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Project

Gap Analysis Strategy for PJ Enterprises


Team 3 / Module 2

November 13, 2016

Project Description
PJ Enterprises (PJE) develops, manufactures, and markets gifts, apparel, and home accessories through its
retail location and mail order catalog division. PJE focuses on the needs of women between the ages of 26
and 55 who own their own homes and have family incomes of between $40,000 and $80,000 per year.
They recorded over $6 million in sales this year, and are seeking to aggressively surpass that total in the
next year. This years targets include $7 million in sales, $13 million in catalog sales (up from last years
goal of $10 million), and a net profit of $2 million. Currently, PJE is housed in a building that has 4,000
square feet of office space and 6,000 square feet of warehouse space.
PJE has identified customer service and work satisfaction among customer service employees as key
points in meeting these goals. The data gathered in recent customer service surveys indicated that 50% of
those surveyed are not inclined to continue doing business with the company due to poor customer service
provided by telephone operators. PJE believes that there is a lack of product knowledge among the
telephone operators that is primarily causing the increase in complaints and customer service issues. Data
backs that up, revealing frequent complaints regarding inadequate service, product knowledge, telephone
etiquette, and lack of prompt responses. In addition, a customer service employee survey indicated that
more than half of the telephone operators are unhappy with their jobs to the point of leaving.
The management of PJE are desiring an improvement to the training program for the telephone operators.
They have asked DesignFormation Performance (DFP) to consult with them on improving processes for
customer-service supervisors and telephone operators. DFP will begin this process by performing a
thorough needs analysis to determine the current state of operations at PJE, identify a desired result, and
determine the specifics of the gap between these states. With this information, DFP will propose a
solution to enable PJE achieve its goals.

Information Needed
DFS will analyze the following aspects in operations at PJE, and the gap between the current state and the
companys desired state.
Customer experiences:

Customer surveys

Sales figures



Project Gap Analysis Strategy for PJ Enterprises Team 3/Module 2_ 11_13_16


Call center operators employee factors:

Recruiting

Customer service employees training

Previous telephone operator training other job aids

Telephone operators knowledge and comfort with call system, products, and work processes
and tools

Training programs and protocols for new operators.

Job performance

Interview process and requirements for hiring new employees

calls per hour and distribution among telephone operators

Job satisfaction factors

Employee satisfaction survey data findings

Changes in human resources (HR) policies that affect telephone operator employees

Employee schedules and hours worked

Motivational policies, including incentives, rewards, feedback, and discipline

Agendas from employee meetings

Comparison of PJEs employees compensation to compensation for similar roles in


competitive businesses

Other indirect operational issues

Working conditions, performance, and satisfaction among warehouse employees

Warehouse logisticsshipping times, quality, and rates of return, which may affect customer
happiness.

Team Strategy

Interviews

Employee Surveys

Training Document review

Sales Document review

Observations



Project Gap Analysis Strategy for PJ Enterprises Team 3/Module 2_ 11_13_16

Analysis Plan

Research
Method
Observation

Target Audience
Telephone operators

Information You Hope to Gain


By observing working on their daily
tasks and in team meetings, we seek
to gain a global understanding of:

Team Member
Responsible
Ambre Quinn

Existing service, product

knowledge, and phone etiquette


standards and training
Current individual and team

morale and job satisfaction


Basic work processes, tools, and

system features central to daily


tasks
Employee schedules and

routines
Current call volume and

productivity levels
Existing motivational policies,

including incentives, rewards,


feedback, and discipline
Opportunities to improve

efficiency and access to product


information needed to serve
customers
2

Interviews

Telephone operators
Supervisors
SMEs: Judie Thompson, catalog

director; Sheena Perez,


merchandising manager
PJE Management:

Mike Merrill, and Jane


MacKenzie, sponsor

By interviewing key parties in PJE,


we seek to gain a direct
understanding of:

Jill Ballard

Telephone operators experience

of their jobs, addressing issues


concerning performance,
training and job satisfaction.
Supervisors experience of their

jobs, addressing issues


concerning performance,
training and job satisfaction.
SMEs perspective of call center

issues, including Judie


Thompson and Sheena Perez
PJE managements expectations

for growth and understanding of


call center issues, including
Mike Merrill and Jane
MacKenzie



Project Gap Analysis Strategy for PJ Enterprises Team 3/Module 2_ 11_13_16

Research
Method
Surveys

Target Audience
Telephone Operators

Information You Hope to Gain


Survey topics will address:

Team Member
Responsible
Scottie Altland

job satisfaction

pay

common challenges
encountered with customers

adequacy of resources to

perform duties
quality of work environment to

perform duties
training provided to perform

duties
4

Review of
Training
Documents
and
Materials

Previous PowerPoint Training

Presentation
Previous Trainer Script

accompanying the PowerPoint


presentation from Merchandising
Manager, Sheena Perez, and
Catalogue Director, Judie
Thompson
Summary Product Descriptions

on Automated-Entry System

Through the review of training


documents and materials, DFP aims
to gain a clear view of the strengths
and weaknesses of the prior training
methodology, content, and
resources.

Cristal
Shimamura

The information gathered from this


review will determine what areas of
the training can be improved to
maximize efficacy.

Catalogue Corresponding with

Previous Training
5

Sales
Document
Review

Merchandising Manager, Sheena

Perez
Sales Support Director, Jane

MacKenzie

The information gathered from this


review will determine:

the correlation between sales


numbers, rate of calls processed,
and individual breakdown of
each operators call statistics.

a comparison of telephone
operators rate, sales
transactions, and any correlation
between customer service
complaints with operator
characteristics and statistics.

PJE Customers



Project Gap Analysis Strategy for PJ Enterprises Team 3/Module 2_ 11_13_16

Rob Ellington

Activity 1 Observation: Call Center Representatives


Details of Activity/Method

DFP will observe the call center over the course of one week ensuring that each portion of the shift is
observed. Observation activities will include:

shadowing individual supervisors and representatives as they perform daily tasks,

listening to randomized samples of live (or recorded) calls with customers,

attending team meetings,

sitting in on any onboarding/training sessions that may be scheduled

requesting copies of existing training materials, job aids, and other documentation related to
product information and service standards.

The DFP observer will seek answers to the following questions, while remaining alert to other
information that could be relevant to department morale and performance.
Questions to Ask

What does excellent customer service look like?

When are employees observed to be at their best, and at their worst, relating to each other, to their
supervisor(s), and to the customers?

How is employee performance measured?

How is performance feedback provided to the employee?

What reference materials are available to support product knowledge?

What job aids are currently available for new hires and for navigating complex processes?

What is the overall mood of the department, and of individual employees?

What call volume is required meet daily individual and team productivity goals?

What types of motivational policies and incentives are currently being implemented?

Which existing tasks and processes can be improved or streamlined, and are there tools that could
be created to support performance?

Activity 2 Interviews
The interviewees will include: telephone operators; supervisors; SMEs Judie Thompson, Catalog Director
and Sheena Perez, Merchandising Manager; and PJE management, Mike Merrill and Jane MacKenzie,
sponsor.
The purpose of these interviews is to determine a clear understanding of call center issues at PJE, and to
learn more about telephone operators and supervisors performance issues, experience at work, and job
satisfaction, in relation to the companys growth expectations. These interviews will target these different
groups, all of which are integral to the focus. While specific prompting questions will be prepared and


Project Gap Analysis Strategy for PJ Enterprises Team 3/Module 2_ 11_13_16


asked during the interviews, the nature of interviewing is to elicit the subjects individual perspectives,
which may expand beyond the targeted goal. All questions seek to discover new insights about how
customer service performance is adversely affecting PJE in relation to its proposed growth expectations.
(Questions in parentheses indicate follow-up questions.)
Prompting questions to telephone operators will focus on their job experience and the expectations of
their roles, addressing job satisfaction and issues that are perceived to hinder performance.
Sample questions for telephone operators:

Tell me what you do in your job.

What kinds of issues come up during calls with customers?

How do you feel about helping difficult customers?

What do you do best in your job?

Are you happy in your work? (What would you like to change in any respect?)

How would you like to improve your current performance?

Prompting questions to supervisors will focus on their job experience and the expectations of their roles,
addressing job satisfaction and issues that are perceived to hinder both their performance and telephone
operators.
Sample questions for supervisors:

Tell me what you do in your job.

What kinds of issues come up in the call center during calls with customers?

How do you help telephone operators when they interact with customers?

How do you help telephone operators when they interact with difficult customers?

What do you do best in your job?

Are you happy in your work? (What would you like to change in any respect?)

How would you like to improve your current performance?

Prompting questions with SMEs, Judie Thompson, catalog director and Sheena Perez, merchandising
manager, will focus on determining their understanding about what telephone operators and supervisors
need to perform their jobs successfully. These questions will also address what training has been given, to
whom, its perceived impact, as well as what training is proposed to address current customer service
issues.



Project Gap Analysis Strategy for PJ Enterprises Team 3/Module 2_ 11_13_16


Sample questions for SMEs:

Tell me what telephone operators should do in their jobs.

What kinds of situations create problems for telephone operators during calls with customers?
( for supervisors during calls with customers?)

What information or processes do you suggest to help telephone operators and supervisors when
they interact with customers? ( with difficult customers?)

How often are telephone operators and supervisors trained? (Are trainings iterative? Are they
updated annually or (other) times per year?)

What kinds of training have telephone operators been given to this pointbefore starting their
jobs? (After theyve been on the job for a period of time?)

What kinds of training have supervisors been given to this point?

What kinds of performance issues have been addressed in trainings to this point, for telephone
operators and supervisors?

What information or processes would you want to include in the next round of call center
training?

Questions for Mike Merrill and Jane MacKenzie will address managements perspectives about what they
believe is hindering growth, and what changes they believe are needed to address call center issues.
Sample questions for Mike Merrill and Jane MacKenzie:

Tell me what you think is the biggest issue holding PJE back from its current growth goals?

For the call center, what kinds of performance issues do you think are impacting customer service
negatively?

What do you think is the biggest opportunity for change in the call center?

What other performance factors may affect customer service?

What other thoughts do you have on this subject?

Activity 3 Survey of Telephone Operators


Details of Activity/Method:

A survey will be administered to the telephone operators for the purpose of pinpointing what the
employees need to close the gap between the current condition and desired state of PJE. A pool of
telephone operators will be selected randomly to complete a survey. The group selected will be
representative of the diverse characteristics of the group. Employees identities will remain anonymous
to encourage them to respond openly and honestly to each question. Each survey will take approximately
15-20 minutes, be completed independently, and administered in one sitting. Selected telephone
operators will be paid for their time and their supervisors have agreed to release them without penalty
for this activity.


Project Gap Analysis Strategy for PJ Enterprises Team 3/Module 2_ 11_13_16


Questions to Ask:

The survey will consist of the following open response questions:

How many hours per week do you work?

Which shift(s) do you work regularly?

Describe what you do in a typical day in your role at PJE.

Describe the most challenging part of your job.

Tell about the most rewarding aspect of your job.

How would you rate the quality of your breaks? 1=good 2=fair 3=poor

How often do you attend department meetings?

Describe the training you have received regarding catalog products. Include information
how the training was delivered.

Tell what aspects of training you found most valuable.

Share any additional information you feel should be included in training.

Describe your comfort level with the telephone technology at PJE.

Explain the process for handling dissatisfied customers.

Do you feel the training you received was helpful to troubleshoot difficult situations with
customers. Explain why or why not.

Describe your experience with computers and telephone systems prior to working at PJE.

Explain why you would transfer customers to a supervisor.

Tell how often you are able to reach your weekly call and sales goals. If you are unable to achieve
your goals, explain why.

Do you feel you understand the strategic goals of PJE? Why or why not?

Do you know what you should do to help the company meet its goals and objectives? Explain.

Can you see a clear link between your work and the companys goals and objectives? Explain.

What is your native language?

about

The following questions will be asked using a continuum scale after each question:

I am paid fairly for the work that I do.


Strongly Agree

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

I am satisfied with my benefit package.


Strongly Agree

Neutral

My salary is competitive with similar jobs I might find elsewhere.


Strongly Agree

Agree

Agree

Neutral

I have the resources I need to do my job well.



Project Gap Analysis Strategy for PJ Enterprises Team 3/Module 2_ 11_13_16


Strongly Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Customer needs are the top priority of this organization.


Strongly Agree

Agree

This organization understands its customers needs.


Strongly Agree

Strongly Disagree

The quality of our products and services are very important to this organization.
Strongly Agree

Disagree

People are held accountable for the quality of interactions with customers.
Strongly Agree

Neutral

My workspace allows me to do my best work.


Strongly Agree

Agree

My workplace is safe.
Strongly Agree

Strongly Disagree

My workspace is a physically comfortable place to work.


Strongly Agree

Disagree

I have all the information I need about catalog products to do my job effectively.
Strongly Agree

Neutral

The necessary information systems are in place and accessible to get my job done.
Strongly Agree

Agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

The organization constantly looks for ways to improves products and services.
Strongly Agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree



Project Gap Analysis Strategy for PJ Enterprises Team 3/Module 2_ 11_13_16

Activity 4 Review of Training Documents and Materials


Details of Activity/Method

DFP will review training documents and materials to gain a comprehensive understanding of the previous
training methods, presentations, and resources available to the learners.
The following will be evaluated:

PowerPoint presentation content

PowerPoint presentation design

Trainer PowerPoint documents

Activities

Assessments

Motivational aspects

Summary product description on automated entry system

Questions to Ask

DFP will take into the account the following questions when reviewing the prior training documents and
materials.
PowerPoint presentation general questions:

How many slides are in the PowerPoint presentation?

What kind of media are included (images, video, audio, text)?

What training methodologies are used?

PowerPoint presentation content:

Is there different training content for the two audience groups (supervisors and telephone
operators)? If so, what are the differences between the two?

Does the information presented in the PowerPoint accurately correspond with the information in
the catalog and automated system?

Is the content all relevant? Is there any superfluous content included in the training?

How is the content organized (e.g., item number, alphabetical, category, etc.)?

What product information does the presentation cover (description, cost, dimensions, etc)?

Does the PowerPoint presentation go over all the product knowledge that customers felt
telephone operators were lacking?

Does the presentation include potential customer hot button issues regarding certain products? If
so, does the presentation cover mitigation strategies and etiquette?



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PowerPoint presentation design:

Does the presentation follow universal design principles?

Does the presentation use large, readable, consistent font?

Does the presentation use contrasting, easy-to-read colors?

Are the included images adequately visible?

If there are images, do they correspond to the related information? Are they located next to or
near the corresponding information?

Is there adequate white space?

Is the important information highlighted? How?

Overall, is the design of the presentation visually appealing?

Trainer PowerPoint documents:

Do Sheena and Judie follow a script while conducting the training?

Is it only one person who delivers training or do they alternate?

How long do they spend on each slide?

Is all the content relevant?

Activities:

Does the training include activities that allow immediate application of knowledge? If so, what
are they?

Are there interactive role-playing activities that allow telephone operators to practice their
knowledge as well as telephone etiquette?

Is time included for feedback to be provided?

Do the activities align with the objectives and assessments?

Assessments:

Does the training include formative and summative assessments? What are they?

How is feedback given?

Do the assessments align with the objectives and activities?

Motivational Aspects:

If any, what are the motivational approaches included within the training (e.g., inclusion of
humor, variety of media, active participation, rewards, etc.)?

Summary product description on automated entry system:

Is this the same system the telephone operators and supervisors use when providing customer
service?



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Does the audience follow the PowerPoint presentation using the automated entry system on
individual workstations?

Does the training include how to find product information on the automated entry system?

Are the summary product descriptions organized in a clean, organized, and similarly structured
manner? Is it easy to find information in the product description?

Do the summary product descriptions include all relevant information?

If this is the same system the telephone operators and supervisors use when providing customer
service, how long does it take to search for a product description? What is the process?

Activity 5 Sales Document Review


Details of Activity/Method

DFP will analyze records of sales performances of individual telephone operators, including number of
calls processed during shift and sales totals. The calculations will consist of the types of calls processed
per hour per operator. DFP will compare this data with information on the telephone operators (i.e. time
with company, training, performance reviews, attendance).
DFP will go through records of customer complaints and organize into categories of types of complaints,
such as when they were logged, or what product they were calling about. The results will be analyzed to
see if there are any patterns in timing of complaints by category or by telephone operators. DFP will
compare this data with information on telephone operators (i.e. time with company, training, performance
reviews, attendance) to find out what trends may be occurring.
To be evaluated:

Customer service logs

Call center statistics

Telephone operators sales figures

Telephone operators training tiles

Telephone operators performance reviews

Department training schedules

Questions to Ask

Based on the customer satisfaction surveys, what percentage of complaints are due to:

hold times

lack of product knowledge,

poor telephone etiquette and general customer service skills

Are complaints general in nature?



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Are types of complains varying to?

certain times of day

days of the week

time of year

Do complaints increase with more gaps between training sessions and complaint times?

What percentage of the telephone operators meet the 6 calls/hour requirement?

Is there a correlation between sales amount and average calls processed per hour?

between sales figures and number and/or type of customer complaints?

between number of calls processed/hour and number and/or type of customer complaints?

What is the comparison between sales operators will higher services time and those with lesser
service times in:

call/hour rates

Sales figures

Customer complaints/types

Roadblocks & Dependencies


Roadblocks / Dependencies

Mitigation Strategies

Perception of observations: observations could be


perceived by employees as invasive, disruptive, or even
potentially as a way for management to identify poor
performance and proceed to disciplinary
action/terminations.

Work with management and supervisors before starting


observation week to explain long-term goals of the
project are to identify needs and improve company
training and support they can access to do their jobs, as
well as how the observation will be carried out (what will
be observed, when, how long, etc.).

Incomplete surveys: employees may feel reluctant to


express their opinions freely on surveys because of
concerns they are not truly anonymous.

Review how surveys will be tallied, collected, and kept


anonymous prior to distribution. Remind employee they
will be paid for their time to complete surveys and they
do not have to relinquish any break time.

Time required: the time allotted to complete the


analysis may go longer than anticipated.

Modify the scope and methods outlined to assess what is


to the essential to analysis. Review and adjust the
schedule as necessary to meet the deadline.

Analysis results: the analysis yields different


information than anticipated or not enough information
was gathered to effectively identify the need(s).

Evaluate the methods used to determine any


implementation errors or miscalculations. Develop new
methods to gather the necessary information.



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Roadblocks / Dependencies

Mitigation Strategies

Uncooperative or unresponsive SMEs: SMEs may not


provide all the information required for the analysis.

Focus on building a positive relationship and reinforcing


the expertise and experience the person brings to the
project. Emphasize that DFP is there to assist in the
process and help execute an effective solution.

Unwillingness to share previous training material: the


SMEs may feel insulted or embarrassed with having
DFP review their work.

As was previously mentioned, create a positive


relationship with SMEs. Emphasize the common goal of
taking what the SMEs have built and improving upon
it. Illustrate the necessity of reviewing previous training
material and how it will assist in creating an improved
version.

Perceptions of interviews: interviews of telephone


operators may be seen as intrusive, or employees may
feel their jobs are at risk depending on how they
respond to questions. This same dynamic may be true
for their supervisors.

Create a positive relationship with the telephone


operators and supervisors prior to and during the
interviews. Emphasize that this is their opportunity to
share information that will help build better performance
in the group, as well with the company. Secure an
agreement with management prior to interviews that
ensures interviewees will not be judged for their
responses in a negative way (possibly) none of the
interview material will be disclosed to management.

Incomplete data: incomplete sales and customer service


data, specifically the customer service logs and call
center statistics, may impact the analysis.

In the interview with the merchandising and the director


of sales, gain some context in what figures they report
and why they report them. Also, gain an understanding in
how they log the specific complaints.



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