Root cause analysis is so important because it will help you lower call volume. Lower call volume will dramatically increase customer satisfaction and lower your costs. This is a report for a IT help Desk.
When you have defined Root Cause codes and applied these to each closed service request, then the Root Cause customer service report can show you what is causing your customers to contact the Customer Service. When used as part of a cost containment/case reduction strategy, this customer service report will show you what problem to address first. After the systemic process corrections have been made, this customer service report will show how effective your corrective actions have been.
Customer Service Best Practice: Perform Root Cause Analysis everyday and determine with religious zeal why problems occur.
In one second and with one click, can every Agent select a mandatory Root Cause field from a list of highly relevant Root Cause categories before a Service request is closed?
In ten seconds or less, can every Agent enter a required problem resolution before a service request is closed?
In ten seconds or less, can you determine which Agents are not consistently documenting service requests with meaningful problem resolutions?
In ten seconds or less, can you perform Root Cause Analysis at the end of each day? In ten seconds or less, can you send this Root Cause Analysis to three other people?
Can you identify at least three actions that you can take tomorrow to help reduce call volume? Bonus points if you can find nine actions to help reduce call volume the next day and delegate three actions to two other people who will take ownership.
In thirty seconds or less, can every Agent tell you the difference between a Root Cause and the associated problem description, problem category and problem resolution?
General principles of root cause analysis
- The primary aim of RCA is to identify the factors that resulted in the nature, the magnitude, the location, and the timing of the harmful outcomes (consequences) of one or more past events in order to identify what behaviors, actions, inactions, or conditions need to be changed to prevent recurrence of similar harmful outcomes and to identify the lessons to be learned to promote the achievement of better consequences. ("Success" is defined as the near-certain prevention of recurrence.)
- To be effective, RCA must be performed systematically, usually as part of an investigation, with conclusions and root causes identified backed up by documented evidence. Usually a team effort is required.
- There may be more than one root cause for an event or a problem, the difficult part is demonstrating the persistence and sustaining the effort required to develop them.
- The purpose of identifying all solutions to a problem is to prevent recurrence at lowest cost in the simplest way. If there are alternatives that are equally effective, then the simplest or lowest cost approach is preferred.
- Root causes identified depend on the way in which the problem or event is defined. Effective problem statements and event descriptions (as failures, for example) are helpful, or even required.
- To be effective, the analysis should establish a sequence of events or timeline to understand the relationships between contributory (causal) factors, root cause(s) and the defined problem or event to prevent in the future.
- Root cause analysis can help to transform a reactive culture (that reacts to problems) into a forward-looking culture that solves problems before they occur or escalate. More importantly, it reduces the frequency of problems occurring over time within the environment where the RCA process is used.
- RCA is a threat to many cultures and environments. Threats to cultures often meet with resistance. There may be other forms of management support required to achieve RCA effectiveness and success.
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