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What is First Call Resolution? 4 Best Practices to Resolve Customer Queries First Time

Posted by Randy Clapp on Jan 31, 2019

Customer service representative on the phone

Ever wondered why your consumers are continually leaving your business for one of your competitors? It could be that your customer service team is simply not resolving issues in a timely manner. 

First call resolution (FCR) is a highly important part of your organization’s customer service and is an essential contact center metric. The term itself is pretty self-explanatory. FCR is a call centers ability to address the customer’s needs in a single contact, eliminating the need for the customer to follow up on their issue.

In essence, once FCR has been achieved the customer no longer needs to contact the contact center again about their resolution and a customer service representative will not need to follow up on the query. The issue is completely resolved.

FCR serves not only as a key performance indicator (KPI) for customer experience but also for operational performance and the efficiency of an organization’s customer service representatives.

What are the benefits of FCR?

The higher your first call resolution is, the better your customer experience tends to be. Ultimately, this means your customers will be more satisfied, happier and more likely to become loyal to your brand.

In fact, a study from SQM Group found that for every 1 per cent improvement you make in FCR, you get a 1 per cent improvement in customer satisfaction as well. Not only that but, on average, customer satisfaction drops by a staggering 15 per cent each time a customer has to call back about the same issue.

When used in combination with other metrics, such as NPS, CSAT AND CES, a call center can help your organization significantly improve its customer satisfaction levels.

Now you know the exact meaning of first call resolution and how it can benefit your company’s customer service program, Advantage Communications has listed four best practices for perfecting it:

1 - Look at the whole picture

Remember that consumers now expect an omnichannel approach to customer service, and they no longer just contact you on the phone. While it’s still called “first call resolution”, issue queries are now spread across a wide range of channels and your business needs to think about the whole picture.

That includes channels such as email, chat, social media, self-service platforms and any other ways your customers could contact you with a query. By ensuring that you have FCR goals for each channel as well as agents that have expertise in each, your business will be able to ensure each query is resolved in a timely manner.

2 - Implement a chatbot

As well as improving the handling times for contact centers, resolving issues via online chat was found by one study to be the preferred method for 79 per cent of customers. Due to the advancing artificial intelligence (AI) technology used by chatbots, online chat can give customers the answer they need in just seconds.

Chatbots can use algorithms to either answer low-level queries or direct a customer to the appropriate customer service representative. By handling low-level queries through the use of chat, agents are freed up to work on more complex issues that deliver higher-value for your customers.

3 - Listen to customer feedback

Customer feedback is absolutely crucial when it comes to customer service. Without communication with the customer then there is absolutely no way for your organization to know if your customers are satisfied or not.

Use customer opinions, surveys and other metrics to ensure that your agents are hitting the goals expected of them and that your brand is providing a superior customer experience.

4 - Focus on your customer

Bad news travels fast, and the customer service that your company delivers is no different. In fact, consumers in the US tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, while those who experience good service tell just 11 people.

It’s important that customer service representatives become brand ambassadors for your business, and that they are empowered to go above and beyond for your customers. This will help to create customer service wins even when your customers are frustrated.

Call centers that have mastered the art of FCR and next-generation contact centers such as Advantage Communications are making the most of innovative new technologies to completely transform the customer experience.

Want to learn more about how Advantage Communications can transform your customer service program? Contact us today.

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Topics: Contact Center




Randy Clapp

Written by Randy Clapp

Randy Clapp has sold over $1 billion in the services industry working with leaders such as Hewlett-Packard, Electronic Data Systems, CompuCom and Avis Rental Car. He received EDS’ Inner Circle Award as one of the company’s top 100 performers, as well as the Top Leader Award with CompuCom. He earned his Bachelor Degree in Business Management and Economics from Northwood University. Randy Clapp attributes his success to: “…showing clients how to make or save money in ways they never thought possible”.

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