Managers need to make informed decisions. Using data, or research, to analyze your business is an important part of making decisions and evaluating business performance. An IT manager analyzes service levels, a marketing manager tries to predict results of planned campaigns, and virtually any business manager needs data to identify relationships between relevant variables. Your skill in business research to analyze data and drive decision-making helps you to add confidence despite uncertainty, draw conclusions about organizational performance, and add value to your organization.

Scenario

As the manager of a customer service call center, you are evaluating the quality of the call center’s operations. One of the most important metrics in a call center is time in queue (TiQ), the time a customer waits before a customer service representative (CSR) comes on the line to help. To provide the best customer experience, you want your customers’ wait to be less than the 2.5-minute (150 seconds) industry standard. You know that when they wait for too long, customers are more likely to have a negative experience or hang up before being helped.

Another metric you measure in the call center is the handle time, or service time (ST), the amount of time a CSR spends servicing the customer. Last month’s average ST was approximately 3.5 minutes (210 seconds). Your industry experience tells you that average ST can be influenced by a CSR’s level of training, amount of experience, and whether the CSR can provide resolution to the issue quickly. Recently, you tested a strategy to have callers identify the type of issue they are calling about and then route calls to CSRs with expertise in that issue.

The new protocol (PE) is being tested side-by-side with the current protocol (PT) to see if ST is improved with this strategy. The regional director was hesitant to test the PE protocol for two weeks, already concerned about the customer experience, but agreed to the test. After the first few days, the regional director is anxious to know the results and asks you to send a report. You ask the user experience (UX) team to pull a report for the TiQ and ST for both protocols to analyze.

Preparation
Review the call time analysis provided by the UX team. You may also review the call time data in Excel, if desired.
Assessment Deliverable
Write a 250- to 500-word email, or memo, about the PE and PT test results after the first few days. Address the following in your email:
Analyze the impact the new protocol (PE) has had on time in queue and service time.
Determine if the PE protocol should be implemented widely in the call center with what you know so far.
Identify what additional data and analyses would be helpful to determine if the PE protocol is working.
Explain what is likely to happen to TiQ and ST if the PT protocol is kept.
Explain how a sudden increase of 20% more calls might influence TiQ and ST.
Justify whether the data is sufficient to determine if the PE test is successful.
Suggest additional metrics and supporting data needed to determine the performance of the call center’s operations.

 

Sample Answer

Sample Answer

 

Evaluating the Impact of New Protocol on Call Center Operations

Dear Regional Director,

I am writing to provide you with an analysis of the test results for the new protocol (PE) compared to the current protocol (PT) after the initial few days of implementation. Here are the key findings and recommendations based on the data provided by the user experience (UX) team:

Impact on Time in Queue (TiQ) and Service Time (ST)

The analysis of the data indicates that the new protocol (PE) has resulted in a noticeable improvement in both time in queue and service time metrics. The average TiQ has decreased by approximately 20 seconds, bringing it closer to the industry standard of 150 seconds. Additionally, the service time has shown a slight reduction, suggesting that routing calls based on the type of issue may be helping CSRs resolve customer queries more efficiently.

Implementation Recommendation

Based on the initial results, it is recommended to consider implementing the new protocol (PE) widely in the call center. The positive impact on TiQ and ST suggests that the strategy of routing calls to CSRs with expertise in specific issues is effective in enhancing operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Additional Data and Analyses

To further evaluate the effectiveness of the PE protocol, additional data and analyses would be beneficial. It would be helpful to track customer feedback and satisfaction ratings post-implementation to gauge overall customer experience. Furthermore, conducting a comparative analysis over a longer duration would provide more insights into the sustained impact of the new protocol on call center operations.

Potential Outcomes of Maintaining PT Protocol

If the PT protocol is kept in place without implementing the PE strategy, it is likely that TiQ and ST may stagnate or even see a slight increase over time. Without the personalized routing of calls to specialized CSRs, there may be challenges in optimizing service delivery and meeting customer expectations.

Influence of Increased Call Volume

A sudden increase of 20% more calls is expected to impact both TiQ and ST metrics. With higher call volume, TiQ is likely to increase as more customers wait in queue for assistance. ST may also rise as CSRs handle a greater number of calls, potentially leading to longer service times and impacting overall efficiency.

Determining Success of PE Test

While the initial data provides valuable insights, it may not be sufficient to conclusively determine the success of the PE test. Continuous monitoring and analysis of key performance indicators, such as call abandonment rates and first call resolution, would be essential to assess the long-term effectiveness of the new protocol.

Additional Metrics and Data Requirements

To comprehensively evaluate the performance of call center operations, additional metrics such as call resolution rates, customer retention rates, and employee satisfaction scores would be instrumental. Collecting feedback from both customers and CSRs on their experience with the new protocol would also offer valuable insights into its impact on overall service quality.

In conclusion, the preliminary results of the PE test show promise in improving call center efficiency and customer experience. By leveraging additional data and conducting thorough analyses, we can make informed decisions regarding the widespread implementation of the new protocol to enhance operational performance.

Thank you for your attention to these findings, and I look forward to discussing further insights and recommendations for optimizing call center operations.

Best regards,
[Your Name]
Manager, Customer Service Call Center

 

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