Case Study: Call Center Learns Team-Based Bias Mitigation Tactics to Improve Business Outcomes

The Challenge

National sales conversion organization committed to providing best-in-class service paired with cutting-edge technology aspires to infuse team-level bias mitigation tactics to impact business processes, customer loyalty, and satisfaction.

The Solution

In May 2018, Apothecarie launched a comprehensive bias mitigation strategy at the team level, focused on mitigating unconscious biases by job function. Giving teams the tools, resources, and space to practice accepting, labeling, and mitigating the biases that impact their team’s decision-making processes and overall team dynamics proved to be an effective in-grouping solution.

Recently, attention has shifted to bias mitigation strategies at the systems, or organizational level. Research supports the idea of “group intelligence,” where a group of people make better decisions as a whole than each individual that comprises the group. Organizations or teams may be able to become self-aware of bias in ways that individuals cannot, and strategies can be put into place that will facilitate this awareness, foster an organizational culture that accepts bias as inherent in human decision-making, and thus mitigate the wide-ranging effects of bias in this context.

The team interventions consisted of meetings focused on understanding and accepting unconscious bias, monthly organization development sessions to learn to recognize and label common biases, and team intervention sessions to create processes, strategies, and tactics to address the various biases that impact individual teams by job function using a robust bias mitigation model.

This model simplifies the roughly 150 identified cognitive biases and recognizes five categories of bias, each category responsive to a different set of actions that will help mitigate them. The Model proposes an alternative solution to mitigating bias, derived from a brain-based perspective. It designs and guides processes to interrupt and redirect unconsciously biased thinking.

The Result

Unconscious bias has become a topic of interest across the call center. Teams include bias mitigation workshops in their weekly meetings and have adopted small and large tactics to address biases that impact business decisions, team dynamics, and business processes.

The impact on a QA process that was more equitable and consistent resulted in an increase in sentiment around pay satisfaction of 16% over the course of six months. Voluntary turnover decreased during the same time period by 11% and terminations for call adherence decreased by 6%. In addition to improving business decisions and cultural factors, these measurable improvements significantly impacted the bottom line.