5 Ways to Enhance First Call Resolution

FCR

All contact center reps and managers understand the importance of metrics and TLAs (three letter acronyms). Among them, ‘FCR or first call resolution’ is what matters the most, as it is one such term which can be a true measure of efficiency, performance and customer satisfaction quota, all at once.

If you remember calling in a contact center and be greeted to the most overused words in the history of customer services, “How may I help you?”, you would understand from a customer’s perspective that how soothing it can be to get your query sorted in one go (thanks to first call resolution approach), without having to make repetitive calls, dropping reminder emails and lodging complaints. Personally, I dread the idea of speaking with customer services reps and prefer using variety of self-help options available these days.

First call resolution is one of most efficient parameter to keep tabs on agent’s performance, contact center operations, overall performance status. But measuring FCR is a slippery slope. Some organizations do so by considering that the call is not transferred to any other rep, while others don’t consider it to be a first call resolution if the call is transferred to another department. Nonetheless, for first call resolution to be considered, your customer shouldn’t need to call you back again for the same query. Of course, appreciation calls and mails are more than welcome.

So, if you have been looking out for tips and hacks to get this under check, here’s a list of some key takeaways to quit worrying about your first call resolution hoes.

1. Empower your agents

The most redundant loophole in any contact center’s operation is when your agents lack knowledge about system processes. In this case, they usually end up dodging calls and transferring the customer from one department to another. An efficient way to overcome this practice is to empower them with great system tools; one place for all data CRMs and by making this knowledge readily accessible for them. This will not only save your customers time, but also ensure superb outcomes on feedback surveys.

2. Listen carefully and fix it

Often your customers call up in a state of jiffy. They are either frustrated or confused. The key is to give them a moment to calm down and listen to them very carefully. They can often have multiple service requests and would say it all in one go. Now, once they are finished talking, ask them your fair share of questions to dwell more in the issue. Upon collection of all facts and figures, proceed ahead with your strategy to fix the issue. Once you have done all you can from your end and still the issue persists or requires a transfer to another department, make sure it is a warm transfer, so the customer does not have to repeat him.

3. Total contact ownership

Total contact ownership is a process where contact center agents take up a call and keep tabs of the issue from the start till the end. This ensures more professionalism, increases first call resolution and advocates brand awareness. This also gives your agents an edge, as the customer begins to trust that same professional over an elongated period of time. So, there’s actually more scope for mutual decisions to be taken and negotiations to be done.

4. Empower your customers

Just making sure of the fact that your agents are well read and have all process knowledge won’t actually solve the purpose.  Alongside you need to make sure that your existing customers also get their hands on array of self-help options or other poignant technological tools that you are implementing. This can include social media reach-outs, live chat options, in-app chat support, IVR or simply just coordinating over emails. The era of customer services is evolving and expanding. To increase your first call resolutions, you need to leverage an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach, which includes your customers as well.

5. Enhance internal communications

In big or small organizations alike, the most monumental road-block that any agent encounters is when he/she is stuck with making a decision which incorporates inputs from other departments. And, usually in such scenarios agents tend to transfer the call and pass the ball in someone else’s court. This is long standing vicious process and leads to a failure rate of 56%. So, all such calls would pile up again in your queue management system and not add any substantial value to increase FCR. The best way out of this rut is to make your internal processes more streamlined and query centric. If your departments are more in sync with each other, your customers would be happier.

I hope with these points you can reflect on your FCR management system and increase it to leverage these insights. If you have more points to add or feedback to share, let me know in the comments section.

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