Now that more and more commerce is done both virtually and traditionally, excellent customer service have become ubiquitous for almost all successful companies. They have evolved to entire departments comprised of multiple channels of communication including online chat portals, social media, call centers, and email. Because of the multiple processes involved in efficient customer service and the many employees that need to be coordinated, the Six Sigma methodology is a perfect match for improvement initiatives, both within the customer service department as well as company-wide. In order for these multiple customer service processes to be improved simultaneously, critical to quality metrics need to be identified. Customer service metrics include quick resolutions, decreased hold time, customer satisfaction, slow or inefficient systems, unorganized resources, and lack of CS representative training/missing skills.
Six Sigma Professionals with specialized training in customer service hold the skills to collect this rough data. The data is then analyzed with a goal of pinpointing quality improvement solutions for issues that occur both within the customer service processes as well as earlier in the production chain. For example, if a significant percentage of customers are reporting the same problem with a product or service, a Six Sigma professional can report that hard data back to a designated department head in order to assemble another Six Sigma Team to eliminate the problem. Six Sigma data from customer service departments can eliminate costly ‘work arounds’ to problems that arise, allowing teams to identify and limit defects by providing data-driven resolutions. Root cause analysis is a Six Sigma tool that is used often in customer service; it allows the team to go back and find the ‘root cause’ of a frequently occurring defect or problem in order to resolve it from the start.
While Six Sigma certified Customer Service Professionals are improving upon their own internal processes and collecting necessary data for other company-wide departments to use in perfecting their processes, they are also simultaneously putting in place safeguards to ensure that workflow is continuously improved. In other words, once a process is perfected, everyone needs to work together as a Six Sigma team to ensure that the improvements continue indefinitely. The final stages of the Six Sigma DMAIC/DMADV processes are Control/Verify; both of which ensure that improvements made are both positive and continuous through the life of the process, or in some cases, the company itself. This ensures that the perfected customer service strategies are continuously creating improved customer service indefinitely. This is the key to achieving customer loyalty, retention, and ultimately success as a business.