Recently, I listened to this NPR podcast from Planet Money about Xerox instituting a test for any applicants for their call center created by Evolv. Basically, the test revolves around the answers the applicant submits to a computer generated profile of what the ideal candidate profile should be.
If the applicant does not fit the profile, they will be rejected. It’s a fascinating podcast if big data interests you. If you don’t want to listen to it and want to do some reading here is a good summary of it.
Call centers want to be highly efficient because of the influx of calls that potentially come in which is what one area the test can determine based off of your answers. One of the NPR reporters took the test and would have been automatically rejected because he wasn’t efficient with time management.
Also not long ago, I learned that depending on the call center and company’s policies, the time it takes for you to resolve an issue plays a role and if the resolution is satisfactory contribute in your performance review.
The bigger the company the more data driven they will become because of sheer size. If you look at a $100 billion company they are swinging a sledgehammer. Have a nail to drive into a stud? Sledgehammer. If you can save 1% per year using the six sigma methodology that’s $10 million in savings which isn’t chump change. Top that with the lean methodology and the savings could be much higher. This is why companies like Xerox want to implement a test like that to weed out potential candidates. It saves time and money prescreening and post hiring. If an operator is wasting time and not closing the call successfully, then that means you’ll call again and tie up another operator’s time. This is why call centers want you to please you.
This brings to mind this post that Grant made a little while back. He made one phone call to Citi’s retention department and was able to get a handful of retention offers. If Citibank does anything like Xerox, Grant could have made that representative that fielded his call “employee of the month” for not closing any of the accounts that Grant thought about closing.
PS – thanks to @aegt for letting me know about Planet Money, I have listened to hours of their podcasts and there are a few other future topics from Planet Money that I will be writing about. I have learned so many random facts about various things it’s hugely fascinating. Like who knew that Macy’s was a pioneer of the price tag? Or why people come up with American car makers for pick up trucks because of a chicken tax? How about the inventor of Steak Umm’s also invented KFC’s popcorn chicken?