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New Post 8/16/2010 2:58 AM
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User is offline Hannelien
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Cost Saving in call centres 

Hi,

I have approx 2 years experience as a system analyst on the telephony system in our company.  They gave me a project now where I need to determine how to save cost and increase productivity in the call centre. 

Where do I start with this?

 
New Post 8/16/2010 7:23 AM
Online now... Chris Adams
323 posts
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Re: Cost Saving in call centres 

 havoges wrote

Hi,

I have approx 2 years experience as a system analyst on the telephony system in our company.  They gave me a project now where I need to determine how to save cost and increase productivity in the call centre. 

Where do I start with this?

Wow, what a cool project.  Process improvement project like this one can be very satisfying and fulfilling to work on.

The first thing you should understand is that you can't improve a process if you don't have a starting set of metrics and data to start from.  What might these metrics be?

  • Average call time/month
  • Min call time/month
  • Max call time/month
  • 90 Percentile time/month (the time which 90% of the call fall at or below in length)
  • Ranking of call complexity (how many call fall into easy, medium, or difficult to solve)
  • Call center staff experience level (for example, less than 1 yr, 1-3 yr, 3 or more years)
  • Categorization of call topics

This is just a small sample of the type of metrics you need to be able to measure and capture.  If your organization/group is not capturing this data today, then your starting point is to implement measurement processes and reports to begin capturing this. 

Once you can measure metrics like these you can analyze the data for certain repeating patterns and trends.  Only then will you be able to make recommendations about process changes that will have a sizable and meaningful impact.

If you group doesn't capture this type of data, then really you just floundering around trying to come up with suggestion for process improvement.

Are there other ways to come up with process improvement suggestions without this data.  Yes, but the techniques are inferior in comparison.  They tend to center around one time sampling techniques.  The goal is to get a large enough sample set that you can make reasonable conclusions about the information you receive.  You might:

  • Interview call center staff and ask them what types of problem calls they encounter most often
  • Watch and listen as call center staff take calls and identifying recurring themes
  • Time how long the calls take to be resolved.

As you can see, these techniques try to obtain the same information as the reported data first listed, but the sampling size is going to be quite small and difficult to get extract accurate information from.

Hope this helps.

 


Chris Adams
Core Member – ModernAnalyst.com
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New Post 8/17/2010 6:20 AM
User is offline Anthony Chen
63 posts
8th Level Poster


Re: Cost Saving in call centres 

 havoges wrote

Hi,

I have approx 2 years experience as a system analyst on the telephony system in our company.  They gave me a project now where I need to determine how to save cost and increase productivity in the call centre. 

Where do I start with this?

 

 havoges wrote

Hi,

I have approx 2 years experience as a system analyst on the telephony system in our company.  They gave me a project now where I need to determine how to save cost and increase productivity in the call centre. 

Where do I start with this?

We have done a lot of telephony work in our time. To determine what features/metrics to do first it is helpful to map out the process flow of handling calls and the estimated costs of those portions. In your particular case cost and productivity are actually the same thing as productivity is reduced cost. The flip of cost is revenue, so for example is there an opportunity for the call center to improve revenue. Call centers usually have some decision tree of the most common questions and getting those in the right order can really help improve efficiency. 

 

Here are some additional metrics:

The call centers we have worked with always have a real time metrics screen that is constantly monitored by managers so they can spot problems on a real time basis.

Average wait time (reducing improves customer sat)

Current # of people in the queue

Dropped calls (people left because they got tired of waiting or got mad at the rep)

Transfers (people didnt get the right kind of rep the first time)

Escalated calls

Utilization by rep (average % of time they are on the phone)

Be careful when reducing the "average handle time" of a call because quality can suffer so you want to make sure you are monitoring quality of calls along with the cost savings of average handle time.

We also group metrics by various factors including teams so you can see which teams are functioning the best and you can create competitions between teams.

 

Our blog apparently mentions call center in a few articles so it might be interesting to take a look. I doubt there are any articles specifically on metrics for a call center.

http://requirements.seilevel.com/blog/?s="call+center"

 
New Post 8/23/2010 8:50 AM
User is offline [email protected]
22 posts
9th Level Poster


Re: Cost Saving in call centres 
Modified By training@analystschool.com  on 9/1/2010 11:10:25 PM)

Along with what have been suggested to you, also use a lot of BPMN techinques and apply them for the processes in your company.

 

Step 1: Analyze the current state

Step 2: Analyze the future state .To do this consuct a lot of brainstorming sessions with the business to find out the futre state in regard to some of the following factors:

Keeping the stats in mind, what it will take for us to increase the efficiency eg. increasing the no of calls taken in a day. Lag time, break time. Customer issues etc

 

Average wait time (reducing improves customer sat)

Current # of people in the queue

Dropped calls (people left because they got tired of waiting or got mad at the rep)

Transfers (people didnt get the right kind of rep the first time)

Escalated calls

Utilization by rep (average % of time they are on the phone)

  

Step 3: Consuct the gap analysis

 

analystschool.com

 

 
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