Delwarca Software’s remote support unit is having issues with its customer service performance. The long waiting times for calls are the predominant cause for customer dissatisfaction. Jack McKinnon is concerned with the impact of customer dissatisfaction on the growth rate of the company. The challenge for Jack McKinnon is to find out a solution for decreasing the long wait times on calls without investing much money. He will have to re work the whole process so that the calls can be channelized efficiently and various customer concerns be resolved effectively. Initially in the current process a customer call was greeted by an operator who does the identity and problem verification and decides to transfer a call to critical support unit or next available associate. The problem with this process was that even if a senior associate is available to attend to the customer’s concerns still the customer remains on hold and is routed to the senior associate only through the associate and that also only if the associate fails to provide appropriate solution to the customer. The waiting time was involved between each passes and during the long hold time the customer was engaged only with an automated update every 90 seconds regarding further estimated hold time needed.
During various interactions with customer iT was found that customers had trust on the technical competency of Delwarca’s support unit but were miffed on the long wait times. The customer had an option of directly requesting a specific Senior Associate by name. With the introduction of Rapid ID procedure the process flow was changed. Rapid ID procedure aimed to reduce regular calls by 1 FTE. Two highly experienced associates were upgraded to the roles of ‘Directors’ who would direct the calls from customers to either an Associate or a Senior Associate depending on the problem. They would not try to provide any solution but direct the calls to the proper channels only. In case the call is directed to the associate and he is not able to provide a solution, the call could still be forwarded to a senior associate. Also customer had an option to request for a Senior Associate directly. Under very rare cases only the customers were directed to Delwarca’s Critical Support Unit.
Analysis of the impact of Rapid ID procedure on the Customer satisfaction index: Positives – Introducing Director Associates to direct customers to the appropriate associate/senior associate saw a reduction in both the wait and talk time with associate, from 66.8 minutes to 41.5 minutes that is a decrease of 37.8%. The calls that were routed from associate to senior associate took a dip of 11.3%. Associates’ percentage of resolving the calls increased from 51% to 62%. Negatives –
The new problem that arose with Rapid ID procedure was an increase of 46.5 minutes to 89.2 minutes (a 91.8% increase) for calls that were forwarded directly to senior associates. With the large customer base and the number of senior associate available in Delwarca, this level of increase was not sustainable. Major cause for the increase in the time when they request a senior associate is because more and more customers were preferringdirect calls to senior associate and therefore the longer waiting times. Lack of trained associate and thereby customer’s preference for senior associates caused a major shift from associates not being able to contribute much and senior associates being swarmed with 65% of the total calls. 18% of all calls were directed straight to senior associates, 28% were direct requests from the customers and 19% from calls forwarded to them by the associates. Only 35% of the calls were sent to associates.
Few associates and senior associates were reported to haveextremely longer minutes per call than the average call durations. This was affecting the overall quality of customer service performance. The three longest durationsfor associates were 50 minutes, 40.8 minutes, and 37.8 minutes. The next highest is 28.5 whereas the average stands at 29.4. Similarly the highest twofor senior associate were 44.6 min and 33.1 min. The next highest was 24.1min which is same as average of 24.1. It seems that these few associates and senior associates were causing larger holding time which increases number of callers in waiting queue.
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Problem Statement –
Jack McKinnon had to provide recommendation for increasing a thereby alleviated customer satisfaction, increase the Delwarca’s customer service unit performance and win back the customer’s trust. Also as a Manager it was his responsibility to address to the problems faced by his subordinates. With a shift to Rapid ID procedure the senior associates were bogged down by high pressure and at the same time they had to be the victim of irate dissatisfied customer’s rude remarks. Aronson, Pierce and Shah were speaking to the customers for the longer durations. The minutes per call for these Associates were much higher than the average. Similarly Kalinowsky and Sacks were speaking to the customers for the longer durations. Now Jack as manager has to take a decicison as to what to do with these employees. Recommendations –
From the findings it can be concluded that there is a lack of skilled/experienced associates in the company and so customer finds more satisfaction when handled by senior associates. Unless the customer’s perception is changed they will keep swarming the senior associates. Also lack of problem solving ability by the current associates causes more and more calls forwarded from them to senior associates thereby increasing the pressure on them. Hence associates must be trained to solve different complex issues and customer handling ways. Proper mentoring will improve their performances and abilities to solve customer concerns effectively.
Rather than directly forwarding the calls to the senior associate the ideal process would be to provide the customer with an associate who could discusses his problems and provide a part of resolution to it and then forward the case to the senior associate for further workaround. This will not only target efficient and effective solution provision to customer but also less dependency on the senior associate. Also it will help the associate to gain experience on the problem solving ability.
If there is demand for a specific senior associate the requests can be divide in time slots and these incoming requests could be allotted the slots as per
their preference. This would reduce the waiting/holding times and customer will not bother to call back if he/she is assured of a fixed time slot for his problem solving. Meanwhile the concerns of the customer can be noted by the associate and if the associate is ideal he can work-around the problem and propose a solution to the senior associate who in turn can judge and be ready with the possible solutions before the customer’s slot arrives.