Introduction                                                                                                                                                               Regarding the deterioration of the working situation after the implementation of the new telephone system, this proposal was commissioned. All recommendations made in this proposal are based on recent investigations requested by the General Manager and are aimed to help senior management improve the service standards in the most cost effective way.

Findings                                                                                                                                                                      In order to gain a clear understanding of the current situation we have done qualitative research in the form of interviews with call center agents. Furthermore to gain a better idea of how the customer feels about the new system, 500 questionnaires have been distributed and collected.

The interviews show that:

  • Agents are less able to help customers with the new focus on efficiency.    

Possible explanation:  The agents may feel that they have to rush customers because of the targets.

  • Half of the agents would like to have regular customers.                                                                 

Possible explanation: Because customers are randomly directed to agents, the customer has to explain the situation again every call.

  • Stress is being experienced by agents because of the monitoring.                                                

Possible explanation: Because of the permanent monitoring and reviewing of performance the agents feel that they will be judged on every minor mistake they make.

The questionnaire indicates that:

  • Callers are dissatisfied with the reduction in service time.                                                              

Possible explanation: The system emphasizes efficiency and quantity not quality.

Recommendation                                                                                                                                                                            First of all, in order to make the new system work, the focus should shift from quantity to quality. This could be done by rewarding agents on the basis of successfully treated customers instead of the number of customers they talk to in a day. In this way employees feel more motivated to give their best to help the customer. Secondly the routing system may be adapted in such a way that frequent callers are connected to the same agent every time they call. In this way much of time could be saved. Furthermore monitoring of agents should continue, but only in the case of complaints against a specific agent or long-term underachievement.

Conclusion                                                                                                                                                           Although the new system has some problems, this can be easily solved with a few adaptions. Firstly a briefing of the employees about the new focus should be held at the beginning of next work week.  The administrator of the system should also be contacted to change the routing system. Lastly it is best to stop monitoring personnel as soon as possible. We are pretty confident the system will work flawlessly with these actions taken.