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Improving Help Desk Functions by Using Six Sigma Training

Aug 27, 2008
Service desks functions are highly customer oriented. They are in a position to understand the voice of the customer and have the data required for Six Sigma projects.

Areas for application of Six Sigma Training:

-Customer complaints: Help desk operations in themselves are about problem resolution for customers. When a customer faces a situation that requires the support of helpdesk staff, they provide feedback for the product or service. This helps the team understand the internal processes that may be causing customer dissatisfaction.

-Help desk: The internal help desk will have a large variety of calls to be handled. The helpdesk data will help companies understand what types of calls are being received and assist in analyzing the source of such calls. With a full understanding of the resolution process, agents will resolve issues accurately.

-Employee dissatisfaction: In some cases, employees are dissatisfied and view the help desk function as a problem due to the inefficiency of others in the organization. This is one more area that needs to be resolved.

-Technology: One area that is perfect for applying Six Sigma is technology - what kind is being used, review of existing systems and the effect that the improvement will have on the performance of the duties of help desk staff.

-Call monitoring: The monitoring of calls received is done separately by a few people in charge of monitoring. It can be used to find out if data is being used or if it would be useful in bringing about changes or improvements in processes. The appropriate data collection can be useful to identify process improvement opportunities.

Metrics in the Help Desk Function

There are various metrics that can be used to ascertain the quality of help desk activity. The call monitoring function is critical, as it enables agent evaluation and helps in understanding drawbacks of any processes in place. It helps bring about accountability to everyone in the organization.

Some of the metrics that can be used for analysis and improvement activity are quality objectives, efficiency objectives and the adherence to schedules. The evaluation score includes quality of the calls, the number of first calls which have been resolved, customer satisfaction scores on it such calls, customer feedback and the overall cost of the call. The accuracy in data entry is equally important, as it impacts the percentage of resolutions and errors and rework.

Six Sigma projects will be beneficial to bring down costs incurred due to errors and rework. All metrics and data can be then prioritized and used for improvement projects and sustaining the improvements. The added advantage is that of having a competitive edge over competitors. Companies will be giving better value to service providers and become true business partners.

Any big achievement happens over a period of time - it is not an instant process. Systematic usage of Six Sigma for help desk functions will help bring about high levels of customer satisfaction, which is relevant to the success of any organization.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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