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Call Center – Value of preventing blocked abandoned calls

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Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #28410

    Pipkin
    Participant

    Has anyone attached a value to preventing blocked & abandoned calls in a call center.  It would seem that one way would be to use a certain % of the customers are lost due to their impatience.  But what is the %?

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    #70689

    RGD
    Participant

    This project will probable lend itself to the use of two metrics: % of calls taken and either hold time per call or cycle time to achieve resolution.% taken should be easy to measure – most call centers record the number of calls that come in as well as the number of calls that each operator takes. Just turn this into a percentage.Hold time is another relevant metric that can be easily tracked and measured with the right phone system and software.Cycle time may be a useful metric – how long does it take to resolve a call from the time they are picked up by an operator until the time their question is answered (the danger may be that operators begin to rush customers to improve this metric)With the data on these metrics, a baseline can be developed to understand the level of performance your organization has achieved according to historical data.Next, set the objective that you want to achieve and begin collecting data on the KPIV’s (key input variables). Once these inputs have been found and correlated, you will be able to control your results by improving the performance level of your controllable inputs.Assigning an economic value may be a little more difficult, unless your main purpose is to sell when a call comes in. If that is the case, you should be able to simply calculate the average revenue per call (total revenue divided by the number of calls) and then begin to either increase the revenue with the same number of calls or increase the number of calls with the same average per-call revenue.

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    #70703

    denton
    Participant

    There is value in helping your customers feel “well served”, but that is very slippery.  A more tangible measure is the product warranty return rate.  If you turn off your call center, everyone who has a problem will have to send their product back for warranty replacement.  If you solve people’s problems, some percentage of that is prevented warranty returns.

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    #70718

    Edwards
    Participant

    Two great sources to get started on this path are CNet’s shareware and a book by Jon Anton called Call Center Management By the Numbers. CNet has an excel addin for calculating the cost of blocked or abandonded calls. It is geared more towards an order taking center, but is a great way just to put some numbers to this mostly soft cost area. You will have to search thier download area for call centers and the program should come up.
    The second source of good metrics and measures is Jon Anton’s book. If your local libary does not have it ask about interlibary loans. The book has a wealth of metrics, what they mean and how you can calculate ROI on a call center. Some really good tools.
    Good luck with your project.

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    #70723

    john beaudoin
    Participant

    I happen to be a Greenbelt and a Project Engineer at a call center/parts distribution center.  Call center projects have a lot of intangibles, but if you can get good data from the phone system, you’ll be all right.
    Process Model software can also help, as you can actually use your phone data to create a computer simulation of your call center that will acurately and visually show you bottlenecks in the system, predice hold times, call drop-offs, etc.  The software is expensive (over $800), but will be able to predict changes in the call handling when you change your process.
    If that isn’t an option to help you, we haven’t sprung for the software yet either beyond the 30 day free trial, then there are some other things to look at.
    There is a book, titled “Customer Centered Six Sigma”, by Naumann and Hoisington.  It shows that there are some interesting relationships between customer satisfaction levels and revenue.  If you gather survey data from your customers, and try to exceed their expectations, you can show increased revenue.  They found that customers that rate a company as a 4 or a 5 on a 5 point scale with 5 being excellent, account for 70% of a companies revenue.  There is also a table in the book that shows:
    5 = 92-97% customer retention rate
    4 = 80-85% customer retention rate
    3= 60-65% customer retention rate
    2 = 15-20% customer retention rate
    1 = 0-5% customer retention rate.
    As you can see, customer satisfaction is very important to customer retention.
    The last points I would like to make are in regard to your hold times, dropped calls, etc.  If you look at the calls answered by phone reps and the % of those calls answered that account for some type of sale, you should be able to show that if you can increase the calls per rep per day, you will also increase sales.  What we do not know for sure is if a dropped call will call back later or not.  I’m sure there is a percentage of dropped calls that will never contact your call center again, however, and thus you should look at ways at minimizing dropped calls (reduce hold-time).  The dropped call rate should have some kind of relationship with hold time.  Most call centers also have levels of operators.  Be sure to examine if you have bottlenecks in passing calls from level 1 to level 2, or level 2 to level 3 (levels are based on phone rep expertise, customer satisfaction handling ability, or technical support).
    I hope this helps. 

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    #70726

    Bob Bodemuller
    Participant

    I think call center metrics should be thought through very carefully so that customer satisfcation remains #1 and not necessarily “call center efficiency”. For example, I called AOL with two problems. The call center person told me they could only work one problem because they were being timed, i.e. measured, on how long ot took to resolve an issue. Therefore I would have to call back if I want to talk about the second porblem … In this case the metric looked great but another unsatisfied customer was the result. Sometimes we grab the easiest data we have to determine a metric and use a metric that makes us “look good” but it might not be in the best interest of the business. We too easily forget about who ultimately is “paying” the bills.

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    #70727

    Pipkin
    Participant

    David, thanks for the lead.  I searched at CNet and got 20 hits, but none seemed to be an Excel addin that you mentioned.  We don’t sell from our call center, but would like to attach a $amount to what we gain by adding trunklines and headcount to improve blocked calls and abandonment rate. 
    6 sigma projects are usually about money, so that is the incentive.

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    #70731

    Pipkin
    Participant

    I have never had a good experience with AOL either.  We are tuned in to “Voice of the Customer”, not like AOL.  That is why we try to make all avenues available to the consumer.  But 6 sigma projects should show some benefit in $ to the corporation in terms of the number of customers retained instead of being lost due their bad experience in being unable to connect with us. 
    We do not sell products at our call center, but handle inquiries, complaints and compliments.  A call center firm mentioned that 30% of the customers do not call back.  The problem is how to convert this 30% to a % that we lose temporarily or forever.  It is unfortunate that no universities (even Jon Anton at Purdue or his benchmarkportal.com) are not doing anything useful for 6 sigma.

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    #70774

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    You got an experienced response from John. It seemed to make sense.
    The other guy I know who has actually worked call center projects is Peter Tibbets at Rath and Strong.

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