Project Title: Misdirected Submissions to Billing Administration


Project sponsor: Stephanie

Project Green Belt: Steve

The issue here was fairly straightforward: agents were transferring calls to Billing Administration that should not have been transferred. Although Billing Admin does handle a wide variety of billing and account issues, many of these can be handled more effectively by sales or customer service agents.

Measure and Analysis

Approximately 1/3 of the calls transferred to Billing Admin should not have been transferred. This caused an increase in cycle time and took resources away from other cases. Focus groups revealed that agents did not always know what to do, and sometimes disregarded communications about transfer processes. In addition, not all groups received the same communications, or shared the same processes.

Improve and Control

To help rectify this, a communication liaison role was created within Billing Admin, and Mary assumed this role as part of her regular responsibilities. She established and kept open the lines of communication with other communications points of contact both in Tucson and at the outsourcer, publishing several articles and educational pieces on correctly transferring calls.

After Mary had been on the job for three months, the defect rate went down to 10% from 30%. After eight months, the Billing Admin team also saw faster cycle times and an increase in first-call resolution, a critical-to-quality item for customer likely to recommend our company. Agents now have a clearer understanding of what to do with certain issues, and Billing Admin has been able to eliminate two temporary positions and save $70,200. This role will remain a part of Billing Admin regardless of staffing to ensure continuity of these improvements.


A Six Sigma Green Belt worked with the call center manager and her sponsor to drill down to root causes of a problem that was causing significant customer and employee dissatisfaction and costing the company wasted money and lost customer goodwill. By developing a change plan that addressed the causes she was able to quickly reduce the magnitude of the problem and improve scheduling efficiency. The result was a “double whammy” of greatly improved productivity and lower costs. The control system she put in place with the process owner assured that the results would be maintained long-term.

2 responses to “Misdirected Submissions to Billing Administration”


    A nice, clear, and simple to understand Project synopsis. We need more of such cases to be written about so people can understand the benefits accrued at all levels and in different industries, something that earlier practitioners did not consider.

  2. Stephen Czupryna Avatar
    Stephen Czupryna

    Nice case study Tom.

    When you think about it, Six Sigma is an error-proofed workflow. If you follow the DMAIC method, you’ll avoid going off course, letting the scope drift or suffering some other common pitfall.

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