The chances are good that you’re investing in marketing and advertising efforts to bring customers through your doors, but are you putting the same effort into improving your customer service program?
If not, you should be. High-quality customer service builds loyal customers who offer more value to your business, enhances your brand’s reputation, encourages word-of-mouth-marketing, prompts upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and leads to business growth.
With your customer service agents operating as your first line of defence against poor customer service, the faster they can resolve customer queries, the more satisfied your customers will be with your brand.
To improve the customer experience, and improve how effective and efficient your customer service agents are, your brand should focus on first call resolution.
What is the first call resolution?
First call resolution - commonly known as FCR, and also known as first contact resolution - is a calculation that simply represents the number of customer queries solved by your customer support representatives (CSRs) during their first interaction with the customer.
FCR is achieved once the customer no longer needs to contact your company again about their query, and a customer service agent doesn’t need to follow up on that query with the customer. FCR is achieved once the query is completely resolved.
In essence, FCR assesses your company’s, as well as each individual agent’s, ability to deliver the right answer in one interaction.
First call resolution has two prominent uses as a contact center key performance indicator (KPI). Firstly it helps your organization measure the customer experience, and, secondly, it serves as a metric that gives insight into your company’s operational performance and the efficiency of your CSRs.
How to improve first call resolution and build a superior customer service program
Now that you know why FCR is so important to analyzing both the quality of your customer service program and your internal processes, how can your brand improve first call resolution for even better results?
We’ve listed a few tips and best practices to help you do that:#1 - Focus on reducing customer effort
Getting in touch with customer service should be fast and easy. Customers are no longer willing to wait in long queues and listen to on-hold music. They want answers to their questions in the easiest and fastest way possible. Tools such as contact center artificial intelligence can help your brand not only build a seamless customer experience, but improve your own internal call routing processes.#2 - Encourage customers to help themselves with a self-service strategy
Not all customers want to phone into your call center for issue resolution. Some customers may drop you a message on your social media platforms, others may look for the answers on your website while other customers might want to drop you a message on WhatsApp. For a seamless customer experience, it’s your job to be found by your customers wherever they are hanging out. Building an omnichannel customer support strategy will ensure your brand is able to encourage self-service among your customers, which helps you build a superior customer experience and also alleviates pressure on your customer support team.#3 - Be clear and concise with your instructions
It’s crucial that customer service agents are able to be clear and concise when answering customer questions or providing instructions, doing so will reduce confusion and increase the chance that their issue is resolved in one shot. Agents should focus on answering the question in a friendly and informative manner, without straying with irrelevant details that could confuse the customer.#4 - Anticipate your customers’ needs before they have them
Information is power, right? By analyzing conversations intelligently across all channels, your brand can gain key insights and uncover actionable intelligence that can be used to understand what your customers are looking for. Analyzing customer interactions can help your business uncover important insights such as the top 10 customer queries or the top 10 customer complaints, which you can use to build agent answers before your customer has even phoned into your call center. Your agents will be waiting with the right answers.
Are you interested in more tips and best practices to reduce first call resolution, or want to have a conversation on the benefits of outsourcing your customer service program to a contact center? Get in touch with Advantage Communications today. We would love to help.