First Call Resolution How to Do it...


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I will provide you with a systematic process to implement and sustain successful FCR in your company. The following aspects and areas should be considered in First Call Resolution analysis with the Six Sigma Methodology.

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First Call Resolution How to Do it...

  1. 1. FIRST CALL RESOLUTION How to do it… By J. M. Rivera P. 1
  2. 2. WHITE PAPERFIRST CALL RESOLUTION: How to do it… By J. M. Rivera February 2011Part IFirst Call Resolution (FCR) is properly addressing the customers needs the first timethey call, thereby eliminating the need for the customer to follow up with a secondcall. The first time I heard about FCR was in 1997. The concept was very innovativeand known as First Contact (FC). At that time, FC proposed a new approach, whichemphasized the importance of providing the customer with the solution on the firstcall.First Call Resolution has evolved over time; now you can find many corporationsthat have successfully established FCR. Examples include GE Financial, ATT,Alltel, T- Mobile, Verizon, Purdue University, Scotiabank, Jackson National LifeInsurance, Blue Cross, Stream Global Services Inc, The Primas Group, Office Max,and many more.Today, one of the most common call center performance metrics measured isaverage handle time, or simply AHT. In general, low average handle times aredesirable. However, fast talk time accompanied by poor first call resolution rates area sign that customer calls are not being answered satisfactorily causing repeated andescalated calls to managers. When a company focuses on lowering AHT but ignoresthe quality of the calls handled, this will result in higher operational costs, negativeimpact to the corporate image, and lower customer satisfaction.Today, FCR is one of the most important metrics for a call center, as there is a highcorrelation between FCR and customer satisfaction. Convergys1 study results haveshown that, on average, improving FCR by just 2.5% increased customer satisfactionby more than 4 points. In addition, operational costs were reduced by more than15%.FCR is a new paradigm to transform your call center. Here are a few benefits ofusing FCR: • Increase customer satisfaction • Increase employee satisfaction • Reduce repeated calls • Improve corporate image • Reduce operation costs • Increase customer retention (loyalty) • Increase opportunities to sell1 P. 2
  3. 3. Creating and implementing FCR takes time, because it involves the transformationof people, processes, and technology (Figure 1). FCR can be difficult to measure;call centers use several methods to evaluate it, from very simple to highly complex.These methods can include call statistics, performance reports, quality assurance, andthe customer expectations regarding FCR.I will provide you with a systematic process to implement and sustain successfulFCR in your company. The following aspects and areas should be considered in FCRanalysis with the Six Sigma Methodology.Figure 1: FCR is about people, processes, and technologyFCR focuses on internal and external customers. Your call center must build andpromote a culture in which the agent is an essential part of the FCR philosophy.Agents build the relationship between the customer and the company and are themost important employees in the company. Along with providing individualizedfeedback to the agent, there are other agent-specific factors that affect FCR whichwill be discussed in further detail below.CREATING A FIRST CALL RESOLUTION CULTUREIn order to create a FCR culture, you need to understand what kind of culture alreadyexists within your organization. For FCR to be effective, it is very important todevelop a culture that supports the goal of providing superior customer service.What is organizational culture? Organizational culture is the personality of theorganization. It is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms, and tangible signs oforganization members and their behaviors. Paul Levy PhD says about organizationaland cultural transformation: P. 3
  4. 4. “Organization transformation2 is a term that refers to any intervention primarily directed toward creating a new vision for an organization and changing its beliefs, purpose, and mission”. “Culture change2 is the alteration of a pattern of beliefs, values, norms, and expectations shared by organization members”.One of your key leadership tasks should be to create an environment where youremployees become passionate about your philosophy, vision, and mission. The bestway to modify organizational culture is to incorporate a new philosophy. To achieveFCR you need to believe and strive to fulfill customers needs, and solve theirproblems in the first call. Your mission is to drive and incorporate this philosophy inyour workplace. How could you incorporate the following rules to transform yourcompany environment?FOUR RULES IN FCR PHILOSOPHY 1. Our mission is to solve the customers problem on the first call 2. Believe that Rule #1 is possible and can be true for your company 3. Do your part to make this change 4. Make it happenThe Six Sigma Methodology leads us to ask the very important question “Does yourcompany culture have the appropriate values and motivation to reach FCR?” If youranswer is yes, then you are off to a good start.CUSTOMERSWho are your customers? All corporations have two types of customers: external andinternal. The external customers are those that purchase goods or services from yourcompany. The internal customers are your employees (agents, supervisors, andmanagers), who offer their time, service, knowledge, and experience to the company.The first step in FCR is focusing your attention on both types of customers.Happy customers are the key to long-term growth and profitability. If you can keepyour external and internal customers happy, you will be successful at achievingcustomer satisfaction in your line of business. Remember, FCR is focused onmeeting the needs of both types of customers.In the Six Sigma Methodology, we use VOC (voice of customer) to obtain thecustomer’s expectations. VOC is the main reason to participate in continuousimprovement efforts. Listening to the customer is very important in implementingFCR. If you listen to your customer, you will discover exactly what the customerwants or needs.2 Industrial / Organization Psychology by Paul Levy, p. 406 P. 4
  5. 5. AGENTSNow, it is time to talk about agents. I want to provide the big picture of what happensin the call center environment.Agents are on the front line between your company and the customer. Agents workeight hours a day dealing with customers problems or situations. This means thatagents handle the stress and frustration of customers in addition to the stress of theirwork environment. This high level of stress will have an effect on their performanceand impact customer satisfaction, especially when trying to solve customersproblems on the first call.In my 12 years of experience in the call center environment, I did many studies thatexamined the relationship between agent morale, motivation, and attrition rates.Why? If agents have low motivation and morale, this leads to emotional exhaustionand high attrition (turnover). You will also have dissatisfied agents and customers.When these situations exist, it is difficult to reach a high FCR score.Let me explain this in a different way. Suppose you have a beautiful highperformance sports car with a lot of horse power that can accelerate to 60 mph in 3.7seconds. Driving this car is an exciting experience. But then you remove or drain theengine oil and drive the car again. What will happen? Obviously, you are not goingto get very far. In this analogy, the car is the call center structure, and the agent is theengine oil. FCR it is a holistic approach that will strive to serve your agent engine sothat your call center can move smoothly full speed ahead to success.Now I will illustrate in more detail the relationship between agents stress and theirperformance in FCR with the following case studies: The Mental Health and Stress among Call Center Employees3 study aimed to find out both the level of stress and the overall mental health among call center employees. The following situations were found to engender stress in the call center work environment: 1. The work culture is more strict and systematic. 2. Poor support from their immediate supervisor, promoting low control and limited opportunities to influence their work. Due to the high levels of stress, this study also found that a higher proportion of the agents reported muscular-skeletal symptoms as a physical manifestation of their stressful work environment, which in turn caused an increase in absences.3 Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, Mental Health and Stress among Call Center Employees, July 2008,Vol. 34, No.2, 215-220. P. 5
  6. 6. Another interesting study is “Roll stress in call center: Its effects on employeeperformance and satisfaction4”. This study found a direct relationship betweenagents stress and the demands of their company, supervisor, and customers. Highstress levels were shown to have an effect on agents performance and satisfaction,as well as their ability to provide resolution on the customers first call. The studystated: “Frequently, call center employees experience role stress as a result of the conflicting demands of the company, supervisors, and customers. In this study, investigated antecedents and consequences of role stress in a call center setting are examined. Specifically, we investigate which forms of empowerment and leadership styles decrease role stress and how this subsequently effects job satisfaction, organizational commitment, performance, and turnover intentions. It was found that particularly the autonomy dimension of empowerment has a role-stress-reducing effect. Interesting substantive direct positive effects of empowerment competence and leadership consideration on job satisfaction were found”The SQM Group case study, “Correlation between employee satisfaction, customersatisfaction, and first call resolution 5“deals with the link between employeesatisfaction and customer satisfaction for private and public call centers. The studywas focused on the following five areas: o Customer and employee satisfaction link o Employee attribution important ranking o Employee attribution satisfaction ranking o Employee satisfaction improvement areas o Business case why to improve employee satisfactionThe study demonstrated that when employees are satisfied, customers will besatisfied to an even greater extent, i.e. a 1% increase in employee satisfactionrepresents an approximately 2% increase in customer satisfaction. This study alsofound that a 2.5% improvement in call center employee satisfaction reduces theaverage calls needed to resolve a call, and a 1% improvement in FCR corresponds to1% improvement in customer satisfaction.Keep these three studies in mind; they are tools you can use to assess the level ofstress within your companys call center environment. As Richard Branson put it, "Ifyou look after your internal customers you dont have to worry about the externalcustomers."4 Journal of Interactive Marketing. Roll stress in call center: Its effects on employee performance and satisfaction. By Ko DeRuyter, Martin Wetzels, and Richard Feinber. Volume 15 / Number 2 / Spring 2001. Direct Marketing Educational Foundation,Inc.5 Call Center Employee Satisfaction and Customer Satisfaction Link, by Mike Desmarais, SQM Group P. 6
  7. 7. It is important that you ask the appropriate questions to obtain the agent VOC andthen translate this VOC to CTQ. In addition, I recommend doing a study todetermine what the level of employee engagement6 is. This is another step towardreaching FCR.SUPERVISORSYour supervisor is your quarterback:The greatest desire of any football team is to have the best quarterback. Why? Thequarterback is responsible for organizing the entire team so they can achieve the goalof winning the game. This analogy helps show how important a supervisor’s role isin FCR. The supervisor is responsible for transferring the FCR philosophy to agents.He or she needs to be coherent by targeting the four emotional vectors7 “What theythink, feel, say, and do will go toward the same direction in order to reach the goal”of helping customers solve their problems.Nevertheless, we do not always have the most competent supervisors in charge. Inmy experience in training and coaching communication, management, and behavior-shaping skills to supervisors, I found that ineffective supervisors often share manycharacteristics. They are frequently highly stressed and highly task-oriented (and notpeople-oriented), they usually have low-resolve conflict skills (a win-win approach),a high level of frustration with the team and the general administration, and tend tomicromanage their agents. These behaviors and management styles in turn have animpact on the agents.This can be illustrated with the case study “The Sacrificial HR Strategy in CallCenters8”. The study finds that: “There was a divergence between managers and subordinates in their perceptions of management style. With heavily task-focused control systems, this type of organization would appear to need supportive supervision to manage employee burnout (Frenkel et al, 1998). Consistent with this observation, the case studies revealed that eleven out of fourteen of the team leaders and center managers identified themselves as being relations or6 Employee engagement, also called worker engagement, is a business management concept. An "engaged employee" is onewho is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organizations interests.According to Scarlett Surveys, "Employee Engagement is a measurable degree of an employees positive or negative emotionalattachment to their job, colleagues and organization which profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform atwork". Thus engagement is distinctively different from employee satisfaction, motivation and organizational culture.7 The Four Emotional Vectors to be Successful By J.M. Rivera 20048 The Sacrificial HR Strategy in Call Centers By Catriona M.Wallace, Geoff Eagleson and Robert Waldersee. Published in:International Journal of Service Industry Management, (2000) Vol 11 Number 2 p. 174-185 P. 7
  8. 8. relations/task-focused. However, twenty out of the twenty-seven team leaders and agents regarded their direct supervisor as being task focused” “Some agents noted that an individuals style would change when they were promoted into a management role. When someone who was regarded as relations-focused is appointed a team leader, they become task-focused within a short period of time. One agent said of her team manager: “She scares me”. Stats are her priority and we are dragged over the coals if we don’t make them. We now doubt her sincerity as a people person in the first place”. The productivity focused control systems were seen as being reinforced by managers. The complementary support function appeared to be absent in the perception of most employees”The top priorities for the supervisor in FCR are the agents and the customers. Thesupervisor needs to maintain a healthy balance between the task-oriented and people-oriented approaches. Supervisors need to make good, consistent, and solid decisionsto give any team a decided advantage toward reaching their goals.What skills or qualities do good supervisors exemplify? He or she needs to be ateam leader, a teacher, a mentor, and a coach. The supervisor is a communicator,motivator, and role model who also has a sense of humor and the ability to positivelyinfluence agents behavior. With the many demands placed upon the supervisor, heor she must be very flexible and able to adapt to an ever-changing environment.In the define phase of your FCR Six Sigma project, make sure to observe yoursupervisors carefully. If you find that your supervisor is not successfully carrying outwork responsibilities or he or she uses a management style that runs counter to theFCR, it is time for a change. Remember, FCR is about people, processes, andtechnology.HUMAN RESOURCEHuman resources play an important role in assisting agents to reach their FCR goalby ensuring that specific skill-sets are considered during the recruiting and hiringprocess.When I talk with the Human Resources Managers, my first question is, “How do youknow whether or not the person you are recruiting has the emotional skills to be acustomer care agent?” The typical reaction is 15 seconds of silence. The recruiterdoes not have any idea. It is difficult to measure one’s emotional ability to solveproblems. For this reason, when I am recruiting I like to use an EmotionalIntelligence test. Why? P. 8
  9. 9. “Emotional Intelligence9 or E. I. refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. E.I. is the area of cognitive ability involving traits and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behavior. Intelligence can be broadly defined as the capacity for goal-oriented adaptive behavior; emotional intelligence focuses on the aspects of intelligence that govern self- knowledge and social adaptation”I recommend an E.I. test to provide you with a better idea of how well the candidatecan handle their emotions and solve problems.Another function for human resources is to handle attrition. A 15% or lower rate ofattrition is reasonable, but more than 15% means that you probably have an internalproblem. High attrition is an operational problem and an operational cost, and it canbe due to a high level of stress in the work environment.This chart10 explains why agents leave and how to prevent turnover. You can alsosee the relationship between management style, supervision, and company culture.Figure 2: Turnover cycleAn additional function of Human Resources is to be a thermometer that measures thestress level among call center employees. Human Resources should use surveys togauge employee satisfaction and organize focus groups with agents every 6 months9 Emotional Intelligence By Daniel Goleman 199510 P. 9
  10. 10. to obtain an internal VOC. In your FCR analysis, you are going to need this valuableinformation.TRAINING AND TRAINERAnother area you need to evaluate is your training process and your trainers. Theagents need to have a good understanding of products and services, operationalprocedures, organizational structure, CRM application, culture organization, stateand federal regulations that apply to your LOB, problem solving, and the psychologyof communication. I recommend analyzing how effective the agent is learning bymonitoring learning curves and the training curriculum. Additionally, how efficientlydoes the trainer transfer information to the agents? You will probably find some gapsin these areas of the training process.When I analyzed the training process, I studied the training curriculum and thetraining time the company has. My results are described by the distribution in(figure 3):Figure 3: Times distribution trainingYou can see that 80% of the training time is spent learning about the product orservices, CRM application, and operational procedure. Only 20% of the time isallotted for structural organization, regulation, psychological communication,problem solving, and cultural organization. This means that most of the trainingfocuses on the product or services and operational procedure with little emphasis onunderstanding the cultural organization of the company or how to apply thisknowledge to the customer. In this case, I recommend that the above-mentionedequation be adjusted to 60%/ 40% to achieve the best results. P. 10
  11. 11. Having a well-balanced training curriculum is important in order to reach FCR. Dr.Kaoru Ishikawa describes how important educating your employees is: “Qualitybegins with education and ends in education.”Below are a few questions you should consider: o How are you measuring training sessions? Is it an effective measurement? o If the training curriculum only develops product and service knowledge/skills, how will the agents know how to reach FCR? o How will you transmit FCR culture through your training curriculum? Is it effective? o How effectively is knowledge being transferred by the trainer in the training session?A communications study from the University of California Los Angeles11demonstrates how difficult effective phone communication can be: “UCLA study indicated that up to 93 percent of communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues.” “The 38% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said), and 55% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in facial expression (body language)” “Another study indicated the 7% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in the words that are spoken.”You can see that agents only use up to 45% of their communication resources in acall center environment. I can verify from my own career in call centers that it isvery important to develop ones communication skills on the phone. This is thereason I have dedicated two chapters to the psychology of communication in mybook “The Powerful Phone Call”12.You wish for the agent to be an excellent communicator according to FCR. Theagent may have knowledge about the companys product or services, but if he or shecannot transfer the information effectively to the customer, the customer will notunderstand the information and call back again.INTERNAL PROCESSESRethinking and redesigning your internal processes is a fundamental step for FCR.The purpose is to acheive dramatic improvements in critical and contemporarymeasures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed.11 UCLA Communication Study- Communication Rule 7%-38%-55% By Professor Albert Mehrabian PhD12 The Powerful Phone Call By Jose M. Rivera 1994 P. 11
  12. 12. Remember that in FCR, the customer wants their problem resolved on the first call.They do not want to be transferred to other departments. In other words, do not playPing Pong with the customer. This is very important in your FCR analysis. The goalis to identify bottlenecks, gaps, re-working, duplication, and delay in the process. Icall this process an "X Ray diagnostic". All the processes you identify that do notprovide a quick and efficient solution for the customer need to be redesignedaccording to CTQ.One of the most powerful tools we have in Six Sigma is SIPOC. SIPOC is a flowmap process to identify the processs outputs and the customers of those outputs sothat the VOC (voice of the customer) can be captured. The purpose of the flow mapis to create a map of the current process to help the organization define, document,analyze, prioritize, and recommend solutions and follow-up plans to move thecompany toward its financial and customer-focused goals. A key activity for thisassessment is capturing those critical-to-quality (CTQ) factors of internal clientsprocesses and services to their customers.Here are some questions to consider: o What is the cost of rework? o What is the cost of excessive cycle times and delay? o What is the cost of business lost because customers are dissatisfied with your service? o What is the cost of opportunities lost because you did not have the time or resources to take advantage of them? o What is the total cost of poor customer service in your company?TECHNOLOGYIn the past decade, technology has advanced at a rapid rate. Business processes havechanged and organizations are becoming more efficient.Technology has facilitated improved communication, allowing businesses tocommunicate and collaborate beyond borders with ease. Nevertheless, sometimesthis is not taken advantage of. This is why this area needs to be evaluated. When youwork in the flow map process, you can see where an application could notcommunicate with another application and identify where this led to congestion andobstruction, rework, and delay in the overall process. If your company does not havean integrated approach to IT, you will probably have some difficulty in collectingdata for your FCR project. P. 12
  13. 13. SIX SIGMA APPROACHPart IISix Sigma is a business management strategy originally developed by Motorola. SixSigma seeks to improve the quality of process output by identifying and removingcauses of defect and minimizing variability in business processes. Six Sigma is thebest way to start the FCR project.Six Sigma is about solving a problem with an unknown solution. The methodologywe are going to use is DMAIC (figure 4). What does this mean? It is five phases:Define, Measurement, Analyze, Improve, and Control Six Sigma methodology.Below I am going to give you a brief summary of the five phases.In part I we touched on different aspects and areas you need to examine in detail inthe FCR Six Sigma Project. Keep in mind FCR has three perspectives: Customer,Agents, and Operations. I am going to provide you with a brief description for eachphase, and tips to help you perform the analysis.Figure 4: DMAIC Six Sigma I. Define Phase: In this phase, you are going to define the scope and boundary of the project, create a team charter, define defects, charter document with estimate project impact, and get leadership approval. Objectives: Identify and validate improvements, develop business processes, define critical to quality (CTQ) requirements, and prepare to be an effective project team. You are going to explore the goal and outcomes. Brainstorm and understand the impact of the problem. Define the process to investigate. Ensure common understanding across the FCR project. P. 13
  14. 14. Main Activities: Identify the internal and external Voice of the Customer (VOC) and translate in CTQ to identify opportunity areas (see figure 3). It is very important to verify the core needs of the customers and the business. Other tools you are going to use in this step are flow processes map (SIPOC), check sheet, 5 whys, Pareto analysis, Cause-and-Effect analysis, Kano, YX matrix, house of quality, interrelation graphs, etc.Figure 5: Process VOC to CTQ diagramTip 1: Collect customer data (VOC). Remember, you have two kinds of customers:external and internal. The purpose of VOC is to determine the customers’ needs andexpectations. You can collect data by customer complaints, surveys, focus groups,and one-on-one interviews.Tip 2: Create a general flow process map (SIPOC), and a categorized list of reasonswhy the customer calls. This will provide you with valuable information to help youcreate the proper questions for the questionnaire.Figure 6: SIPOC- * FCR perspective is other departments or services vendor P. 14
  15. 15. Tip 3: Ones of the aspects that needs to be examined is the customer tolerant-time-process (lower and upper limit). This is very important for CTQ. (See figure 7 CTQTree). In addition, you will compare the upper limit with your SLA13Figure 7: CTQ TreeIf you discover a large disparity between your process and the customertime/tolerance expectation, it is time to fix the process. If you can perfect/streamlinecompany processes, and promptly meet customer demands, repeat calls andescalations will diminish.Tip 4: Do brainstorms section use Cause-and-Effect or Fishbone analysis. This is avery powerful tool (see figure 8)Figure 8: Fishbone diagramTip 5: Your team needs to interview with departments who have a direct impact onoperations in the call center e.g., Human Resource, IT, financial, vendors, call centermanager, supervisors, and agents. They will help determine the objective and scopeof your project.13 Definition: A service level agreement is a part of a service contract where the level of service is formally defined. Inpractice, the term SLA is sometimes used to refer to the contracted delivery time (of the service) or performance. P. 15
  16. 16. Tip 6: How to use the Five Whys method: o First, identify the problem and try to find out the root cause. o Second, Ask, “Why has the problem occurred?” and you will get an answer (or rather another problem). o Third, Take the first answer (or problem) and again ask “Why?” You will get a second level answer. o Fourth, Do such Five Whys repeatedly and you will discover the root cause of the problem.After the Define phase, the team has a project charter, an overview of process to beimproved, information the customer consider critical to quality, and statement of theproblem. Now the team member must decide what additional measurements theyneed to quantify the problem.Tip 7: Something you need to understand is the Equation Y= ƒ x’s. The X representsthe input of the process and Y the output of the process. For example; if you callyour customer care to ask a question, the ability to have your question answered Y isa function (ƒ) of the wait time, the number of people answering the phones, the timeit takes to talk with the representative, the representatives knowledge. All of theseXs can be defined, measured and improved. II. Measure Phase: In this phase, you will quantify, qualify, and validate data for FCR Six Sigma needs. Objectives: Now your team must focus the improvement effort by gathering information. Benchmark current process performances in order for the team to begin with the proper metrics. Critical measures are necessary to evaluate the success of the FCR project, and are used to determine measurement baseline. Input, process, and output are reliable metrics used to monitor the progress of the project. Main Activities: Collect data, start-tacking calls for a period of 30 days. Identify critical to quality measures (CTQ) and the upper and lower threshold. In this step use sample random, histogram, Y= ƒ x’s chart, Pareto analysis, Root Cause, Cause- and-Effect, Histogram, MSA, SIPOC to identify key bottlenecks, overlaping, and gaps. In addition, use FMEA, then prioritize improvement initiative, you can also determinate cost of poor quality (COPQ) impact on the bottom line.Tip 7: You and your team are going to use statistical tools. You can use Excel to doof the all analysis but it will be easier if you have Minitab or SPSS. P. 16
  17. 17. Tip 8: Road map to improve process.Figure 9: Flow improve processThis is something the team needs to observe in the analysis to identify their process. o Waste of processing relates to over processing that might not be adding value in the eye of the customer. o Waste of correction includes the waste of handling and fixing mistakes. o Waste of motion examines how people move to ensure that value is added. o Waste of waiting is the cost of idle resources.Tip 9: in your analysis, you will most likely find defects in operation procedure, backoffice process delay, poor interdepartmental communication, micromanagement, taskduplication, re-work, lack of motivation, lack of morale, lack of supervision, andmore.Tip 10: Collect data from IVR, PBX and CRM systems. If you have any other self-service tools, they should be included here. The objective is to track the call fromthe moment it enters the IVR until it is transferred to a live agent. In other words,you need to carry the ANI code until it reaches the agent.For a successful analysis, it is necessary for the reason of the call to be categorizedand documented in the system. Identify whether or not the customer’s issue wasresolved on the first call, and if not, determine if it is a repeat call or possibleescalation.Tip 11: To understand FCR we need to differentiate between: o First Calls: The customer will always have first call. We have three different types: 1. The customer gets issue(s) resolved on the first call and does not call again. 2. The customer issue(s) is not resolved on the first call and they call again for the same issue(s). 3. The customer gets issue(s) resolved on the first call, but calls again for different issue(s). P. 17
  18. 18. o Repeat Calls: Customer who calls the first time and calls again. Also, escalation calls are a repeat call. o Escalate Calls: It is after the first call. Something your team needs to identify is how many calls the customer made before the call was escalated and why. o Transfer Calls: Call comes from another department. Here, you need to identify it is the first call or a repeat call.Tip 12: Your team needs to interview with departments who have a direct impact inoperations in the call center e.g., Human Resource, IT, financial, vendors, call centermanager, supervisors, agents, and other. They will help determine the objective andscope of your project.Tip 13: Keep in mind that resolutions have three perspectives: customer, agents, andfinal operation results. III. Analyze Phase: The purpose in this phase is to evaluate and reduce the variable, using graphical analysis and hypothesis testing, and to identify the number of factors in order to identify the root cause(s) of defect. Objectives: The team can determine the cause of the problem and eliminate the gap between existing performance and the desired level of performance (goal). Main Activities: The intention of this phase is to sort through all potential X’s that are causing the defects. The process map is the basic tool used in the analysis phase to identify the root cause of the problem and other areas that need improvement. Failure Modes and effects Analysis (FMEA) identifies and mitigates risks by order of priority. In addition, you can use a control chart as a means to control and predict process performance behavior. I also recommend using: Pareto chart, liner regression, correlation diagram, ANOVA, Kepner or Ishikawa fishbone diagrams (cause and effect analysis), and hypothesis tests. P. 18
  19. 19. Tip 14: The central activity of this phase is hypothesis testing. Hypothesis testing isone of the most important tools of application of statistics to real life problems.There are two types of hypothesis: A null hypothesis (Ho), and alternate hypothesis(Ha). The decision in a hypothesis test can be based on the probability value (p-test)for the given test. If the p-test value is less than or equal to a predetermined level ofsignificance α-level, then you reject the null hypothesis and go with the alternativehypothesis.After identifying and study the viral few X’s that are causing the greatest variationsin the most significant Y’s the team identifies way to improve the process to close thegap between the current performance and the potential. First, team membersprioritize opportunities to improve the process. Then, they generate alternatives,evaluate those alternatives, and select the best solutions. Second, they identify anypotential problems and obstacles they might encounter in implementing thosesolutions. After, they decide on the people and the resources that will be necessary toimprove the process. Finally, the team translates the improvement opportunity intofinancial terms.Tip 15: These are basics questions for which you need to find an answer. o What is the cost of poor quality that they intend to save by implementing their solution? o What is the investment in people and resources that the improvement will require? o What will be the financial gain in terms of a cost-benefit analysis? IV. Improve Phase: The Improve phase of the Six Sigma project might be considered the reward for the hard work carried out in the previous phases. We begin to see the return on the invested time, planning, thought, and execution of the project. The team implements solutions and begins to see the benefits from these improvements. Objectives: The objective of the improve phase is to find a solution to the problem at hand. Brainstorming is commonly used to generate an abundance of potential solutions. It is a great idea to include people who perform the process regularly. Their input to solution creation can be invaluable, and they may provide the best potential solution ideas because of their process knowledge. P. 19
  20. 20. Main Activities: The team begins the improve phase by selecting the performance characteristics that must be improved to achieve the goal. Correlation and regression analysis will reveal the main sources of variation. Next, design a pilot (DOE) using the variables that have already been identified. The objective comes from the Y= ƒ (x) relationship which establishes performance specifications. The pilot enables the team to identify the most influential factors associated with CTQ. The pilot defines the interactions shared between multiple factors allowing the team to quickly adjust and improve the process.Tip 16: Make certain you provide a measurement system of record to measure FCRfrom the first day forward. You need useful information to conduct further root causeanalyses and provide data for your control charts. What is one ideal outcome? Couldit be one where you continue to use the technology now in place - but making it workbetter for you or leverage new technology?Tip 17: Perform an MSA once that measurement system is in place trough IVR ,PBX and CRM transactions and track where calls go once they are handled (handled= call is answered). You can make FCR calculation by departments and agents.Tip 18: Build control charts around the FCR and make results available on anintranet site that the agents can access. Make sure you make it multi-dimensional toallow agents to drill through center metrics to their individual agent FCR score V. Control Phase: In the Control phase, the team identified the vital few X’s that caused the defect, and defined the relationship for the CTQ or Y of the project and vital few X’s. Now it must control the X’s to ensure a sustained Y that is the sole purpose of the control phase. Objectives: Make adjustment if is necessary. Create a training plan, documentation, and monitoring plan. Main Activities: The team with the controller, calculates, verifies, and documents the financial gain of the project. Finally, the phase-gate review, handing over the process to the process owner. P. 20
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