An essential feature of customer service centers is providing clients with efficient communication. You should research your call center metrics in detail—such as first call resolution—to see if the agents meet customers’ expectations by managing requests efficiently. First call resolution (FCR) explores whether or not your team succeeds at offering your customers the right solution the first time they reach you out.
The importance of first call resolution metric is hidden behind the capability to estimate a call center’s effectiveness. According to the Ascent Group survey, 40% of customers do not want to repeat their inquiries to multiple agents on several platforms and trust companies with high FCR rate. So, how can your business achieve it? Read on to explore first call resolution benefits and tips helping you achieve better results.
What is a First Call Resolution Rate in Plain Language?
First contact resolution: definition
First call resolution is a rate that illustrates how well your contact center team resolves customers’ questions and meets their needs during the first interaction via any available channel.
FCR is defined based on the customer’s perspective. For example, business clients usually consider the first contact resolution as the “percentage of company’s opened tickets that are solved immediately and do not require any further contact.” Thus, the higher your FCR rate, the more satisfied your customers tend to be. FCR also assists in tracking agents’ operational performance and efficiency, optimizing your resources by ensuring the employees spend less time on less important processes.
How to measure first contact resolution?
External FCR measurement is considered a proven method for its evaluation. This approach lets the customers decide if the issue was solved instantly by sending a post-call phone or email survey. The external measurement of FCR helps determine and compare the first call resolution rate with other companies’ contact centers.
Internal FCR measurement is widely used by contact centers applying the organization’s evaluation criteria. For instance, businesses create workforce suites, CRM, case management, or Q&A. Thisrate is usually measured by whether the customer called back for the same issue within 1 to 30 days. However, determining the accurate callback time is challenging. Thus, if there is no standard for internal FCR evaluation, it is less accurate and less effective to work with in the future.
What Businesses Refer to FCR Rate
The most common industries that use FCR rate are retail, health insurance, energy, tech support, and telco. While retail call centers tend to have lower call reason complexity, the insurance, health care, and financial industries have moderate call reason complexity reaching the first call resolution industry standard. On the other hand, the tech support and telco industries usually have high call reason complexity and low FCR performance.
High First Call Resolution: Contact Center Can Get the Most Out of It
It helps retain customers
A low call resolution rate is one of the main reasons that customers change their companies’ preferences. Solving critical problems during the first interaction can significantly affect client experience and satisfaction.
It drives customer satisfaction
According to PWC research, 32% of customers tend to change the service provider after having a single bad communication with the contact center team. Unsatisfied clients can express their frustrations online using social media channels or Google reviews. If your business has a high FCR, it can turn potential company critics into brand promoters that will spread the word about the sufficient customer service provider.
It boosts agent productivity
Managing to solve a customer’s issue during the first interaction means that the contact center team will deal with fewer repeat requests in the future. Consequently, the waiting time gets shorter for customers, and support agents can spend more time on complex issues.
Tracking and measuring the FCR rate is crucial for businesses as it gives valuable insights into the satisfaction metrics of the company and how customers perceive the brand. While evaluating FCR, you see whether you are solving tickets or causing unexpected frustrations. The first contact resolution rate is also closely related to operational costs, customer churn, and sales level gains.
How to Close Tickets in First Call Resolution: Best Practices
Anticipate customer needs by analyzing their behavior
If you can predict your customer’s needs during the first call, it will save them from repeating their requests. Understanding the core reasons of your customers,reaching out for assistance, ensures the readiness to satisfy them. Moreover, the company should analyze customer feedback and specify the complaints the audience has when using services or products. This data will help to dive into customer concerns after the call.
Create a knowledge base
One of the essential first call resolution tips is creating a knowledge base, including articles, video explanations, and tutorials. By empowering customers to search for the tools to solve their problems, you can reduce the resources involved in extra working hours for contact center agents and maximize their productivity. It boosts FCR by ensuring customers can resolve frequently asked requests independently and will not have to contact again for help via multiple channels.
Apply skills-based routing software
Skills-based routing connects the customers to the most suitable agent considering the details of the request and the client’s background. Omnichannel routing means clients can contact you on any channel anytime, and the system saves the records of their interactions in a single file. Thus, if a customer reaches out on Instagram, then on Facebook, and finally calls, the agents should be able to see the complete picture of those conversations. Finally, voicemail routing allows callers to leave a message or sign up to receive a call back later, properly prioritizing the tickets.
Empower customer support team
Empowering the support team with first call resolution tips for agents and giving them more authority to resolve inquiries can prevent talents from transferring calls or keeping customers waiting. Contact center representatives should have access to collaboration software and instant messaging while remaining connected to the customer. Another essential mechanism for closing tickets in FCR is a unified agent desktop (UAD). It integrates training processes and makes it easier for agents to navigate back-end systems to handle complex requests faster.
How Companies Solve Issues in FCR: Top 3 Success Stories
Glintt & Talkdesk
Glintt (Global Intelligent Technologies) needed to improve FCR to serve more than 200 hospitals and clinics and 2,500 pharmacies that use their services to provide customer service 24/7.
Thus, the primary goals were:
- Faster response times.
- More data about agent workflow.
- Cloud software that would benefit their SaaS call center.
Glintt used the Talkdesk Enterprise Contact Center Platform for 100 agents in two contact centers in Portugal, adding around 100 remote workers. The answer speed was essential to their customers, so the agents could provide clients with immediate answers upon calling. Using Talkdesk software, Glintt received information about how often clients called before, whether they waited and how their problems were addressed. Thus, the company’s calls are now answered in 10 seconds or less, compared with 60 seconds in the past. In addition, the FCR rate improved significantly, giving more details about agent availability and other core metrics.
Central Restaurant Products & Dialpad
Central Restaurant Products provides equipment and supplies to kitchens and restaurants of all shapes and sizes, from school cafeterias to restaurants, managing around 60,000 calls a month. The company tried an in-house landline phone system solution, but it required all agents to stay in the office. Then they tried a cloud call center solution that couldn’t connect with their other tools and wasn’t adequate for the quality of calls. Finally, Central Restaurant Products started using Dialpad AI-based software in their contact center for inbound and outbound calls. The company experienced a considerable reduction in dropped calls, improved call quality, and an opportunity to work from any part of the world. Moreover, now the business can use analytics to explore how long the agents are on calls when they are being made and received, allowing them to review agents’ productivity levels. Overall, the FCR rate has improved by around 10-15% per call, giving the company time to dedicate to sales-driving areas.
Basic Research & Nice inContact
Basic Research is a top dietary supplement and cosmetic product distributor to 45,000 individual retail outlets in over 35 countries. Because consumers usually order directly by phone, the company’s 35-agent contact center with three BPOs wasn’t able to manage the call overflow, especially during significant volume increases after marketing campaigns. Thus, Basic Research moved to the NICE inContact CXone cloud platform to improve FCR rate and call routing using its vast customer data. The system directs a call to the most qualified agent worldwide. If the call is about an existing order, the agent instantly gets a screen image from the CRM account and can use the data to provide the customer with personalized and fast service. Having the possibility to route calls more precisely allows for effective management of agents and high FCR.. With the new software, Basic Research tracks every sale and contact across every touchpoint they’ve had with the customer.
The Bottom Line
Measuring the FCR rate gives a clear look at a contact center interaction through your customers’ eyes. Around 40% of the customers do not enjoy making repeated contacts to address issues as they prefer to solve problems the first time they reach out. Among core practices for closing tickets in FCR are:
- anticipating customer needs
- creating a knowledge base
- implementing robust contact center software
- empowering the customer support team
Companies also need to involve well-trained agents to handle increasing numbers of complex customer concerns. By boosting a company’s FCR rate, you can improve customers’ experience and engage their feedback at every touchpoint.
If you’re looking for a way to boost the FCR rate – book a 30-minute call with WOW24-7 to find the solution. Our team will advise you on the most suitable starting point.