Optimization techniques

August 23, 2009

Hot off the McKinsey press comes a piece about optimization techniques using customer satisfaction as a metric.

Authors Sebastien Katch and Tim Morse in the latest McKinsey Quarterly describe how the public sector, unlike the private one,  can’t use metrics around cost-to-serve or profit and describe the approach taken by a US federal agency wanting to improve its call centres and paper-processing better i.e. two services channels.

It sounds like quite a complex mathematical model was created to shuffle staff between the two tasks, while attempting to maintain customer satisfaction at an optimum level.

In my simple view, the key learning is that citizen satisfaction is a useful and straghtforward metric for controlling channel quality and hence juggling priorities between them.

Gerry McGovern picks up this theme in his current newsletter, pointing out that:

“Before we can measure success we need to understand the customer’s task.”


“Measuing success based on volume encourages bad practice.”l

His attack on what he describes as  the “cult of volume” is appropriate to the other channels as it is to the web one.