Nordania Leasing – Better service and better working climate at major call centre
The challenge How do you ensure efficient service for all your incoming customer calls? This was the challenge for Nordania Leasing when they decided to direct all customer calls to a single call centre: NordaniaLinjen. Servicing customer calls is a key task for service enterprises such as Nordania Leasing, and success is certainly not a given. Indeed, the task proved an arduous one: The workload was immense, and Nordania Leasing struggled with a lack of skills, structure, and appropriate tools. For example, only 50-60% of all calls were answered instantly; the rest were put on hold or bypassed the new call centre altogether. The staff in charge of answering the calls did not all have the know-how or skills required to provide adequate responses to the clients’ questions, and there were no standards for how to answer inquiries. Nor was there a common framework in place to deal with errors. This led to additional problems: Phone calls were forwarded inside the Nordania organisation, but this did not necessarily resolve issues or add value for either customer or Nordania Leasing. Quite the contrary: it caused interruptions throughout the entire organisation, and this had become a significant cost factor. Finally, the employees were not sufficiently familiar with the Nordania Leasing organisation and its goals, and this led to low morale.
The solution Nordania Leasing and Valcon were already working on implementing lean administration elsewhere in the Nordania organisation, and so they agreed to launch a focused lean process for NordaniaLinjen. Valcon and the lean manager at Nordania Leasing introduced a number of new tools to make sure that everyone knew what to do – and to set up a firm framework to support individual employees. The process included value stream mapping for main processes, specific targets for the calls answered, a clear system stating what employees can and cannot answer, an ongoing dialogue with various departments on what should be said and what can be said during calls, and standard responses to frequently answered questions.
The project was governed by a number of guiding principles: Empathic, visible management, employee involvement, transparency, and a climate of openness and trust.
The results For NordaniaLinjen, the key result is that the lean principles have now become a deeply ingrained part of how the entire department works and thinks. This has created a whole new company culture – and of course it has also generated many concrete results. For example, many more calls are resolved in one go; as yet, 80% of all calls are now “one and done”; before the introduction of lean this rate was only 50%. Not only does this mean that clients are happy; it also means that the rest of the organisation is interrupted much less frequently. With the new standards and clear goals, introducing new members of staff is much easier – and training is simpler thanks to the development of new skill sets specifically aimed at phone services. The organisation continues to carry out continuous improvements in accordance with the “kaizen” philosophy (Japanese for “change for the better”). Last, but by no means least, employees are now proud and happy to be working for NordaniaLinjen.