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How can I use 6S to evaluate associate productivity?

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  • #39650

    Kristin
    Participant

    I work in a call center for an investment company. We have measures set up to track the quality of our calls. However we currently have no measures set up to track the actual productivity of each phone associate. As a service industry we are trying to find a way to gain an impartial measure of associate productivity. I am not looking for answers, however if anyone knows of a similar case study or has worked on a similar project I would love to gain insight into the processes and tools used.
    Thank you.

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    #121038

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Kristin,
    You are trying to measure the quality and productivity of a rework activity. Stop taking data on the quality of your rework and figure out how to get rid of the need for a call center.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck

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    #121039

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    AMEN Mike!!!
    The need for a call center is symptomatic of a greater issue/problem.   Drill down to Root-Cause.
     
     

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    #121041

    BTDT
    Participant

    Incoming or outgoing calls?BTDT

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    #121042

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Heebeegeebee,
    Thanks. I was beginning to think I was the only one that saw this as rework. People have even begun to do it for a career. What a depressing thought.
    I would really like to see the quality metrics. Next time you get that thing about recording the call for quality purposes ask the person if they answer the phone if they have ever had to listen to themselves or if they know how it is is applied for quality purposes. I have only found one that had a clue.
    Regards.

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    #121081

    Kristin
    Participant

    Incoming calls.
    To keep costs down for our clients (national instituations who use us to keep thier 401k records and funds) we have a call center (as opposed to various offices in various locations. Participants in the 401Ks call in when they need to process transactions (and would rather not use the web) or if they have questions. Our Call Quality is based on criteria such as complete and correct information, timeliness of the transaction, etc.
    However we need to set up way to measure the participation of the Associates. For example, it isn’t enough to do call/hour because the Assoc has no control of the call volume that comes in (sometimes busy, sometimes slow, etc) We do track call perfomance according to the calls monitored, but as far as overall productivity we have no way to measure that. I just thought I’d put it out here and see if I got any quality infomation.

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    #121088

    billybob
    Participant

    Hello folks,
    I myself  like call centers..how else can i get pretty girls to talk to me?
    But in this is a hi-tech world try this:
    If this call is for a new transaction press 1..and route the call to an agent.
    If this call is for a problem with a recent transaction press 2….route the call to where ever you want and measure problems how you want.
    Or give out confirmation numbers with each phone transaction and tell the customer they will need to reference that number if they call back with a transaction issue. Then measure the problems for the customers who keep the numbers.
    Can’t you reference past calls and see who makes frequent transactions and contact them for their opinion of your service.  I would hope that transactions actions made can be traced to associates who performed them. 
    I’m not so quick to say there is no use for call centers and that they should be shut down.  But  when i have computer problems in Maine and call the call center and I’m connected to someone in India I have found it easier to hang up and try to fix it myself.  I may mumble, but at least I can understand myself.
    Where is your call center? 
    Later,
    Billybob
     

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    #121090

    BTDT
    Participant

    Kristin:If you are tracking complete and correct information, timeliness of the transaction, then you are already tracking the only part of the transaction that is in the control of the associates. Even though call times are log-normally distributed, you can determine differences in average times to resolve issues. Calls routed to specific knowledge areas will also have a different distribution and can be flagged as such. If the associates spend periods of time doing nothing, then it does not reflect on the ‘quality’ or ‘participation’ of the associates, but on the capacity planning of the management.Don’t use consolidated metrics such as calls/hour because it will combine issue resolution time with capacity planning errors.When you say you want to measure the participation of the associates and combine this with overall productivity it sounds like you are not really clear about what it is you want to measure and who owns the process.Time on call – associatesTime not on call – managementIs your focus really on quality of the associates, or are you trying to quantify extra capacity?BTDT

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    #121093

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Billybob,
    This one will probably get me into some trouble. Here are some routing options that will sort out some of those calls:
    >If you are obsessive compulsive, press 1, repeatedly
    >If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.
    >If you have multiple personalities, press 3,4,5 & 6
    >If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want. Stay on the line so we can trace your call
    >If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be transfered to the Mother Ship
    >If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a small voice will tell you which number to press
    >If you are manic depressive, it doesn’t matter which number you press…..no one will answer
    >If you are dyslexic, press 69696969696969
    >If you have a nervous disorder, please fidget with the hash key until a representative comes on the line
    >If you have amnesia, press 8 and state your name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security number and your mothers and grandmothers maiden names
    >If you have Bi-polar Disorder please leave a message after the beep, or before the beep, or after the beep. Please wait for the beep.
    >If you have short term Memory Loss, please try your call again later
    >If you have Low Self Esteem, please hang up. All our operators are far to busy to talk to you.
    Thank you
    Regards

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    #121094

    billybob
    Participant

    Hello Mr. Mike,
    You got a sick mind…..welcome to the club.
    Later,
    Billybob
     

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    #121095

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Thank you

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    #121097

    Datasniper
    Participant

    BTDT, Mike.
    Tell me honestly what people think of call centers in America?
    DS.

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    #121106

    BTDT
    Participant

    DS:All our consultants are busy with other forum members, but your question is important to us. Please stay on the forum and we will be with you as soon as possible.BTDT

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    #121113

    Datasniper
    Participant

    Good one BTDT… I am waiting… I hope you thank me for holding and ‘appreciate’ my patience while you connect me to the next available consultant…:)
    –DS.

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    #121116

    BTDT
    Participant

    Call centre humour.I live in Canada, that is why I spell things differently. Our call centres are clustered in New Brunswick. I hope this is not a political question about moving business off shore.Any of the work we have done shows US based quality was higher than off shore. We benchmarked the 9 off shore centres against 2 in the southern states to find out how to improve the off shore ones.BTDT

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    #122026

    Jaheim
    Participant

    The 1st most inportant key in tracking associates metrics for performance measurement really depends on the phone switch; e.g Avaya CMS, call mgtmt/forecasting system and any other system that you can us to track associates data! Secondly, you will have to determine what you want to measure to really track and inprove associates performance on the phones!
    The quality measurement is a good start, and could be incorporated into the associates performance measurement statistical model; making it part quality and productivity!
    Here are some examples of metrics that you can use to measure to associates performance within a call center:
    Calls offered
    AHT
    AVAILABILITY
    ADHERENCE
    OCCUPANCY
    SHRINKAGE
    ABND RATE
    UTILIZATION; ETC
    The list is endless, but the goal is really to understand your business model and look at metrics that can really drive associates performance and activities on the phones and build a measurement model around those metrics; performance is a continous process and as you undestand your buiness needs you can always make improvements!
    I worked with Bank of America and I have been involved in so many projects involving call center/associates performance measurements and I will be willing to share my expertise!

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    #122033

    DAG
    Participant

    We use the Avaya CMS supervisor for our call centers which measures how many calls an associate has taken on a particular day/week/month as well as how long the call was, any hold time during the call and after call work time.  However to determine the overall quality, we use a sample of the actual call recordings. 

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    #122072

    Chen
    Participant

    People have a love-hate relationship with Call Centers.  People love to hate them.  There are good ones, some not so good and there are those mismanaged by SS consultants.
     
    I happened to believe if you want to improve an agent’s performance metrics they should include those metrics they have control of, such as, schedule adherence and talk time. 
     
    Schedule adherence deal with the amount of time an agent is plugged into the phone system available to take calls, this known as Sign In %.  Another measurement involves compliance with their schedule.  The percent of time they are compliant with their work schedule.
     
    While working on Talk Time issues most call centers use daily averages and this tends to hide bad processes.  What I have done in the past is to identify call types using CRM tools and extract data to measure the number of times and the length of time spent on these call types.
     
    I then look at the processes used in handling the different call types.  This is the most challenging task of all, since it requires making observations such as, listening to calls, agent observations and review case notes to discover opportunities to improve. Here is where real improvements can be made.  I have identified software flaws, new product opportunities, poor company policies and procedures, pricing models defects and the list goes on and on.
     
    After listening to a few hundred calls you might be willing to give agents a hug for staying on the phone with people you would have hung up on. In spite of what people make think of call centers they provide a valuable service to our customers who management has allowed to be misguided, misinformed, or confused with the products and services we sale and market to them. The most effective and efficient improvements is reducing the number of idiot calls agents have to handle not increase them.

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    #122074

    Kris Brazeal
    Participant

    Kristin,
    I used to be a supervisor in a call center in GE, so I know how challenging this can be.  We often struggled with the types of qualitative and quantiative measures you are referring to. 
    As I have now become a Six Sigma practioner, I would suggest focusing first on what is important to your customers then developing measure for associates from there.  As discussed in some earlier posts, calls/hour is not really an effective gauge of productivity since that is driven by the incoming call volume.  Think about what customers really want…speed of answer, first call resolution, efficient call.  These could be a great place to start.  You might consider metrics such as:
    1. Call transfers by reps (what is the % of transfers per hour per rep as an example)
    2. Length of call (this could be segmented by call type if your reps take different types of calls).  Some reps may have lower or higher call length of course, which could also be a “quality of call” issue.
    3. After call work (how much time do they spend in ACW time if you measure that).
    I will be happy to discuss my experience with this if you are interested.
    Kris Brazeal, QPM Solutions

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    #122092

    Jonathon Andell
    Participant

    Good point!Of course, one could be nit-picky and consider call centers like airline reservations and places like Lands End (this is why my wife got me a shirt inscribed with: “Is there a hyphen in ‘Anal Retentive’?”). Still, your point is valid about rework when it deals with problems.Even in the airline/Lands End centers, we must be cautious. Productivity is a producer-centered measure, definitely not a customer-centered measure. Furthermore, holding the call center staff accountable for the readily measured aspects may be akin to blaming them for the mix of calls they receive. It’s very hard to be fair, accurate, and customer-centered with so-called productivity measures.

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