Call centers make use of a number of metrics to determine quality and profitability. Some of these metrics are business oriented and others are customer oriented. In order to boost the first call resolution stats, the metrics provided by the call center should be clear enough in order to avoid any confusion. Let’s take an example of conflicting metrics: If the focus is on reducing the time per call the call centers might find FCR rates falling as agents would be looking to wrap up the call as soon as possible, irrespective of the customer issues. Thus, the call center metrics should be exempted of all sorts of confusions.
2. Make use of agent feedback:
Agent feedback is yet another tactic of improving first call resolution stats. This requires instituting a system of soliciting feedback from your agents. Since they deal with customers all day long, they can provide insights on what changes can be made to improve FCR rate. These agent feedbacks can be used to ask about workflow, systems and processes that need to be tweaked or implemented to achieve higher rates.
3. Ensure the proper functioning of your IVR system:
A properly functioning IVR system is highly recommended for improving first call resolution rates. It exempts customer frustration so that do not hang up. Moreover, this improves the efficiency of the call center system.
4. Ensure proper resource access to the agents:
There are instances where given the dozens of applications agents need to deal with on each call, they aren’t able to quickly access that information. This causes customers to be transferred multiple times which further leads to customer dissatisfaction. Another common hurdle to first call resolution is that agents are not given the authority to deal with issues beyond the basic, such as dealing with returns, offering discounts, etc. and then the customer call gets forwarded. Therefore, providing proper access to resources can help your agents work efficiently and hence increase FCR stats.
In our previous post, we talked about the importance of FCR for call centers. You are now familiar with the numerous benefits that first call resolution can provide you once you start using it in your organization. Now, let’s look at the some of the effective strategies that can be employed to improve your first call resolution stats:
1. Leverage knowledge database:
In order to boost the FCR rate, knowledge database can be used as a powerful tool. Provide updated, highly informative and quality knowledge databases to your agents. Make sure that the articles in the database should be clear and concise, with good instructions on how to fix the issues. The knowledge database should be efficient enough so that the agents do not have to scroll through tons of unnecessary information.
2. Train your agents and provide them superior analytical tools:
Invest in training your front line agents in all the necessary elements related to your business operations. Properly trained agents can do little even if they do not have good customer service tools and resources at their disposal. To boost the FCR stats further, you can even consider investing in an efficient live chat solution that identifies where the other person is chatting from. You can deploy tools with superior analytics capabilities and knowledge resources that make updating your FAQs and knowledge base easy.
3. Monitor call quality:
Monitoring involves checking call quality, making sure the agents are not being rude and checking that the right processes were followed . In cases where the agents miss an easy FCR, a helpful email should be sent informing them of where they went wrong and what they can do next time. Meetings can be set up in those cases where the agent is making consistent mistakes and the FCR level is far below what it should be.
First call resolution is a term related to CRM system. It means properly addressing the customer’s need the first time they call. This eliminates the need for the customer to follow up with a second call. The average time an agent spends on each call is known as talk time and is a common call center performance metric. Moreover, fast talk time averages are desirable. However, fast talk time averages accompanied by poor first call resolution rates are a sign that customer calls are not being answered satisfactorily.
Follow up calls are consistently monitored by the call center managers because in addition to being an indication of customer dissatisfaction, follow-up calls create an overall increased call volume. This further indicates the increased requirement of agents. In most cases, an increase in talk time is acceptable as long as the first call resolution rate increases along with the talk time.
According to a research conducted by CFI Group states that FCR has the most impact on customer satisfaction, and therefore, a customer’s loyalty and likelihood to recommend. It also states that across all industries, almost a fifth of all callers hung up due to dissatisfaction as their issues could not be resolved. Out of these dissatisfied callers, 68% are at risk of defection, 43% said they would definitely defect, and 25% weren’t sure. Also, it has been reported that for every 1% improvement in FCR, you get 1% improvement in customer satisfaction. Moreover, if a customer’s inquiry or problem were resolved in the first call, only 3% of those customers would be at risk of switching to a competitor.
These days, some of the centers allow agents to determine if the customer’s issue was resolved on first contact while other centers use their QA (Quality Assurance) people to decide whether calls were resolved on first contact. However, this method is based on random sampling and doesn’t reflect a complete picture. On the other hand there are a number of centers that employ post-call surveys and directly ask the customer whether or not their issue was resolved on the first contact.
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