Process Hemorrhaging: Bleeding to death from a thousand pinpricks


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I just got off the phone with Microsoft hardware support getting an explanation that literally took 10 seconds (my new wireless mouse has a magnifier feature but no instructions about how to turn it off). So how long did I spend on the phone? Over 6 minutes. How long should it have taken, including logging me in and issuing a case number? About 90 seconds.

Okay, the call took about 260 seconds longer than it should have. Big deal? Yes, a huge deal, because the “waste time” is part of every service call Microsoft’s contact centers receive. How many is that? I wouldn’t even hazard a guess, but let’s say the average contact center receives a million a year.

Now comes the fun part. If we multiply 260 seconds by 1MM and divide by 360 to convert to hours we get 72,222 hours wasted hours a year per contact center. That equals 9,028 eight-hour workdays or about 36 extra employees per contact center MS is paying for in one way or another. Multiplied by how many contact centers?

Gee, if you were Steve Ballmer, wouldn’t you be thinking about just a tiny bit of process improvement?


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