Is Your Call Center Six Sigma

Published: 26th March 2012
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A business management strategy used widely in many sectors is phrased out to be “Six Sigma”. This was originally developed and implemented by Motorola, USA in 1986. Six Sigma works efficiently by stimulating the quality of the process and by finding and removing any errors. It also lowers any instability in the business management and manufacturing process. Six Sigma works by using quality and statistical methods in managing. It helps in creating a special group of people within the organization and they work towards ensuring defined procedures and quantified financial targets.

Six Sigma methods have been developed for improving quality, mainly in the manufacturing sector. Implementing Six Sigma in call centers has been an emerging practice in the service industry. Six Sigma helps in making the most important and accurate assessments, making use of its statistical tools and techniques. This ensures a long lasting improvement in quality and with so much competition in today's call center market; individual centers are more focused on quality and efficiency more than ever. The Six Sigma approach promotes a lean business structure where costs are at a minimum and efficiency is inflated.

Call centers are pervasive in business. The services they provide are applicable to just about every business in the world. From someone selling shoes like the Las Vegas based Zappo's to a Plumber in California, they exist to strengthen customer service and keep businesses open around the clock. The use of answering services has become vital, even making it impossible for businesses to move ahead without even a small degree of customer service outsourcing.

From the point of view of a telephone answering service owner, there is a ton of heavyweight competition out there. Call centers have always faced big competitions and the most part of any contact center managers plate is survival in spite of the competition. Because the services are in high demand, many centers will overburden their staff without ramping up infrastructure or hiring employees and will fail. Like in any industry, the key to success is attaining customer satisfaction without increasing operational cost. This is where Six Sigma comes into play as call centers are forced to look into each and every aspect minutely, finding newer ways of improvement.

Most call centers work hard to keep customers happy. To attain high customer satisfaction, there are a lot of procedures which they tend to adopt like scrutinizing FCR, abandonment, call time, and even pay rates for their CSR's. The vital role call centers have to play is to make sure that customers are content enough to remain loyal. To stay in business, every call center must make certain that customers will either spread the word about their professionalism or be there as a viable reference should the need arise.

Call centers are a junction between a company and their customers. The most important milestone a call center can achieve using a Six Sigma structure is to provide a high quality service that will motivate customers to remain loyal to the company. Six Sigma black belt practices have helped call centers attain this objective easily by eliminating unnecessary steps the operators take during opening and closing of calls and by fording the managerial staff to endorse automated call handling technologies like predictive dialers to improve operator "active" time. Increasing operator efficiency is beneficial to every facet of the call center operations.

Implementing Six Sigma has helped call centers save millions of dollars with its practices helping to streamline operations. The key to any successful implementation is to first concentrate on your CSR core and ask what you can do to improve their efficiency. What can you do to reduce their time on each call? What can you do to reduce their time in call handling, not just speaking but any starting and wrap up activities they may have? If you can solve these questions, you are on your way to being a Six Sigma black belt!

For more articles about the telephone answering service industry, please visit the Call Outsourcing Guide. You can also visit Messages Plus Answering Service to see a real world example of how a business has successfully implemented Six Sigma strategies.

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