Design Decision

Design Decision - Design Decision Sprint Corporation Lakshmi Balram Cordelia Chan Terrance McKnight Teachers College Columbia University ORLD 5055

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Design Decision – Sprint Corporation Lakshmi Balram Cordelia Chan Terrance McKnight Teachers College – Columbia University ORLD 5055 – Staff Development and Training March 25 , 2010
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ROOT ISSUE ANALYSIS Year after year , Sprint has ranked last among the five leading mobile carriers in customer service performance , according to a nationwide survey by J , 2007) . Additionally , the company continues to lose customers at faster rates than any of its competitors; in 2008 , the company had a 2 .18% attrition loss of its subscriber base (Ackerman , 2009) . Dan Hesse , upon taking the helm as CEO in 2007, identified that Sprint’s “biggest problem was customer service… . [there wasn’t] one single person accountable” (Holson , 2008) . Hesse aims to ensure “that [customer service] is the number one priority of the company” (Ante , 2008) . That leadership change and renewed emphasis on customer service both underscored the company’s eagerness to repair its image and competitive position . In the Q3 2009 earnings conference call , Hesse assessed his efforts as a turnaround, claiming that “Sprint is not the same company that it was a year ago” . However , problems persist, with the cancellation of 135,000 subscriptions contributing to a net loss for the quarter (“Sprint Corporation Q3” , 2009) . To make matters worse , Sprint currently still lags behind its main four competitors in surveys of customer care , as well as in critical performance measures such as customer churn (Tews & Perryman , 2009) . Thus, customer service for Sprint could currently use improvement. The most effective level to implement such change would be at the individual level, due to the volumes of one-on-one transactions that individual employees collectively complete on a daily basis.
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BACKGROUND To analyze the cause of the problem of customer churn , the consulting team, consisting of the authors of this paper, used employee surveys as well as focus groups . Communication , ability to fix problems , and time and stress management were identified as the skills that Sprint’s customer service employees considered indispensable for effective customer service . Forty percent of the survey takers also expressed dissatisfaction with the existing service training provided by Sprint , which mostly focuses on resolving technical billing issues and explaining bills to customers . Almost all the survey participants of the focus group suggested more soft- skill training sessions for improved customer service . Due to time constraints, cost, and the broad nature of interpersonal skills , it was decided that it would be best to focus on improving three key skill sets for the design of Sprint’s training module: customer communication , customer problem resolution , and workplace conflict management . Any training should be effectively aligned with the strategy of the company that employs
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2011 for the course ORL 1000 taught by Professor Buontempo during the Spring '11 term at Columbia.

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Design Decision - Design Decision Sprint Corporation Lakshmi Balram Cordelia Chan Terrance McKnight Teachers College Columbia University ORLD 5055

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