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How Six Sigma Applied to COPC Created Operational Excellence in Contact Centers


As the world is evolving more and more, humans are losing patience with everything. Humans nowadays are demanding everything to happen faster and better. This can easily be observed in contact center interactions nowadays between clients and agents.

In effect, businesses keep demanding from their contact centers to find ways to reduce their average handle time by any means possible not only to cater to decreasing client attention span but also to reduce costs by allowing more contacts to be handled by every agent in the center. In 2022, Verint released a telling “Guide to Average Handling Time”. I do have to agree with all that was written in the said article. Most telling me was the following mentioned:

How to improve customer experience

With so much hype put on Generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) and what it can do to benefit customers calling contact centers, extensive efforts have been made to get self-service technologies to get implemented.

The ground reality as echoed in the Verint article is that such self-service options have only gotten to cover simple issues. Complex issues at present and more than ever rely on how good contact center agents will handle such issues.

Thus, the need to have a solid foundation of operational excellence for managing human performance still outweighs what Generative AI tools can do for resolving issues that count, the complex ones. At Coforge, we have found operational excellence in managing average handle time by striking a balance between holding our contact centers up to COPC standards and managing and improving such canons by applying Six Sigma frameworks to our day-to-day continuous improvement efforts.

Six Sigma Applied to COPC Standards

COPC standards, a contact center management strategy

(What is Six Sigma? Everything You Need to Know in 2024 | Simplilearn)

What is Six Sigma?

Coforge’s experience in managing contact centers for the past few decades has allowed us to formulate a unique practical application of adhering to COPC standards and constantly improving against the standard by running Six Sigma projects in all critical metrics needing improvement in all the company’s accounts.

Problem: The Calls That Dragged On...

Let us take an example from one of our longest-running banking vertical clients where they had their call handling for mobile banking contacts with running average handling times that were less than desirable. The client’s mobile banking has round-the-clock availability for most banking transactions. The advantages of service allowed its depositors to have a seamless customer experience anytime and anywhere. Keeping mobile banking average call handle times efficient guaranteed uninterrupted customer satisfaction. From Jan to Mar 2023, average handle times (AHT) for mobile banking calls were higher than expected by the client by 138 seconds (about 2 and a half minutes). The troubleshooting skill application by contact center agents to the mobile apps and online page issues were the source of the high talk times.

Guided by COPC standards, Coforge wanted to decrease AHT to Mobile Banking calls from 138 seconds (about 2 and a half minutes) to <=70 seconds.

Solution: Shorter Calls by Applying Six Sigma Standards

Applying Six Sigma standards, Coforge envisioned for the client the following standardized future state for their mobile banking calls.

Applying Six Sigma standards

Upfront in applying the Six Sigma framework, we found the following factors that drove high talk times:

    • Searching for answers in Knowledge Base tool
    • Not getting the right Knowledge Base article the first time.
    • Consulting with floor leaders or escalation support despite having the right Knowledge Base article to handle the call.
    • Staying on the line to walk the customer through the whole Mobile Banking process.
    • Using jargon that callers do not understand (e.g., clear cache, control+shift+delete)
    • Instructing callers with unclear verbiage

In order to lower the AHTs around the 6 identified high talk time drivers, Coforge enumerated to its contact center agents a clear set of Customer Care Behaviors and Customer Profiling Behaviors that were clearly expected for them to execute in each of their mobile banking calls in order for the center to achieve its desired standard handle time for such calls.

The inspection of the agent’s adherence to such behaviors was to be observed and measured through a series of training and coaching sessions to be managed by the contact center management team.

Results: Shorter Calls, Better Service!

The ‘Improve Phase’ of the Six Sigma application was seen as follows.

‘Improve Phase’ of the Six Sigma application

This plan was measured and controlled for standard handle time execution by all agents by the succeeding trackers broadcasted on all operations floors.

    • A Customer Care Behavioral Tracker ensured agents were exhibiting proper behaviors to address concerns efficiently.

    • A Customer Profiling Behavioral Tracker observed agents properly exhibiting the needed call behaviors based on customer profiles.


The results of this application of Six Sigma towards COPC standards were as follows.

    • The initial achievement of the targeted lower AHT allowed the client to benefit with an immediate reduction of 70 headcounts of contact center agents to handle the same amount of mobile banking call volume.

    • The midterm achievement was USD 2 million plus annual savings to the client through decreasing repetitive calls and standard efficient AHT executed by all contact center agents.

This is just one of the hundreds of cases that Coforge executes day-to-day for its contact center clients across each of their critical performance metrics. Bottomline, that as much of the hype of Generative AI is there; there still is a critical need to have strong operational excellence standards in place to deliver an efficient contact center for any business.

One of the proven and practical executions of such excellence is the adherence to COPC standards while tirelessly improving to the standard by applying the Six Sigma framework to all critical performance metrics.

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About Coforge

Coforge is a global digital services and solutions provider, that leverages emerging technologies and deep domain expertise to deliver real-world business impact for its clients. A focus on very select industries, a detailed understanding of the underlying processes of those industries, and partnerships with leading platforms provide us with a distinct perspective. Coforge leads with its product engineering approach and leverages Cloud, Data, Integration, and Automation technologies to transform client businesses into intelligent, high-growth enterprises. Coforge’s proprietary platforms power critical business processes across its core verticals. The firm has a presence in 21 countries with 26 delivery centers across nine countries.

For more information on Coforge, please visit

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