Wednesday, September 20, 2006

An important lesson learnt late - but learnt after all

Dell has been in the news for reducing their Indian call center ops and customer satisfaction woes. From my own days in the call center world I learnt one lesson well - Call center managers focus on statistics. what they miss out on in the midst of AHT, AWT, CPC and other quality parameters is the fundamentals of business- ensuring the customers problem is solved. Dell has summed it up well in his interview to Fortune

From Michael Dell
We were doing some things that were just plain wrong. Last year we had parts of our company where we would say, "Hey, let's handle the calls faster." The problem is that if you handle the call faster, you solve 90% of the problem instead of 100%. So the guy calls back. And you've just pissed him off more, and you haven't accomplished a damn thing.

This year we said we're not going to measure how long we're on the phone, we're going to measure how well we did solving the problem. What happened in the second quarter was we had two million fewer calls than we had planned. The average hold time before we answered the call was cut by more than 50%, and the satisfaction rate went up quite dramatically--like seven or eight points--in just a couple of weeks.

The team was managing cost instead of managing service and quality. It's totally the wrong answer. Stop managing for cost. Manage for a great experience.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:00 PM

    Thanks for the reference to Michael's perspective. He is right on. We are now completely focused on solving customer issues, which is also a fundamental tenent of our direct model. It is the underpinning of our 1:1 relationship with customers. When you think about what Michael said, coupled with the fact that we are the only computer company that designs, manufactures, sells, supports and recycles its products -- No third party -- then solving the customer problem is a fundamental business differentiator too. You cannot find a better buy than that! :-)


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