Data Dome Resources – Success Stories: Telecommunications Customer Service

middle curve

Case Study: Call Center Chaos

A communications giant was confused by the sudden problems experienced by a seasoned crew of customer service professionals.


Top US Telecommunications Company (at time of project), Customer Service Department VP.


75 call center employees who had been strong performers for years were suddenly exhibiting a sharp decline in performance accompanied by a major decline in morale.


Art Schoeck of Data Dome was called by the department's VP to assist in diagnosing and amending the situation. After administering DISC assessments he made the following observations:

  1. Out of the 75 call center employees, 70 conformed to the typical customer service behavioral profile of high I, high S, and high C. These people were by nature both good speakers and good listeners. They enjoyed following documented rules and procedures and did not mind performing repetitive task with little variation day-in and day-out. The remaining 5 call center employees had a different trend in their profiles - they were high D problem solvers. Risk-takers who craved a challenge.
  2. Upon examining the adapted profiles of the employees a more detailed picture appeared. The 70 employees who fit the common customer service profile were all showing a major shift in their adapted profiles. All had pushed both their C and their I below the neutral line.

These observations led Art to ask the VP if their had formerly been a manual, which the employees used, and if so, what had happened such that the manual was no longer in use? The VP was surprised and asked Art how he knew there was no longer a manual. Art explained that the widespread drop in the C column of the Adapted Style charts for the employees strongly indicated that they were now operating in a scenario where they had lost a major resource for rules and procedures making it likely that either a manual was no longer working or no longer existed. Since the Adapted C scores were so consistent it seemed more likely that there was no manual since even a flawed manual might be accepted by some of the employees. Since they were all uncomfortably out of their normal behavior zone for rules and compliance a missing manual made more sense.

The VP quickly understood the reasoning and confirmed that in fact the group was operating without a manual. He further explained the situation: The employees had been selected for their previous experience and performance to be part of a group servicing a newly introduced technology. So new that there was not yet enough real world experience to compile a usable customer service knowledge base and manual. The client had assumed that the group of call center employees selected would be able to not only cope with the lack of structured knowledge resources, but actually be able to in essence improvise solutions on the spot and use the knowledge created as they went along to start building a knowledge base for the offering. Not only was this causing stress due to the lack of structure - rules and codified procedures - that these employees craved, it was also causing them to be anxious and short with people on the phones as the behavioral mismatch was causing an Adapted I that was also below the neutral line. The group as a whole was in fact being improperly managed from a behavioral perspective.


Data Dome's Art Schoeck laid out a plan to take the 5 employees that had exhibited higher D scores in their Natural styles to become a problem-solving task force. Whenever one of the 70 customer service employees encountered an issue that they did not know how to solve, it would be pushed over to the task force who were far more behaviorally suited to the exploratory nature and impromptu decision making required to develop new solutions. As solutions were found, tested and successfully applied,, they would be captured as part of a new and growing manual that could be used by the 70 customer service employees. Initially the task force was somewhat flooded with requests, but there was an immediate morale improvement because the high D's now had an assignment that better suited their behavioral style and the rest now had a procedure under which to operate on a daily basis. Rapidly the I's and C's of the 70 customer service people returned to their normal Natural levels and within a few short months the task force had examined and created enough real world solutions to develop robust knowledge base for the rest of the department to use. Each new solution contributing not just to the department's knowledge, but to restoring their performance and morale by bringing the group back in alignment with their behavioral norms.

Bottom Line:

The client recognized a major flaw in their approach to managing the new technology customer service department. Morale and productivity were rapidly restored. The client further benefited by now having a model for launching similar successful customer service teams whenever new technology solutions were introduced by the company.

Read more Success Stories or give us a call at 404-814-0739 to discuss solutions that are right for your situation.
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