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Implementing Six Sigma in BPO's and Customer Contact Centers

Jan 31, 2008
Six Sigma has proved quite beneficial for the services sector because rather than making direct alterations in the product or service, it concentrates more on making improvements in existing business processes, which automatically improves the quality of final outcome, be it a product or service. This is like tackling the root cause that might be creating problems related to quality.

Determining Quality Levels In BPO's And Customer Contact Centers

In BPO's and customer contact centers, customer input and feedback is first quantified so as to develop a better understanding of their needs and expectations. Based on the quantification, Six Sigma professionals then chalk out various levels of quality to be achieved over the planned period of implementation, which usually ranges from three to six months, depending on the complexity of the implementation project. The basic aim is to make continuous improvements in business processes so as to achieve the highest possible quality levels.

How Six Sigma Is Helping BPO's And Customer Contact Centers

1. Giving prominence to Voice of the Customer (VOC): The ultimate aim of BPO's and customer contact centers is to increase customer satisfaction, a task that can only be accomplished if customer needs and expectations are met. This is why in a Six Sigma organization, automated feedback systems are put in place, which continuously track changing customers' needs and expectations. When existing business processes are tweaked based on VOC, it becomes easier for the organization to do justice to customer needs and expectations.

2. Assigning the right person for the right job: Six Sigma may be mainly associated with the improvement of business processes, but in BPO's and customer contact centers, it goes a step further and takes on some of the responsibilities of the HR department. Six Sigma helps in classifying call center professionals based on their current skills and expertise, which in turn helps management in assigning the right person for the right job. The point to remember here is that such classification is not done in a way that undermines the abilities of call center professionals. It is done in such a way that professionals who are less skilled do not feel offended. Offering free training and making available other avenues of professional development to those who have been classified as less skilled, solves the problem of employee dissatisfaction, if any.

Apart from these, Six Sigma also helps in improving internal operations of BPO's and customer contact centers, something that automatically leads to a reduction in the overall cost of operations. This may not affect customer satisfaction, but it does help BPO's to maintain competencies, which has become quite essential considering the increasing competition in the BPO industry.
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 lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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