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CanGos Customer Service Problem

In the Case Video, the process improvement team is confronted with just such a challenge
as they address the customer service process. As you watch, ask yourself what advice you
would give the team to help solve their problem.

Video Transcript
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Narrator, Nick, Whitney, Warren, Gail, Debbie
Narrator:
This additional video further explores the topics addressed in this episode.
Watch the video and then consider the discussion questions that follow.
Nick:
Hey, Whit, do you have that demo?
Whitney:
What?
Nick:
That game demo.
Whitney:
Im checking on something. Hang on a second. No, I dont think so.
Warren:
Nick.
Nick:
Yes.
Warren:
Hows the improvement team doing on that process flowchart?
Nick:
Great, Coach; were almost there.
Warren:
I need it right away. Andrews waiting to see it so we can pinpoint some spots
for improvement.
Nick:
Well, you know, we did come up with a list of what happens when a
customer complains about getting the wrong book.

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Warren:
Oh, okay. Great. I mean complaints and returns were our biggest problems
last Christmas. So let me see it.
Nick:
Oh, now now? Um, Whit had it. Whit, that -
Whitney:
Gail was working on it.
Gail:
I gave it to Debbie. [Gail and Whitney whispering inaudibly to each other]
Warren:
Okay. Debbie, process flowchart?
Debbie:
Right here. Its just some questions have come up about certain activities. I
just wanted to ______ that part before I pass it along to you.

Gail has some concerns about the level of detail in the phone menu system and whether it
should appear in the flow chart. Often in flow charting a process, it is useful to divide the
overall processes into independent sub-processes that are easier to deal with. How could
you divide this process to make it more manageable?

Discussion Notes on the Customer Service Process

1. Customer calls in problem by dialing central information phone number.


2. Phone menu system directs customer to choose from the following choices to get to
customer service representative:
a. Level 1: Greeting and identify if you have a tone or pulse phone. Choose 1 if
you have a tone phone. Stay on the phone if you don't have a tone phone (put
on hold for at least 5 minutes). Time spent listening to greeting and identifying
type of phone: 30 sec.
b. Level 2: Pick what you are calling about: Choose 1 if you are calling about
books. Choose 2 if you are calling about online gaming. Choose 3 if you are
calling about any other product. Choose 4 if you want to hear choices repeated.
Time spent listening to choices and getting connected to next level: 30 sec.
c. Level 3: Pick why you are calling about books: Choose 1 if you are calling to
order a book. Choose 2 if you are calling to set up a new account. Choose 3 if
you wish to hear this week's specials. Choose 4 if you wish to speak with
a CanGo special representative. Choose 5 if you want to hear choices repeated.
Time spent listening to choices and getting connected to next level: 30 sec.
d. Level 4: Pick which special representative to talk to. Choose 1 if you are a
vendor and wish to talk to an order specialist. Choose 2 if you are a courier
tracking a book order. Choose 3 if you are customer and wish to speak with a

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customer service representative. Choose 4 if you wish to speak with any other
representative. Choose 5 if you want to hear choices repeated. Time spent
listening to choices about getting connected to next level: 30 sec.
e. Level 5: Pick what you want to speak with the representative about: Choose 1 if
you want to track an order that is late. Choose 2 if you want to check the status
of your order. Choose 3 if you have received your order and have a problem.
Choose 4 if you wish to hear the choices repeated. Time spent listening to
choices about getting connected to next level: 30 sec.

3. After Choice 3 of Level 5 is chosen, customer is usually put on hold for 3 to 10


minutes before customer service representative can take call.
4. When representative answers, the customer usually spends 2 to 5 minutes complaining
to the customer service representative because they could not easily find a phone
number on the Web site. Sometimes they also complain that they just wanted to find
the address to return the package (since CanGo's is not listed on the package label),
butCanGo's address is not listed on the Web site either. Customer complains they spent
10 minutes to 1/2 hour drilling down to find the Web page with a phone number on it.
Then they complain they had to drill down through the phone choices and were put on
hold after finally getting to the right line.
5. Customer service representative apologizes and explains that CanGo doesn't put their
return address on the package because a customer must get an authorization number
before sending back a book. CanGo does not accept packages back if it does not have
an authorization number on it. It is returned back to the mail system. (Explanation and
response: 1 to 2 minutes)
6. Customer service representatives then ask for order number on invoice. If customer
does not have order number, representative must get name or phone number and try to
find the order number on the computer. Sometimes the customer gets off the phone line
and says to wait while the customer searches for the order number. (Time: 1-5 minutes)
7. When the order number is identified, customer service representative asks what the
problem is. If the problem is that the incorrect book was sent, the representative
searches the order information to see if the book was just an extra tagged onto the
shipment or if a book was omitted and replaced with the incorrect book. (Time: 1
minute)
8. The customer service representative lists the information in the computer that corrects
the order. If a different book needs to be sent, a "no-payment-required" order is sent
through the order entry software. If a credit needs to be issued, it is done when the
incorrect book is returned. (Time: 1/2 - 3 minutes)
9. The customer service representative then tells the customer to jot down an address and
a return authorization number just in case the return label that is being sent in the mail
does not get there in the next three days. Sometimes the customer does not have a
paper and pencil handy. (Time: 1/2 - 5 minutes)
10. The customer is told to check their mail for the return label over the next 2 or 3 days.
When the customer gets the label, the customer is to return the book to the box in
which it was sent (if he/she still has it), and paste on the return label with the
authorization number visible. (Time for explanation: 1/2 minute)

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11. If a customer knows when the parcel pick-up service is in his/her service area, the
customer service representative schedules a time when a courier can pick up the
package to be returned. The customer can also take the package to a courier service
center if he/she so desires. If the customer wants the package to be picked up, the
customer service representative must bring up the courier's scheduling program on
his/her computer. (Time: 1 - 4 minutes)
12. If the customer does not know when the parcel pick-up service is in his/her service
area, or if they will not be home to give the package to the courier, the customer is
transferred to the courier's phone system to set up a time for pick-up.
13. Customer is put on hold when connected to the courier's phone system, etc.

One of the issues mentioned in the video (transcript given above) is that Gail has concerns about the
level of detail in the phone menu system and whether it should appear in the flow chart. After reviewing
this, what are your thoughts on the phone menu system? Would you recommend one flow chart for the
entire process, or would you recommend sub-processes? How would you describe and justify your
recommendations?

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Customer Service Process

Identify the Problem

Gail has some concerns about the level of detail in the phone menu system and whether it

should appear in the flow chart. Often in flow charting a process, it is useful to divide the overall

processes into independent sub-processes that are easier to deal with. The problem is how the

entire flow can be divided into several sub-processes for better understanding

Problem Details:

Flowcharts are often highly complex and difficult to understand. Besides, the person

making flowcharts should be highly trained so that s/he understand all the processes very well

and has capability and skill set to construct a logical flow of inputs and outputs of those

processes in a flowchart form. Further the user of flow chart may not be intelligent enough to

understand even the best flow charts. Little change in process flow will require recharting of

entire flowchart which is time consuming and complex. (Lila Ghemri, Flowcharting)

Recommendations:

The entire customer service process is highly complex and is not easy comprehend for

any individual. Given the length and breadth of the processes it is advisable to break the entire

flow into sub-flow. Best way to present the entire process chart is to sub-divide it into

successively lower levels to enable the ability to reveal even minute level details and hence make

it easier for the user to understand.

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The first step is that Gail should educate herself to understand the entire system in detail

and identify limitations. Secondly she could use a contextual diagram to provide customer

service process summary. Contextual diagram explain top processes in a summary form

including data processing system, inputs and outputs with its major incoming and outgoing data

flows linked to external entities (different processes). It is one of the most popular tools for

process modeling and scoping. (Kinzz Business Consulting)

The next step is Gail should sub-divide all those process flow charts which are hard and

difficult to understand. This will also de-clutter the flow charts. Contextual diagram should be

decomposed into high-level process summary, sub-divided flow charts for complex and clumsy

processes. This will enable to explain the lower level process in more detail and in a better

manner. All the source of data and destinations should be identified and each process can be

given a number in sequential manner. Sequencing will enable users to navigate across levels of

flow charts. Sub-division will also makes the future change in processes much easier to adopt.

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References

1. Lila Ghemri, Flowcharting, Texas Southern University

http://cs.tsu.edu/ghemri/cs248/classnotes/flowcharting.pdf

2. Kinzz Business Consulting, Context Diagram

http://kinzz.com/resources/articles/110-context-diagram?showall=1