The Power of First Call Resolution: Strategies to Boost Customer Satisfaction

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First Call Resolution

Want to boost customer satisfaction while increasing sales? First Call Resolution (FCR) is the “secret” solution for any size business.

The number one complaint from consumers across the board is poor customer service. However, when a company focuses on FCR, it can enhance the overall customer experience. Here’s how.

Understanding First Call Resolution

FCR is resolving the customer’s issue(s) during their first call to the company or call center. By achieving this task, a customer’s trust and satisfaction with the company is secured, leading to customer loyalty and retention.

When a customer needs to call back or send countless emails to resolve their issue, a company risks more than just losing that customer…they also risk losing future customers through “word of mouth”.

Companies can monitor their FCR strategy by tracking their First Call Resolution Rate. This provides a snapshot of the capability customer agents have to resolve or manage a customer’s concern or complaint during the first point of contact. The rate varies based on the type of business and issue involved.

A general FCR rate is considered “good” if it is between 70% and 75%. This equates to only 25% to 30% of customers calling back when the issue has not been resolved.

The FCR rate is determined by a First Call Resolution Formula. This involves the total cases of resolved customer issues on first contact divided by the total number of cases that day. The higher the number, the better the success rate for the company’s FCR.

Benefits of High First Call Resolution Rates

To understand the significance of tracking FCR rates, it is important to be aware of the key benefits of obtaining high rates.

Reduces Customer Effort

By boosting the FCR, a company is providing a vital service to consumers. It reduces the customer’s efforts to reach an available representative as the call level is lower, allowing the customer to be served quickly.

Lowers Operational Costs

High FCR rates help to save a company money by avoiding the need to hire more representatives to handle incoming second, third, and fourth calls from customers.

Enhances Agent Efficiency

The two major reasons for call center staff turnover involve increased workloads and angry customer calls, both of which lead to burnout among staff members. High FCR rates can help address these issues.

Boosts Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is the goal as the easier and faster the resolution, the happier the customer will be. Satisfaction rates drop when the customer needs to make another call for a solution.

Challenges and Barriers to First Call Resolution

There can be challenges and barriers in implementing FCR into a call center or business plan. FCR is only attainable with the right tools and support of the representatives.

Lack of Skills and Knowledge

A major challenge is the representative lacking the customer service skills and product/service knowledge to assist the concern or complaint.

Poor Call Routing

Poor call routing involves the customer being directed to the wrong representative or department for their needs. This can lead to dropped calls, transfers, and long wait times, which lowers the FCR rate.

Inadequate Tools and Technology

Using various computer applications, systems, and screens for information on the customer and on the product/service can lead to mistakes, frustration, wasted time, and/or loss of concentration.

Lack of Empowerment and Autonomy

Without proper authorization, representatives may only be able to offer inadequate solutions or be required to escalate the case to a manager, causing customer dissatisfaction and wasting precious time.

Low Customer Engagement and Feedback

Without asking for a customer’s input or feedback, the company is conveying a message of disrespect and lack of appreciation for the customer.

High Call Complexity and Variability

Sometimes, there will be customer contacts that require more time and effort to resolve or may need to be escalated to a representative more qualified. This lower the FCR rate.

Effective Strategies for Improving First Call Resolution

In order for a call center to face and overcome the challenges and barriers of FCR, there are effective strategies and actions to implement into the customer call.

Agent Training and Empowerment

Each representative should be well-versed on the policies and procedures as well as product/service knowledge through extensive training programs. Armed with guidelines, scripts, and FAQ sheets, representatives can better serve customers.

Robust Knowledge Management Systems

Having access to databases focused on customer service and the products/services offered is one of the FCR best practices rules. By providing updated, secure, and user-friendly technology, a representative will be better able to satisfy the customer, thereby increasing the FCR rate.

Call Routing and Skill-Based Distribution

Implementation of a proper call routing system can quickly and efficiently direct the customer’s call to the right representative. A skill-based distribution and appropriate call routing system can predetermine the potential for escalation to a manager without wasting time and requiring a callback.

Effective Use of Technology

Using CRM tools in conjunction with a customer service portal can enhance the customer experience by providing representatives with adequate information pertaining to the customer’s issue. Representatives trained in the use of AI can also better serve the customer.

Quality Monitoring and Feedback Loop

Every successful call center has a quality monitoring and feedback loop in place between the customer, representative, and assigned manager. Quality assurance by way of communication provides valuable information on the service provided with FCRs.

Measuring and Monitoring First Call Resolution

FCR monitoring can be implemented by several KPIs, at the customer level and at the management level of the call center. Tracking for customer satisfaction can be done with end-of-call or email surveys, follow-up support to the customer, and ongoing surveillance of the average handling time of the call. These can help uncover areas of service that require improvement.

3C Contact Services Offers Effective FCR Strategies for Exceptional Customer Support

Increase your FCR rate with 3C Contact Services. Through our premium customer response services, we offer training and information on FCR protocol, customer attrition, and customer retention. Contact us at (905) 669-1937 or complete this form for more information on our contact center solutions and FCR services.