What is FMEA in a Call Center

What is FMEA in a Call Center

Every industry conducts multiple tests and analyses to identify any flaw or defect in the process. Likewise, in Call Center, there are several analytical tools and methods i.e. Verbatim analysis, Fishbone diagram, and Time and Motion analysis, that can be helpful to perform root cause analysis and to figure out defects in the process.

What is FMEA in Call Center
What is FMEA in Call Center

One such methodology which is the most commonly used methodology in a call center to identify the failures and effects in the process is known as FMEA.

In the article further, we will understand the following:

  • What is FMEA?
  • Use of FMEA in the call center?

Without further ado let's learn about FMEA

What is FMEA?

FMEA is an acronym for Failure Mode and Effect Analysis.FMEA can be defined as a proactive approach to analyzing the failure before it actually occurs. 

Often, people compare the FMEA method to the Root Cause Analysis approach. Unlike FMEA where we proactively analyze any defect for the future, the root cause approach can be used post the defect occurred in the process to find the actual reason for the problem.

Also read: What is RCA (Root Cause Analysis) in Call center?

Every word in FMEA is a performance method that stands for a substantial meaning.

F- Failure -which means Potential.

M-Mode - Types, ways, and what are the possibilities of the defect.

E- Effect- Negative or Positive effect during the performance.

A-Analysis- Analyse/Study the data.

FMEA can be considered one of the important methodologies of Six Sigma. Below are a few pointers for a better understanding of FMEA methodology.

  • FMEA is also known as PMEA (Potential Mode and effect analysis).
  • This method is mostly performed by call center TNQ (Training and Quality team).
  • A stepwise approach to identify all the possible failures in the tool or process is why also known as Process Analysis Tool.

  • The main purpose of the FMEA model is to analyze the failure and reduce the risk for future operations.

Use of FMEA in Call Center

Though FMEA methodology has several use cases in a call center but primarily used in Quality assurance.

Let's first understand the primary use of FMEA:

  • When a process is newly designed or when there is a necessity to redesign the existing process.
  • To identify any bottleneck in the new system.
  • Identifying the loopholes and defects in the existing processes.
  • The FMEA method can also be used to prepare a control plan (Plan of action). for a problem that occurred or is about to occur.

We can understand the complete FMEA methodology by the below example:

Project: A call center is experiencing the effect of poor call handling 

Objective: To improve the call quality of the call center

FMEA: As mentioned earlier the FMEA methodology is a proactive approach to understanding and resolving upcoming problems. Hence to prepare an FMEA model you might have several questions before initiating the project.

  • What can go wrong if a call agent improperly tags, escalates, or closes a ticket of a customer /client?
  • How seriously can be each of the above-mentioned scenarios volunteered by an agent?
  • Probability of occurring above scenarios
  • What are the risks to customer satisfaction?

Steps to perform FMEA:

Step 1: To determine the failure or what to analyze

Step 2:Describe the problem and assess the severity

Step 3: To identify the prospective problem which can occur while performing FMEA (Assigning a probability number)

Step 4:Assigning detection number.

Step 5:To calculate risk priority number (RPN).

What is RPN (Risk Priority Number)?

RPN can be defined as a numerical value that denotes the risk priority level of a failure in the process while performing FMEA analysis.

Below is the RPN Calculation:

The severity of Defect*Occurance of Cause*Defect of Cause

Just to remember:

We can understand the severity of the failure by the outcome of the RPN value:

If the RPN value is <112 it means my severity is under control but if the number comes to more than 384 it means a high level of failure in the process. We will discuss more RPN and other calculations in the next blog.

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