Calls R Us Consultancy Report
Number of words: 1471
This report aims to analyse the data provided by Calls R Us and assess it to find potential problems affecting performance, and solutions to these. A discussion of the main issues the company currently struggles with has been included as well as a performance forecast comparing the current business trend and performance upon applying the changes suggested. At the end, the recommendations section lists all of the changes suggested.
2. Analysis and discussion of main issues
Upon examining the case study, one would find several problems affecting the firm, all of them related to poor management and quality control, which explains past poor performance. The main issues are listed as follows.
2.1. Queuing calls
By allowing only 10 seconds to wrap up each call, the agents may feel pressured to work at a very fast pace and feel overwhelmed, which may be an incentive to put themselves on hold or at the end of the queue, exacerbating the problem of missed calls and increasing waiting times. Instead, allowing 30 seconds with no possibility of disruption (not allowing them to place themselves on hold or at queue end) would be an effective solution.
Due to not answered calls, the firm has already charged $664 to their clients unnecessarily. This issue has already been raised by a client and needs immediate attention.
2.1. Confusion when relating phone numbers to customers
It is extremely difficult to keep track of all the phone numbers incoming. It would be more efficient to keep one phone number and simply create a ticket ID for each customer. The agent would ask the customer for their ticket ID and the agents would type it in the system software, which would recognise the customer linked to their respective ticket ID. This would avoid the risk of confusion.
2.2. Inaccuracy with shifts and calls forecast
No one can forecast the future with accuracy. It would be ideal to have half of the staff as fixed employees, spending all the working hours at the office, while having the other half as variable-shift employees that could be present or not depending on a previous forecast. This would solve the problem of lacking staff when there are more calls than forecasted on any given day.
At the same time, in order to potentially boost revenues, part of the agents could take a more active role and act as telemarketers those days when the volume of incoming calls is low. This would also solve the problem of having inactive agents in the office. If you are not giving customer service, try to sell a product.
For instance, on a slow day, if the firm had all 8 agents at the office, 4 of them could be assigned the role of customer service and the other 4 would adopt the role of telemarketer, making calls to make sales. Whenever the volume of incoming calls increases, Thomas would tell the telemarketers to switch back to customer service mode.
For the purposes of better control, it would be imperative to have two different types of documents, one for wrapping up calls related to customer service and a different one for sales.
2.3. Agents’ potential dodgy activity
After examining the satisfaction rates, the following is observed.
Every agent has a proportion of calls that, despite of being rated with a 1 or 2 by the customer, were marked as resolved, which is obviously not very logical. This raises suspicion on whether the agents are marking unresolved calls as resolved for the sake of increasing their own income. This is possible especially if agents make a commission out of each call depending on whether it is resolved or not. It is recommended to consider hourly wages.
It is also proposed that the customers are asked not only to rate the service that the agent has provided, but also whether the problem was solved. It is also recommended that all calls are recorded and checked when necessary.
The graph above shows how the revenue was split by agent in the month of January. Following the trend, the revenue forecast for the first weeks of February would look as it follows.
In order to find an estimation for the revenue of the first two weeks of February, we have taken the total number of calls taken by each agent in January and divided it by two. Then, we applied the corresponding rates. The total would be $11,275 for the first two weeks of February. The average waiting time between calls would be one minute and thirty-nine seconds (see appendix for more details).
Bear in mind that by keeping the following business trend, the company would still be overcharging their clients (by $332 during the two weeks of February). This is an extremely serious threat as it could mean loss of business with the risk of bankruptcy. At the same time, the firm may be paying too much on resolved calls as it was explained earlier.
Now, if one were to forecast the same period after applying the aforementioned changes, we would probably have something like what the graphs below.
The waiting time has been reduced to one minute and fifteen seconds. The firm is not overcharging clients and the number of calls both resolved and unresolved, have increased. For the purposes of this forecast, it has been assumed that, out of the unknown/unanswered calls, 25% have been added to the answered calls and 75% went to resolved calls. On top of that, the improvement in waiting time and the partial telemarketing approach has led each agent to take on 10% more calls. These measures have increased revenue to $14182.
The firm would be $2908 better off for the first two weeks of February.
List of overall recommendations for Calls R Us.
- Do not allow agents to place themselves on hold. Allow for 30 seconds between calls.
- Establish a phone number and identify each customer with ticket IDs.
- Use two different sheets, one for customer service and a different one for sales.
- Set a number of agents to work full time and the rest as variable-shift agents.
- When the volume of incoming calls is low, part of the agents can be telemarketers.
- Let the customers mark their call as resolved or unresolved.
- Constantly keep an eye on the satisfaction ratings.
- Consider establishing hourly wages instead of commission dependent on resolved calls.
These changes would reduce waiting times, talking times, increase revenue and prevent the firm from overcharging clients, increasing overall quality of service.
This report has analysed the data provided by Calls R US in an attempt to find potential problems that could be negatively affecting the performance of the firm. A list with a number of recommendations has been made. As it has been shown by the forecast, following these recommendations would help the company generate more revenue, increase the quality of their service, improve the efficiency of operations keep clients happy.