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  • #47984

    Pipkin
    Participant

    As operations head, I am not meeting our service level in an inbound campaign.  We abandon a lot of calls but our AHT is within range.  I need advice.
     
    Thanks!

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    #160532

    Stevo
    Member

    Jack –
    What goes into your staffing model?  AHT is only part of it. 
    Has the number of calls spiked?
    Has the distribution chamged?
    Sick time increased?
    Training that pulled the reps off the phone?
    100 more questions to ask yourself.
     
    Stevo

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    #160534

    cheezer
    Participant

    If you live and breathe by the AHT metric, your folks will start performing to it, instead of to what’s really important- your process capability/customer satisfaction.
    I have a call center which also performed amazingly well to their AHT goals, but was terrible at satisfying our customers (abandoned calls, dropped calls, numerous call-backs, etc).  After about six months of resistance, we eliminated AHT as a primary metric, so it was no longer reported to the floor. In two months we eliminated all the dropped and abandoned calls without increasing staffing or OT and our (unreported) AHT actually went down by 30%. Someone (I wish I knew who right now) once said work expands to fill the time allotted, which I’ve found to be true.
    So, in my opinion, AHT is rather meaningless or, at least, it’s a secondary metric to the important CTC’s.
    Good luck

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    #160538

    sree
    Member

    what are the different startegies that are used to get better right party contacts for outbound calls in call centers? Is there a specific time of the day, day of the week  or any other ways to get in touch with a customer

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    #160564

    Regression
    Participant

    Jack,
    Many years ago, I did an analysis on the sequence of length of calls for a call center that had the same problem: AHT of 2 Minutes 30 seconds was made, but transfer calls were out the roof.. What I found was a trend in a simple run chart that showed a pattern whereby the rep would answer 2 calls to the satisfaction of the customer, then transferred or abandoned 2 calls in order to meet the average handle time. Just run chart the AHT of individual reps over a period of time and see if you can detect patterns that allow the rep to “manage” their AHT. Also, stratify your data by more or less experienced reps (our cut off was 4 months, that’s when the rep was proficient). We found a very pronounced effect with the more experienced call reps. This might be a starting point.

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    #160568

    Severino
    Participant

    Although a bit primative, in these situations I find it is often times instructive to do a force field analysis.  Ordinarily, the analysis is done to identify barriers to quality improvement so that they can be eliminated and a dynamic situation of quality improvement can be created.  In this case, you could intentionally misuse it to actually identify what CTQ’s you need to measure and report to keep things from becoming lopsided in favor of the AHT metric. 
    From there you just have to ensure that the proper controls are in place to keep both of your competing metrics within acceptable limits (I make it sound so easy!)  One note of caution, the diagram is usually drawn 2-dimensionally, but it is wrong to assume that your situation is.  Just because you set up a balanced force in the X-Y plane does not mean that some other slip will not occur in the “Z” direction.

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    #160570

    Kurt Lewin
    Participant

    We abandon a lot of calls but our AHT is within range … there’s not much need for a “Force Field Analysis” which comes out of social psychology. So, let’s stay with the problem and not drift off into Plotin’s 3rd or 2nd emanation :-).

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    #160596

    sree
    Member

    Guys…are there any specific strategies being used for getting btetter right party contacts in call campaignms

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    #160597

    GB
    Participant

    Off the top of my head:
    Spelling-101
     

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    #160598

    Chad Taylor
    Participant

    HBGB B^2
    UHHHHHHHH YEA Exactly.
    And they Wonder why calls are dropped; most of the time the person on the other end can’t tell you their name without tongue fondeling the phone such that it sound like a yack in heat on the other end.

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    #160599

    Regression
    Participant

    Scree,
    A few observations from projects in a very previous life:
    1. The first point of contact to update correct information (address etc.) is the mail room :-). I once had a GB conduct a project on receiving, sorting and communication address updates between the mail room and the customer service department (not a very glamorous, but a very effective project).
    2. Another project (more glamorous) involved the utilization of data mining techniques to match the purchasing of “right party contact information” received from various vendors with  actual hit rates. “Hits” were defined in three ways: (1) correct address and phone number (in comparison with data on file and updated data from vendor), (2) talking to the right person, (3) achieving the desired outcome. Desired outcomes varied. For example, if you are in the collections industry, you may get the “right party address”, but that does not mean that you’ll talk to the “right party”. In this case, we developed communications training for collections agents (quite interesting what “communications techniques collection agents will use to get to the “right party”).
    So as for general strategies: This is as general an advice as I can give without knowing what type of call campaign you mean and subsequently what you call a “right party” in the context of the objective of that call campaign.
    As for HGB^2 … I hate it that his answers are always shorter and more correct than mine :-))))).

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    #160604

    GungaPed
    Participant

    FYI – The Peter principle referrs to the idea that people will fill a job to the time allotted for the job.
    A question for your project.  Are you working with a company who prefers “automated” answers to customer service problems? 
    My project involves eliminating calls dropped due to queue time, lack of response, options to go to voicemail, etc.  My management wants immediate voice response, so I’ve got barriers.  Anyone have any ideas/data on how to break them?

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