Customer Care Center

Behavior-based methods help international organization examine and restructure existing performance measurement systems, resulting in improvements in all customer service quality indicators


A national insurance firm faced the challenge of transitioning from a traditional indemnity organization to the fast-paced world of managed care, requiring more flexibility and proactive performance on the part of its customer care call center representatives. Existing performance measures involved a quota system for number of calls taken per hour that inspired less than lackluster interactions and resulted in employee frustration and customer irritation. Even though many detailed measures and data collection tools were in place, managers and supervisor had no idea how to alter employee interactions that were negatively affecting customer service quality measures. The center was in danger of falling short of meeting the national insurance customer service standards, or National Measurement Information Systems (NMIS) goals set annually by the corporation.

Solution Implemented:

An analysis of current performance measurement systems at the call center, using ADI’s system for behavior-based improvement, revealed that the quota system using number of calls per hour forced call center employees to choose between providing thorough and courteous customer service or meeting quota. Because of management’s emphasis, meeting quota won out every time with the cost of dissatisfied, even angry customers and poor quality ratings. The center subsequently changed the measure to the percent of the workday (stated as available time) those representatives spent on the phone resolving customer problems and answering queries. They also used ADI’s process to set in place a system of rotating teams for maintaining regular data based feedback and recognition to call center employees for achieving initiatives. Available time improved by 50 percent within the first week which immediately made a profound positive impact on all interrelated NMIS customer service quality goals.;

Results of Intervention:

  • Available time, or time spent assisting customer rose from 50% to 90% within one week of changing performance management system
  • Cue time (or customer on hold) dropped from average 3 minutes to 30 seconds
  • Block call (customers receive busy signal) reduced from 30% to 3%
  • Abandon rate (customer disconnects) dwindled from 13% to 3%
  • The customer care division met or exceeded all corporate customer service quality goals

The change was astronomical. The improvement we’ve had has been miraculous.

—Manager of customer service operations