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Improving Call Center Performance

At one time, the collection team at UGI Utilities, Inc. (Reading, Pa.) used to lose between 400 and 500 calls a day (customers hanging up after being on hold for too long). "Now, on a bad day, we rarely even lose 100," reports Alexis Bechtel, supervisor of Central Credit. "Our people are answering about 80% of all calls within 90 seconds."

Moreover, collections employees, who used to answer between four and five calls an hour while spending the rest of their time off-line doing paperwork, are now averaging nine calls an hour. And on average they are collecting 11% of their accounts, almost triple what they did before.

All of these improvements have grown out of a performance measurement program begun as part of the company's Performance Quality Management initiative. Most of the initiative involved a workforce management program that focused on creating RE's (reasonably-expected times to get jobs done).

This article examines their call center's training, improvement teams, written goals and objectives, awards, what types of incentives they offer, and the how, when, and what of their monthly meetings. . . . (to read the remainder of this article, please log in below.)
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