Published: May 13, 2010 | Comments
For many centers, the quality program is primarily a measuring stick, another report. But what we do with that data—how we use what it tells us about agent performance and overall operations -- is the next logical (and critical) step to success.
Most quality programs are missing the balance between individual performance and process improvement, says Ilene Lustigman, Director of Customer Service for NCCI Holdings, Inc. a Boca Raton, Florida-based comprehensive insurance provider of workers compensation information, tools, and services for nearly 40 states. "So often quality feedback is provided to the individual and it stops there. If you can aggregate the data that is being collected, there is an opportunity to improve the process and prevent the error from occurring again."
NCCI uses quality data to improve processes with a modified Six Sigma approach -- tweaked especially for the call center. "The framework is a great way to ensure that we consistently work through improvements. Plus, the various tools provide the ability to depict issues and improvements. We found it's a great way to share our story with senior management," says Lustigman. "Seeing what our customers are saying in graphical form is incredibly powerful."
NCCI also uses its customer data to drive focus areas for the upcoming year.
An important part of gathering and using this data is call type tracking. "We manage five different subject matters through our call center. It’s important to know if the issue is departmental or subject matter focused," says Lustigman. " And focusing on a large issue like 'providing a correct answer' is a bit daunting. If we can break it down further, it becomes easier to tackle and we have an opportunity to expedite improvements."
Quality Scorecards and Agents
Whether it's a Six Sigma approach or one of the many other process improvement strategies, every quality program has to have buy-in from frontline staff to succeed. "If quality is a partnership, the staff will drive suggestions and improvements from a front line perspective," Lustigman says.
At NCCI, there are no scorecards for individual agents--that was a conscious decision, according to Lustigman. "We wanted everyone focused on the customer experience. Even if we achieve solid results, there are always improvements to be made."