Magazine article Management Today

Don't You Believe It ... Your Call Is Important to Us

Magazine article Management Today

Don't You Believe It ... Your Call Is Important to Us

Article excerpt

I've used all the hours I've spent on hold over the past few years to deduce the design principles of the typical call centre.

Here they are - if I'd been Mozart I could have written several symphonies and a concerto in the same amount of time.

Minimise call duration. That's why Dell once sent out an engineer five times and still didn't fix my PC. The operator couldn't admit it was really a software issue because it would have taken him too long to sort it out on the phone, so he offloaded it onto someone else. Five visits costs the firm a lot more, but that's not his problem.

Hyperspecialisation. Management's assumption is that operators are so dumb that if they learn how to do a change of address on the system they can't possibly be expected to handle a billing query too. I don't believe this for a moment, and it adds to the work. Now staff spend lots of time transferring calls which have come through to the wrong section, rather than sorting the issue out themselves. …

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