee just the way it is describedhere.Good idea, but these are not enabling antecedents. They are initiating antecedents.You feel you need to come up with a “big idea” of your own to really show Mr.Lee that you understand how to improve performance.Your initial thought is to create some posters that can be placed directly in frontof CSR’s in their direct line of sight just above their computer screens. The signsremind CSRs: “My name is…”, “Do I understand your problem?”, “Can I transferyou to…?”You believe these are really great enabling antecedents that are quiteappropriate in this situation.Option 3 What a stupid idea. Think of something else.
  • 30. tCLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the best answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.This is a good idea and you correctly described this really involves initiating, not enablingantecedents.Click below to continue with this case study.
  • 31. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not please by your response.Yes, you are correct about this being a good idea. However, Mr. Lee knows these areinitiating, not enabling antecedents. So, he will like the idea but not knowledge of ABA.Click below to continue.
  • 32. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not a good answer! Mr. Lee is not please by your response.What is wrong with this idea? Actually, this proposal will likely work well. There onlyproblem has to do with referring to these as enabling rather than initiating antecedents.Click below to continue.
  • 33. Option 2Option 1Absolutely agree – recommend this proposal to Mr. Lee just the way it is describedhere.Good idea about what will be measured, but the frequency is not acceptable. Thesemeasurements should be made much more frequently than annually. Measurementsshould be made on a weekly or even daily basis if possible.The next issue we have to address is measurement. Do you think Mr. Lee willaccept a proposal to annually measure the following key areas as a reasonablemeasurement plan?The measurement of customer satisfaction on an annual basis. Themeasurement of how many and what percentage of customers waited on-line formore than two minutes. The monitoring of customer calls two hours per day.The monitor has a checklist to follow based on the three key behaviors beingsought by the Behavior Plus project, plus the length of the call. Outputs fromthese measurements take the form of written reports produced monthly in thecase of customer service, and weekly in the case of the other measures.
  • 34. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not please by your response.Yes, the idea about what should be measured is fine but the frequency is not at allacceptable.Click below to continue.
  • 35. tCLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the best answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.This is a good idea so long as the frequency issue is resolved.Click below to continue with this case study.
  • 36. Option 2Option 1Absolutely yes. I completely support this plan for feedback.No way. I will not accept this plan for feedback.Mr. Lee expects CSR’s will receive feedback weekly in the form of an e-mail. Onceper month, the Department Manager will meet with the CSR’s as a group todiscuss the monthly report on customer satisfaction and weekly reports. Inaddition to discussing these reports, the purpose of this monthly meeting is toplan actions to keep progress on track to meet the one-year performanceobjective. Special charts posted in the CSR team’s office space, depictingmonthly progress toward each of the team’s performance objectives helps focusCSR’s attention. The office space also includes letters and printed e-mails fromcustomers thanking and/or praising the work of CSR members.Will you support this plan for feedback?
  • 37. tCLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the best answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.This is a good plan for feedback. There might be better plans, but this one is really not thatbad and should work just fine.Click below to continue with this case study.
  • 38. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not please by your response.While it might not be perfect, this plan is really not that bad. You should have supported it.Click below to continue.
  • 39. Option 2Option 1 Absolutely yes. I completely support this plan to reduce an unwanted behavior.No way. I will not accept this plan.Mr. Lee wants to know how you are going to stamp out the unwanted behaviorof CSRs spending so much time reading and fooling around when they don’t havea customer waiting to speak with them. What do you think of giving CSR’s low-priority projects on which they can work when there were no customer calls totake? This could dramatically decrease the temptation not to spend the timewith customers required to create higher levels of customer satisfaction.Will you support this plan?
  • 40. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUESorry, not the best answer! Mr. Lee is not please by your response.This is a good shaping strategy to deal with an unwanted behavior.Click below to continue.
  • 41. tCLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the best answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.This is a good shaping plan to eliminate some unwanted behaviors. The CSRs might not beto happy with this at first, but it should work.Click below to continue with this case study.
  • 42. You have one final attempt to impress Mr. Lee. You asked several people to help you to develop a shapingstrategy for new behaviors. So far, here are the ideas: Each CSR who completes the one-day CustomerService seminar will receive a commemorative coffee cup. This applies to all existing CSR’s and all newemployees who complete the training.We previously described how someone would monitor CSR conversations with customers two hours perday – this time divided between two different CSR’s. The purpose of this monitoring is to evaluate CSR’sbehaviors in light of three of the key behaviors associated with the overall performance objectives. Eachtime a CSR achieved a 100% compliance evaluation from a one-hour monitoring session, the DepartmentManager would be informed immediately and he would briefly meet with the CSR as soon as possible togive the good news and warmly express appreciation and encourage continued success.Be sure to celebrate four milestones on the way to achieving a customer satisfaction rating 7.5 or higher.An increase of about 2.0 has needed to reach this goal.Each time the CRS team improved .5 from one month to another; there would be some extra “surprises”at the team’s monthly feedback meeting. The performance manager established a budget for specialcatering at the meetings, gift certificates, movie tickets, and the like. This budget included resources for aspecial celebration dinner for CRS members and their families when the customer satisfaction ratingreached 7.5. At your weekly team meeting, recognize CSR team members who achieved a 100% ratingfrom the monitoring process during that week in front of the entire group. The Department Managerwould praise all CSR team members who improve their rating from the previous month. At the monthlyteam meeting, praise the team for any improvement in performance toward the key behaviors and/orprogress toward performance objectives. With the achievement of one of the four milestones, announcethe details of the celebration and prizes.CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE
  • 43. Option 2Option 1 Absolutely yes. This is a great plan to shape the desired behaviors related to improvingCSR performance.No way. Do not share this plan with Mr. Lee.You really do think the plan outlined on the previous slide is great and will workquite well to shape the new behaviors required to significantly improve CSRperformance. Should the plan be submitted to Mr. Lee? This is your last chancein impress Mr. Lee.
  • 44. Sorry, not the best answer!This was your last chance and you blew it! There was nothing wrong with this plan. It wasdefinitely consistent with what you should have learned about Applied Behavior Analysis andthe Behavior Plus model.This brings our Seven Sigma Case Study to an end. Too bad it has ended on a sour note foryou. We do hope you had some fun and learned some thing from this experience.
  • 45. tCLICK HERE TO CONTINUECongrats you selected the correct answer! Mr. Lee is pleased by your response.This is a great plan. You would be wise to present this to Mr. Lee. This plan demonstratesyou understand the key principles of shaping. Congrats my friend.This brings our case study to an end. We hope you enjoyed the experience and learnedfrom it as well.