Research

Customer service representatives are extremely important as they are the first line of communication between a company and its customers. The company originally had one department where the representatives handled everything including billing, account updates, and technical support. As one of the managers I recommended to my supervisor to break off the responsibilities into different departments to minimize the stress on the representatives. My suggestion was proven a success as we say immediate increase in the quality of the calls as well as improved customer satisfaction. In this email I am including a self-evaluation of my decision as part of my yearly evaluation. I will be as objective and open minded as possible.
I have analyzed my decision using Bazerman & Moore's six steps as a guide: define the problem, identify the criteria, weigh the criteria, generate alternatives, rate each alternative on each criterion, compute the optimal decision. The problem within our department was the continued decrease in the quality scores. When deciding on what to do to fix this problem there were three main things to consider. The first criterion is the term of the solution; would the solution cause the quality to continuounly increase or just for a short time? Secondly, is the cost; would the solution force the company to invest more money then what is considered reasonable? Lastly, is effectiveness; would the solution actually work or fix the problem?
In weighing the three criterions effectiveness is worth a possible 10pts, followed by the cost 7pts, and lastly was the term 5pts. Although breaking up the department into smaller sections was the first possible solutions, there were other alternatives. For example, lowering the standards for quality was one other option, as well as retraining the representatives on the areas measured by the quality team. Lowering the quality standards would be effective on paper because the scores would be higher since the requirements wouldn’t be as high so I gave it 5pts. There is no cost associated with this option gaining the full 7pts, and term wise it would be short since eventually upper management would see no true improvement worth only 3pts for a total of 15pts.
The second alternative of retraining the staff may or may not be effective since there is no guarantee that the representative will retain the information earning 5pts. Cost wise it could be expensive for the entire department to be retrained, not to mention the overtime the trainers may have to be paid for so no points. Term wise if the information is actually learned and retained it could be a long term positive outcome, but since we can’t be sure I gave it 2 points totaling 7pts. Breaking up the department into smaller specialized units would be very effective in the fact that the representatives wouldn’t have as much responsibilities or tasks 8pts, the cost would be minimal 6pts and would have a long term effect for 5pts which total 19pts. So for that reason this was chosen as the final solution.
Breaking up the department into smaller individual areas takes out the randomness of the calls and allows the representatives to be more confident in their ability and knowledge in their specific task or goal. It also minimizes the amount of information they have to retain and utilize on a daily basis. There weren’t any discrepancies between the calculated "optimal" decision and me actual decision although I was surprised to see that my actually decision only outweighed one of the alternatives by 4pts. Weighing the criteria came as the biggest challenge as I found it hard to actually put a value in the form of a score on each one individually. In terms of weaknesses I wouldn’t say there are actually any, but it can be considered somewhat tedious in the sense that not all six steps can be considered necessary.
Reference
Bazerman, M. H., & Moore, D. A. (2009). Judgment in managerial decision making (7th ed.).
Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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Research 9.5 of 10 on the basis of 3516 Review.