First-call resolution (FCR) is one of the most important aspects to maintain high customer satisfaction in the call center. Unfortunately, customers are calling with increasingly complex questions and it isn’t always possible to give them the answer or in the time they want. Repeated calls can mean increased call volume, expenses and unfortunately, unhappy customers. Customer defection from a bad experience is a huge opportunity for FCR improvement.
Many companies have found it difficult to consistently measure and define FCR as each company uses its own strategy. In many cases, there is simply no one available to take the time to improve the FCR. Since this measurement is crucial, its important to dedicate someone to increasing customer retention.
Measuring the outcome of the call, based on the customer’s view can be difficult. Agent feedback can also give FCR information, but it’s not the best form of measuring performance as it can be biased. Customer feedback has great potential to find out if the issue was actually resolved for them. If you’re only internally measuring the call, you can’t be sure if the issue was actually solved or if the customer simply gave up.
It’s key that you look for customer feedback in a timely manner as well. Send out a survey depending on when the issue will be successfully resolved. Otherwise, you will miss out on a valuable opportunity to help improve your services. It’s incredibly important to find out answers and then use that for future interactions. Using after-call surveys are a great technique to end a call on a positive note and affirm that the caller’s needs were satisfied and reduce any repeat calls.
Most CRM systems track customer interactions with the company. However, with the advances in technology, other customer support systems might not have the capability to track and measure contact and resolution. Today there are a large number of ways customers can interact with a call center. This may be phone, email, chat, SMS, it’s important that the call center can manage every inquiry regardless of the form of communication. This means, the level of service from a phone call must be the same if they were contacted by email. Again, putting together a team or individual to manage the tech can be difficult, but is vital to evaluate.
Invest in your front-line agents by giving them the right training and tools to handle customer calls. Many times, low FCR rates are from unsupported agents without access to the information they need to solve a problem. Hire the right people too. Use mock phone calls as part of the process to test out stress levels and understand their phone demeanor.
A great way to improve poor FCR rates is to thoroughly look to see if any of the previous reasons are affecting your rates. Use this information and go to the source of the problem. Have you been focusing on improving your FCR?