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Maffei Contact Center Pipeline Article - December 2015


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Maffei Contact Center Pipeline Article - December 2015

  1. 1. PERFORMANCE MATTERS CONTACT CENTER PIPELINE “Creating a sense of urgency, along with a well-thought- out, detailed quality process plan will go a long way toward creating a culture of involvement and success.” p. 4 QUALITY PROCESS PRINCIPLES FOR OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE DECEMBER 2015 by MICHAEL MAFFEI
  2. 2. 2 CONTACT CENTER PIPELINE ❘ DEC 2015 by Michael Maffei, Aledium Call Center HR Services QUALITY PROCESS PRINCIPLES FOR OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE Which quality methodology is right for your center? A review of the key principles of popular quality programs. zations like SOCAP, COPC, ICMI and others, but the quality principles described here are based on methodologies that are the foundation of all quality measurement principles. SIX SIGMA Six Sigma is, by far, the most prevalent and well known of all quality methodologies.Simply put, Six Sigma strives to improve the quality of a process by identifying and removing the root causes of the defects in that process or function. (In a contact center, think IVR call routing.) The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement in your contact center. The goal of Six Sigma is to eliminate vari- ability, errors and processes that undermine the customer experience.A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of the “customer’s expectations of service.” In a contact center then, a Six Sigma opportunity is the total quantity of chances for a defect for every cus- tomer touchpoint (e.g.,phone,chat,IVR,email, web,etc.).It is the overall process in evaluating every customer interaction with the contact center (people, process and technology). 6 ESSENTIAL THEMES To accomplish success within your contact center environment, there are six essential Six Sigma DMAIC themes (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) that are required: 1.A genuine focus on the customer experi- ence. 2. Data and fact-driven management in order to make accurate decisions. 3. Process-focused, management and improvement are ongoing. 4. Proactive and involved management at all levels is essential. 5. Boundary-less collaboration and involve- ment by every member of the contact center team 6.A drive for perfection and a tolerance for failure in order to ultimately succeed. In addition, the challenge is to also under- stand how your customers define and priori- tize the various needs and expectations they have of your contact center (again, the term, “Customers Expectation of Service”). Figure 1 CONTACT CENTER LEADERS ARE CONTINUALLY CHALLENGED TO BALANCE THE NEED FOR LONG-TERM QUALITY PROCESS MANAGEMENT WITH THE DAILY RESPONSIBILITIES OF MANAGING THE UNPREDICTABLE CALL CENTER ENVIRONMENT. IT’S VERY TALL ORDER, INDEED. This article is not about quality monitoring, rather a defined quality process plan that pro- vides continual and consistent measurements of success. Throughout my 20-plus years in the contact center industry, the ability to accu- rately measure and monitor every process in our operation through a defined methodology was the key element that I ensured was always in place. I’m not alluding to the traditional SLA, WFM or QM type measurements, but a defined process that regularly evaluates all functional areas (people, process, technology) to ensure optimal contact center performance. How these quality controls are effectively incor- porated, or better yet, balanced, is essential in ultimately determining and measuring operational success and the overall customer experience your contact center provides. I’ve been fortunate to have worked for some WHEN PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS FOCUS PRIMARILY ON QUALITY, QUALITY TENDS TO INCREASE AND COSTS FALL OVER TIME. great companies over the years that have provided training and certification in several recognized quality processes and methodolo- gies. Though I have practiced and have been inclined toward Six Sigma principles, I’ve never hesitated to incorporate a mixture of approaches, depending on the situation that I’ve encountered. If your contact center doesn’t have a defined quality process or methodology in place, the purpose of this article is not to influence one path over another, but to present several approaches to get you thinking about what may work for your own operation. I realize that there are a variety of approaches from organi- PERFORMANCE MATTERS MICHAEL MAFFEI
  3. 3. DEC 2015 ❘ 3 summarizes how customers view an organiza- tion and how the contact center plays a role. TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT (TQM) The core definition of total quality manage- ment (TQM) describes a structured manage- ment approach to success through the overall customer experience. In a TQM effort within a contact center, all members of the operation participate in improving processes, products, services and the culture. PHILIP B. CROSBY: “QUALITY IS FREE” I had the pleasure of meeting Philip Crosby during my time at Progressive Insurance where I trained and became certified in his program. His book, Quality is Free, though published in 1979, is still viewed as one of the lead- ing authorities on quality principles. Crosby’s quality mantra is “Doing it right the first time.” He believed that an organization which estab- lishes good quality management principles will see savings returns that more than pay for the cost of the quality system (hence, “quality is free”). It is less expensive to do it right the first time than to pay for doing it over again. 4 MAJOR PRINCIPLES In his book, Crosby’s approach to quality is summarized in his 14 steps that included these four major principles: 1.The definition of quality is conformance to requirements (requirements meaning both the product and/or service and the customer’s requirements/expectations). 2.The system of quality is prevention. 3.The performance standard is zero defects (relative to requirements/expectations). 4.The measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance. The following are Crosby’s 14 Steps to Quality: Management commitment: The need for quality improvement must be recognized and adopted by management, with an emphasis on the need for defect prevention. Quality improvement is equated with profit improve- ment. Quality improvement team: Representa- tives from each department or function should be brought together to form a quality improve- ment team.These should be people who have sufficient authority to commit the area they represent to action. Quality measurement: The status of qual- ity should be determined throughout the company. This means establishing quality measures for each area of activity that are recorded to show where improvement is pos- sible, and where corrective action is necessary. Crosby advocates delegation of this task to the people who actually do the job, so setting the stage for defect prevention on the job, where it really counts. Cost of quality evaluation: The cost of quality is not an absolute performance measurement, but an indication of where the action necessary to correct a defect will result in greater profitability. Quality awareness: This involves, through training and the provision of visible evidence of the concern for quality improvement, making employees aware of the cost to the company of defects. Corrective action: Discussion about prob- lems will bring solutions to light and also raise other elements for improvement. People need to see that problems are being resolved on a regular basis. Corrective action should then become a habit. Zero-defects planning: Create a committee to implement the program and communicate the meaning of zero defects in a way that aligns with the company and its culture. Supervisor training: All managers should undergo formal training on the 14 steps before they are implemented. A manager should understand each of the 14 steps well enough to be able to explain them to his or her people. Zero-defects day: It is important that the commitment to zero defects as the perfor- mance standard of the company makes an impact, and that everyone gets the same mes- sage in the same way. Goal setting: Each supervisor gets his or her people to establish specific, measurable goals to strive for. Usually, these comprise 30-, 60- and 90-day goals. Error-cause removal: Employees are asked to describe on a simple, one-page form any problems that prevent them from carrying out error-free work. Problems should be acknowl- edged within 24 hours by the function or unit to which the problem is addressed. This con- stitutes a key step in building trust, as people will begin to grow more confident that their problems will be addressed and dealt with. Recognition: It is important to recognize those who meet their goals or perform out- standing acts with a prize or award, although this should not be in financial form.The act of recognition is what is important. Quality Councils: The quality professionals and team leaders should meet regularly to discuss improvements and upgrades to the quality program. Do it over again: During the course of a typical program, which lasts from 12 to 18 months, turnover and change will dissipate much of the educational process. It is impor- tant to set up a new team of representatives Continued on page 4 Product or Service Features, Attributes, Dimen- sions, Characteristics Relating to the Function of the Product or Service, Reliability, Availability, Taste, Effectiveness - Also Freedom from Defects. Prices to Consumer (Initial Plus Life Cycle), Repair Costs, Purchase Price, Financing Terms, Deprecia- tion, Residual Value Wait Times, Turnaround Times, Setup Times, Cycle Times, Delays Ethical Business Conduct, Environmental Impact, Business Risk Management, Regulatory and Legal Compliance FIGURE 1: CUSTOMERS’ EXPECTATION OF SERVICE REPUTABLE ORGANIZATION SUPERIOR QUALITY COMPETITIVE PRICING EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE
  4. 4. 4 CONTACT CENTER PIPELINE ❘ DEC 2015 Mike Maffei is Founding Partner of Aledium Call Center HR Services. He has 20+ years’ experience working with leading companies to transform contact center operations, including identifying and attaining critical success factors for Operational Excellence and Customer Experience. ( PERFORMANCE MATTERS | QUALITY PROCESS PRINCIPLES FOR OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE and begin the program over again, starting with zero-defects day. This starting over again helps quality to become ingrained in the organization. W. EDWARDS DEMING: QUALITY VS. COSTS W. Edwards Deming is widely known as the father of quality principles and for launching the total quality management movement (TQM) first outlined in his book Out of Crisis. Deming taught that, by adopting appropriate principles of management, organizations can increase quality and simultaneously reduce costs (i.e., by reducing waste, rework and staff attrition while increasing customer loyalty).The key is to practice continual improvement. When people and organizations focus pri- marily on quality, defined by the formula below, quality tends to increase and costs fall over time. However, when people and organizations focus primarily on costs, costs tend to rise and quality declines over time. Quality = Results of work efforts Total Costs 10 KEY IMPLEMENTATION STEPS Regardless of which quality principles or pro- grams you decide to follow, there are 10 key implementation steps that are imperative for creating a genuine quality process program and culture in your contact center. 1. Identify the business role of the contact center and its core functions and processes. 2. Identify key customers, along with customer needs and expectations. 3. Accurately measure current performance to determine baseline objectives. 4. Analyze and identify weaknesses and opportunities in every process. 5. Develop and implement process redesign. 6. Strengthen your case for quality processes. Explain how the solution will fit into the organization.Who will be affected? How? 7. Communicate with all levels in the organization who may be affected by your recommendation. 8. Review your implementation plan solicit feedback. 9. Make sure everyone understands why the solution is needed. 10. Be prepared to sell your recommendations. ULTIMATE GOAL: PRESENT SOLUTIONS I encourage you to learn more about the dif- ferent approaches discussed in this article. Implementing a full-fledged quality initiative in your contact center is not easy. Your ultimate goal is to present solutions that will work and will be accepted throughout the organization. Creating a sense of urgency, along with a well-thought-out, detailed quality process plan will go a long way toward creating a culture of involvement and success. Continued from page 3
  5. 5. 5Pipeline Articles PIPELINE PUBLISHING GROUP, INC. PO Box 3467, Annapolis, MD 21403 • (443) 909-6951 • Copyright ©2015, Pipeline Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of Contact Center Pipeline in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without prior written permission from the publisher. About Contact Center Pipeline Contact Center Pipeline is a monthly instructional journal focused on driving business success through effective contact center direction and decisions. Each issue contains informative articles, case studies, best practices, research and coverage of trends that impact the customer experience. Our writers and contributors are well-known industry experts with a unique understanding of how to optimize resources and maximize the value the organization provides to its customers. To learn more, visit: Download complete issues, articles, white papers, and more at C ONNECT WITH PIPELINE • @CCPipeline