Title: Assessing and improving performance for a small contact centre

Authors: Lifang Wu

Addresses: Williams College of Business, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45207, USA

Abstract: Contact centres are an increasingly important part of today's economy and most of the contact centres in the USA are small ones employing less than 100 agents. This paper provides a case study of applying quantitative techniques to improve operations performance for a small contact centre affiliated with a water plant in the USA. By establishing a regression-adjusted queuing model-based virtual benchmarking contact centre, the research focuses on investigating efficiency losses the small contact centre was facing. The study suggests that the overwhelming majority of the efficiency loss at the small contact centre was related to agent shrinkage (unavailable while logged-in or did not log-in). Surprisingly, forecasting and scheduling errors only resulted in a fairly small portion of the overall efficiency loss, which contradicts the traditional belief of 'scheduling dominating call centre performance'. The article offers managerial insights catering to these small contact centres which can help them eliminate waste, reduce operating costs and improve service quality.

Keywords: small contact centre; quality; efficiency; performance; modelling; benchmarking; service.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEM.2019.100934

International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, 2019 Vol.10 No.2, pp.126 - 145

Received: 06 Nov 2018
Accepted: 04 Mar 2019

Published online: 16 Jul 2019 *

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