There are a lot of metrics which could answer to a customer’s needs but there’s one that’s overlooked: First Contact Resolution. What is it?
First Contact Resolution (also known as FCR or First Call Resolution) is a customer support metric of how many customer’s issues can be resolved by an agent with just a single interaction and in a timely manner, whether through phone call, email response or chat session.
How to calculate FCR rate?
Why is it important to measure? It satisfies both the business and its customers.
The advantages of measuring this metric go to both ends.
First Contact Resolution helps improve Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Retention, and Experience (CX) by reducing customers’ effort; eliminating any follow-up action as their issues are resolved on first contact.
It improves the Total Issues Resolved or All Issues Received rate as it gives a rep or an agent more time to resolve or open more tickets while also managing the agent’s Average Handling Time (AHT). This means, more tickets handled at the same time!
It also helps in making the process easier. By identifying repetitive or easy-to-resolve issues, a rep or an agent may refer to the same action or response in an effective FCR session as long as it is well-fit to answer other customer’s needs.
Although not every customer issue can be straightened out in one reply, First Contact Resolution is something that should always be improved and boosted.
Ways to improve FCR rate
Listen and understand the customer’s needs by collecting data, finding trends and analyzing your customer’s behavior.
Allow or let agents own the issue or ticket they received and are handling. An “I got this” attitude that may arise would also lead to agents avoiding passing the problem to others. It can also contribute to an attitude for learning to enhance instincts and skills.
Provide intensive training, especially regarding product or service knowledge.
Fix broken processes within the organization to avoid problem source circulating and recurring issues.
Empathy towards customers always helps solve the problem.
Introduce and increase automation or self-service options to improve efficiency. Let agents spend their time on crafting empathy and not typing the same sentences again and again.
FCR is more than just answering what the customers asked in one shot. Anticipate the following when crafting a response:
Customers may follow up questions you’ve failed to anticipate. Let’s say it’s case closed for the first question, but we all know customers could ask another. Make sure to be ready to answer any follow-up questions related to the first.
Customers may follow up questions you thought you’ve resolved. Sometimes customers prefer more answers or solutions, which means the one you provided was not enough for the customers for many reasons including “it’s not working” or “it’s not what I needed” and more. In order to avoid this, give more than one solution just to be sure.
Investing in First Contact Resolution leads to: efficiency and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
As customers, what we want are what we also want for ourselves as business-minded people. No one wants to waste time nor resources. Imagine the absence of FCR for your business:
More emails or calls from customers are expected and to be able to cope up with the volume, more agents should be hired and this could drive up contact center costs.
The risk of a falling CSAT along with the low FCR rate; as customer priorities are to get their questions resolved as fast and correctly as they desire.
Hold on to these points to bring your business one step higher. It is definitely best to improve First Contact Resolution rate the soonest you can, as it has a big impact on your customers, agents, team, processes and overall operation of your business. Power up your customer support by making your customers less troubled and more delighted.