Customer-orientated Six Sigma in call centre performance measurement

Rodney McAdam, John Davies, Bill Keogh, Anthony Finnegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this paper is to explore the role of Six Sigma performance measurement at both strategic and operational levels within call centres where the definition of Six Sigma is widened to include systems thinking constructs. Design/methodology/approach: A two-phase methodology is used involving two call centre cases within a call centre group. Phase 1 establishes the need for Six Sigma customer-based measures in addition to internal performance measures and phase 2 studies the implementation of this wider set of Six Sigma performance measures. Findings: The development and application of Six Sigma performance measures that cover both strategic and operational performance measures lead to a more sustainable approach to business improvement, rather than traditional call centre internal performance measures which may be misleading for the overall performance of the call centre. Research limitations/implications: The development of the strategic and operational, or double, DMAIC approach offers opportunities for developing wider applications in service contexts using customer-orientated performance measures. Practical implications: If call centres rely solely on internal performance measures, a misleading picture of call centre performance may be obtained. There is a need to apply Six Sigma to cover both strategic and operational performance measures. Originality/value: A combined strategic and operational approach to Six Sigma has been developed which enables service-based organisations (call centres) to develop sustainable business improvement. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-545
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2009


  • Business improvement
  • Call centres
  • Operations and production management
  • Performance measures
  • Six sigma
  • Strategic evaluation


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