The current study was carried out per management request to improve the overall quality of telephone customer service among appointment coordinators in a medical clinic. Exceptional telephone customer service included (a) using a standard greeting, (b) speaking in the appropriate tone of voice throughout the call, and (c) answering every call received by the unit. A preintervention analysis suggested that performance deficiencies resulted from weak antecedents, poor knowledge and skills, and weak performance contingencies. Task clarification, goal setting, feedback, and performance-contingent consequences were combined to improve these customer service behaviors for 20 full-time appointment coordinators at the clinic. The study used an ABÁ reversal design with weekly maintenance and 5-month follow-up observations. Introduction of the multicomponent intervention produced visible improvements in greeting (38% increase) and friendly voice tone (22% increase) behaviors; performance was maintained above baseline levels at 5 months postmaintenance. Abandon rates (the percentage of calls not answered by a live voice) remained fairly stable, on average. Findings support the use of a multicomponent intervention to increase telephone customer service behavior in medical clinic settings.
- customer service
- organizational behavior management
- performance-contingent consequences
- task clarification