Call Center Design For Lion Financial Services
2003 | Case No. OIT29
Andy Carr, the founder of a small consulting firm that specializes in telephone call centers, is completing an analysis of call center operations for Lion Financial Services (LFS). LFS operates three call centers that collectively employ 170 agents and handle 30,000 calls per week. Agents are organized into different “pools” according to their training and experience; complicated rules are used for routing calls among the three centers and their constituent pools. Andy’s analysis and recommendations touch upon a variety of issues: capacity requirements, including the mix of agents by skill category; training programs, promotion ladders and the definition of agent pools; call routing protocols; potential benefits of physical consolidation; and most prominently, the degree of call “scripting” that is appropriate in designing the LFS work system. Andy believes that by developing a small number of “call blueprints” (one for each of several different call types), training agents in their use, and measuring adherence to the blueprints in call monitoring programs, LFS can improve the quality of service it delivers and reduce the experience and educational levels required of its call center agents. Concerns are raised about the creation of a factory-like atmosphere as agents’ actions are more tightly constrained, with adverse effects on turnover and service quality. Andy argues that “process development” is crucial for long-term productivity gains, making parallels with the Toyota Production System.
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