Success Stories

Getting Customers the Right Information – Fast!

Improving Requests for Information Process

We have all experienced the frustration of hanging on a call waiting for a live interaction, the Health and Human Services Agency in El Dorado County CA set out to change this experience.  The QI Leader, Olivia Byron-Cooper, and Chris Bujak, from Continual Impact LLC, led a Kaizen event to improve the request for information process satisfaction and work content time.  The team improved warm transfers, calls returned within 1 day, calls completed within one transfer, and call times that were greater than 3 minutes.  


Gap & Goal

Employees were unable to provide an efficient, consistent and seamless referral to appropriate services when the public calls.  This resulted in customer and employee complaints and low morale.

The project’s goal was to increase customer satisfaction when calling Public Health and increase our efficiency and effectiveness in delivering information to customers over the phone so that: 1) The caller is informed and able to make decisions, 2) The caller is able to take full advantage of services offered by the Agency, and 3) Public recognizes value of Public Health.

Approach & Methodsrfi-2

  1. Established improvement goal
  2. Collected information and waste data
    1. Customer survey data (280 surveys)
    2. Solicited waste hunt to establish magnitude of problem
  3. Mapped out the process Sub Process Map
  4. Conducted Kaizen event (5 days)
    1. Understand the current work processes (process maps & Going to the Gemba)
    2. Identified, analyzed wastes, and prioritized improvement focus
    3. Root caused high priority wastes
    4. Identified and prioritized solutions
    5. Developed and tested solutions; learned lessons from tests; developed standardized work and training material
    6. Installed solutions
    7. Established continual improvement system for measure tracking and team feedback.


rfi-3The process was redesigned to eliminate recycle loops, wait time and other wastes, and key process aids were developed such as

  • Quick contact sheet of Subject Matter Experts information (primary and secondary)
  • Standardized work (Reference Guide) for answering phone requests
  • “Warm transfer” protocol for not having the customer wait or the call lost
  • Internal service level agreements for returning customer calls
  • County website updated with key self-service information
  • Clarified and simplified the phone tree
  • Chartered a team to continual measure and improve (see continual improvement system to the right)



rfi-4To read more, this project summary can be found on the Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange site:  El Dorado County HHSA Kaizen Event:  Hanging on a Call Lookin’ for a Live Body