Six Sigma and Call Center Etiquette

A recent article on isixsigma content zone called Delight Customers: Reduce Defects in Service Delivery by Shivprasad Kandiraju deals with Six Sigma practitioners looking at how customer surveys revealed crummy customer service at a call center in India, and how they approached fixing it. The practitioners collected and analyzed benchmarking data from various companies, and data on their call center’s performance. With this information, (and using the principles of Six Sigma,) they were able to make valuable improvements.

The analysis broke things into problem areas they called “Delight Points” – rings to answer, politeness, greeting style, clarity and correct re-routing – and measured the operator’s responses. The interesting thing about this, I can’t recall ever calling a call center in India and having somebody who is impolite on the other end. In fact, the call center staffer may not know what I am talking about, but will deal with the issue with unfailing politeness, and convey a genuine interest in trying to figure out what I’m talking about. Perhaps we should think about the implications of this and India’s future as a global player in the business world, and revisit this the next time we’re on the phone with the local utility company.

Of course a scenario will come up with excellent customer service leading to the problem never being solved. This is not a call for Six Sigma improvement in call center performance, these are problems being created in general at the manufacturing/development level . . . entropy created, perhaps, without following solid Six Sigma practices.

 

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