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Telecom Call Center Research Technology Essay

According to Malhotra (2004: 5-6) interview is defined as an unstructured, direct personal interview to uncover the underlying motivation, beliefs, attitudes and feelings on a topic. Thus if interviews are used in this case the gains will be; quick response from respondents, permits interviewer to delve deep into the topic, there is allowance to discuss confidential, sensitive even embarrassing issues concerning the topic, and good understanding of complicated behavior (consumer behavior).

Interviews have also there following limitations; there costly, analysis of real time data is difficult to interpret, respondents bias like personal opinion concerning matter at hand, its generally time consuming. Survey; entail a structured questionnaire given to sample population and designed to elicit specific information from respondents. Three methods exist in survey; i. Telephone interview- involves calling a sample of respondents and asking them a series of questions. ii. Personal interviewing- can be through face to face, mall intercepted, computer assisted interview.

iii. Mail interview – questionnaire is mailed to pre selected potential respondents. Through survey: data collection is simpler through administration of questionnaires, data reliability as responses are limited to the alternatives stated, analysis, coding and interpretation is relatively simpler. Its shortcomings include; respondents unwilling to provide desired information, none response to sensitive or personal questions, failure to capture certain types of data as beliefs and attitude due to fixed response alternatives.

According to Zbikowski,(2007): there are five KPI`s that determine the performance of a call center and they are; cost per call, customer satisfaction, first contact resolution rate, agent utilization and aggregate call center performance. Thus in a call center, the most effective cost metric is cost per contact, and the best indicator of quality is customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is affected by a whole range of other performance variables, including Average Speed of Answer (ASA), Call Quality, and Handle Time, but the single biggest driver of customer satisfaction, by far, is, first contact resolution rate.

The KPI`s are effective as they handle customer needs from the time they make first contact to the call center to during the conversation and all the process that lead up to them ending the call. Research design – is a plan according to which research participants are chosen, information collected and data analysis and interpretation done. (Kotler et . al, 2006: 100-105). This case the appropriate design to be used is descriptive study and both qualitative and quantitative approach.

According to Malhotra et al (1996: 10-12), a descriptive study has its objective as a description of something in regards to who, what, where and how of a phenomenon which is the concern of the current study. The researcher should use survey method (questionnaires) to collect information from the respondents which will be recorded and findings reported. (Kotler et . al, 1999:20-25) explains that interviews are a technique that is primarily used to gain an understanding of the underlying reasons and motivations for people’s attitudes, preferences or behaviors.

He further explains that they are good in that; are completed and immediate, use recording equipment, good response rate, possible in-depth questions, can investigate motives and feelings among others. These qualities of interviews facilitate the accurate collection of needed data as interviewee is on the spotlight thus tendency to relay accurate information. The main limitation of descriptive study is that you cannot identify the cause behind a phenomenon; you can just describe and report the observation.

Informal Questions The following sets of questions are to be responded to by a manager of a call center. 1) Are call centers profitable to organizations? This is to establish if call centers are really needed. 2) What are the challenges of running call centers? To get the feel of the every day hustles at the call centers. 3) Are there any frequently asked questions from the customers? To identify if they keep a database of constantly asked questions (record keeping). 4) Is industry competitive?

Establish if center is analyses there markets for factors that can affect there profitability 5) What is the level of innovation in the industry? To find out if the centers are constantly looking for better technologies to serve their customers. 6) What is level of regulation from concerned ministries? To establish if there set minimum threshold by the government they are required to abide by. Data Collection Mugenda (1999: 46-58) there exits two broad types of data collection methods; primary and secondary data.

Where possible, data should be collected from several sources to crosscheck for errors. Primary data is data originated by the researcher for the purpose of research problem, this could be through; observation, focus groups, depth interview and survey methods. Secondary data is the type collected for other purposes other than the problem at hand. Secondary Data- can be further divided into external and internal data. Internal data is data available within the organization for which research is being conducted.

In this case any information gathered from visit of one or numerous call centers is classified internal data. External data is data that originates from sources outside the organization, like from journals, books, newspapers, reports, magazines periodicals. For our case external sources form the backbone of all the data which translates into information regarding this research problem. Data Sampling Malhotra (2004: 20-33) data sampling is a definite plan for obtaining facts from a given population, its normally done so as to reduce number of subjects to be studied.

Sampling method can either be probability based or non probability based. Probability based is a random sampling technique where every item of the population has an equal chance of inclusion in sample. Under probability based the researcher can use cluster sampling because it’s used when impossible to obtain a sampling frame because population is either too big or scattered over a large geographical area like collection of data from numerous call centers. Non probability is a method where the chance of selecting a population element is unknown.

Under non probability researcher can use purposive sampling because it allows researcher to use cases that have required information with respect to the research problem, or snowball sampling where identified subjects with the desired characteristics help name others that they know have the required characteristics until researcher gets the number of cases he/she wants. Surveys Interviews Orodho (2000:15-18) explains that the choice of method is influenced by the data collection strategy, the type of variable, the accuracy required, the collection point and the skill of the enumerator.

Call centers data is constantly changing and thus data collection should be conducted at sufficient intervals. Malhotra (2004: 6-7) For interviews the use of depth interviews will be appropriate which is an unstructured direct, personal interview in which a single respondent is probed by an interviewer to uncover underlying motivation, beliefs, attitudes and feelings on a topic. The use of structured questionnaires assist to collect some other data that interviews could not collect, thus avoidance of redundancy and errors. Research is basically collection of as much relevant raw data as possible and analysis of it to information.

Mostly the upside is the personal gain in knowledge; discover findings/statistics, personal/societal recognition and some financial gain. The downside can be possession of information that can be a security risk, financial constrains and time management issues. Research therefore only lays down the facts; the interpretation should on individual basis, “like the recent study that shows persons are highly likely to contact diseases when taking a shower due to accumulation of micro organisms together with rust at the head of the shower”. (Harriet Copper: February, 2006)

References: Donald, K. , and Delno, L. , (2006), Proposal and Thesis writing, Paulines Publications Africa, Nairobi, pp 156-158. Einwiller, S. and Will, M. (2002), “Towards an integrated approach to corporate branding – an empirical study”, Corporate Communications, Vol. 7 No. 2, p. 100. Kotler, P. , Armstrong, G. , (2002, Principles of marketing, 11th ed. , Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle river. Kotler, P. , Armstrong, G. , Saunders, J. and Wong, V. (1999), Principles of Marketing, 2nd ed. , Prentice Hall, Harlow. Leonard, B. , Parasuraman, A. , and Zeithmal, V.

(1993), “Ten lessons of improving service quality,” MSI report, Cambridge marketing science institute. Malhotra, (1996), Research Methodology, Phoenix Publications, Africa Nairobi. Margulies, W. (1977). “Make the most of your Corporate Identity. ” Harvard Business Review, pp 66-77. Mugenda, O. , and Mugenda, A. , (1999), Research methods: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, Acts press, Nairobi. Orodho, John Aluko (2000), Elements of Research Methods, Masola Publishers, Nairobi Kenya. www. cwu. edu/~jefferis www. callcentermagazine. com www. call-center-metrics. com www. metricnet. com www. alive. com


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