According to a recent survey by Talkdesk, First Contact Resolution is the most important metric by which managers assess the success of a contact center. Important for both efficiency and profitability, FCR is also crucial for good customer experience – in fact, research carried out by the Service Quality Measurement Group found that the highest customer rated contact centers had an average FCR rate of 86%.
With its ability to reduce contact volume, increase service level and quality, and improve customer experience and brand loyalty, it’s no wonder FCR is such a hot topic amongst industry experts. Here are some top tips for improving FCR in your contact center.
First things first, you’ll need an idea of the FCR rate in your contact center and what, if anything, is causing problems. Measuring FCR is the first step towards understanding how it needs to be improved and the benefits are many; according to The Ascent Group, 60% of companies who began measuring their FCR saw up to a 30% improvement over a year. Once you’ve identified that your FCR needs to be improved, use speech analytics or call recording to monitor how and why calls go wrong and what leads to customers needing to make repeat contact.
Improve training and simplify systems
Research conducted by Frost & Sullivan showed that 60% of repeat enquiries to contact centers were caused due to a failure in process or training. A poorly trained agent is unlikely to be able to help a customer resolve their query without assistance or a second call, not to mention increasing customer frustration and negatively impacting CX. Make sure all of your agents are properly trained and that this training is refreshed and kept up-to-date with the implementation of any new systems.
Of course, there’s only so much an agent can do if a system or process is unwieldy and overcomplicated. Simplifying the scripts and processes used by your agent to deal with calls will ensure your agents are able to access the information they need quickly and efficiently, enabling them to assist customers to the best of their ability.
Problems can also arise when a contact center has a high agent turnover, as new agents may need time to settle in and adjust to your processes. Again, simple systems and good training should go some way towards ensuring new agents are up to scratch as soon as possible but minimising turnover and keeping experienced agents will be much better for FCR.
One way to both hold on to experienced agents and improve FCR is to offer an incentive program that encourages agents to work harder to resolve customer issues within their first enquiry. Ensuring your agents understand the importance of FCR is a good idea but a proper incentive program is much more likely to encourage them to try their best.
Minimise hold times
Simplifying your systems will also help when it comes to minimising your hold times. Putting customers on hold repeatedly or for long times often leads them to lose patience and hang up, leading to repeat calls and decreased FCR.
Listen to social media
Customers often revert to social media when they’ve not been able to resolve their issue with an organisation via a contact center. Monitor your social media accounts to see whether any repeat issues or difficulties are mentioned that you can then review and resolve.
Use multi-channel solutions
One way to improve FCR is to ensure that the only customers calling are the ones who really need agent help. Giving your customers the option of a variety of channels through which to contact you means that many will be able to find answers, complete payments, or resolve queries without having to wait to speak to an agent at all. From IVR payments to SMS and web chats, having a variety of options open to your customer is more likely to increase their satisfaction and brand loyalty, while also guaranteeing that the customers who do end up using your contact center are the ones who will most benefit from agent interaction.