Systems Analysis Project
Fundamentals of Business Systems Development
The company I work for recently met with our primary client in hopes of identifying any potential shortfalls and to gain insight on our customer service ability. During this meeting one concern seemed to dominate the study; the client felt they were not getting adequate personal attention when they called. They also indicated "it felt like voice mail hell" when routed through our phone system. It was apparent the issue of phone etiquette needed to be addressed within our organization.
One theory states during the systems analysis stage "the design of any new system must be predicated upon an understanding of the old system." (Modell, 2004). In our case we needed to decide if our current system was capable of addressing the issue. We convened a panel of key personnel to develop a model to accomplish two goals. First, to correct the deficiency identified by the client from a procedural standpoint. Second, correct the deficiency from a system standpoint.
In response to our client's concern, we adopted a policy that all phone calls would be answered by a live person prior to receiving a voice mail box. We discovered three possible methods to support this change. One method was to put a "buddy system" in place. This would pair the staff into two-person teams that would cover each other's phone and supervisor's phones in the event someone was away from their desk. Another option was the implementation of a call center. The call center would field any calls that were missed by the supervisor or the secretary, and the caller would be given the opportunity to leave a personal message or transfer into a voice mail box. Finally, the third option was to roll all the missed calls straight to the receptionist. This position would then be responsible for incoming calls and any missed calls that are placed to the direct line of the staff or supervisor. After weighing the choices, our recommendation was to implement a call center. This was the option with the least amount of variables and proved compatible with our current system. "In progressive companies, management is always interested in suggestions for improving productivity". (McGraw-Hill) This was not the case in this situation as the idea was flat-out rejected by the firm's Managing Partner despite suggestions from a team he assembled. The "buddy system" was his decision, partly because he wanted more accountability from the staff, but mostly because he had seen it work effectively in another workplace. This would prove to be a costly mistake.
With this newly adopted concept, we were now in the market for a new phone system. The current phone system would not support the additional lines or the architecture of linking phones to enable partner monitoring. We looked at a number of different models from a number of different manufacturers including digital, IP and a hybrid of the two. We...