When a customer calls a contact center, he/she expects the agents to resolve his/her query at the same time. Aware of his/her worth, a valuable customer believes that his/her issues are the most critical and hence, should be addressed first. When the same does not occur in the real-time scenario, it leaves him/her disappointed. This, in turn, affects the agent’s performance score as well as the contact center’s First Contact Resolution (FCR) score.
FCR score refers to the number of times the issues reported by the customers were resolved at the very first call or interaction they had with the executives at the contact center. This interaction is not just limited to a phone call and can take multiple forms such as chat, email, text and social media. While FCR is often considered to impact a customer’s satisfaction score, the score can also affect a customer’s loyalty towards the brand, his/her performance and efficiency, and the organization’s overall profitability.
What Makes First Call Resolution (FCR) So Critical?
FCR is one of the most important metrics to be measured by the contact center that may help drive performance and improve profitability. Defining a customer’s satisfaction level based on his/her experience with your brand, FCR helps determine the number of times the customers were happy with your services, which, in turn, helps in reducing the churn rate of the contact center.
FCR is also helpful in decreasing the operational cost of the contact centers. This is because having a reduced customer churn rate signifies that you have been able to resolve a higher number of customer queries in comparison to the contact centers that have a large chunk of customer queries pending in their database.
Tips To Attain Higher FCR Score
Attaining an improved FCR score is the goal of many contact centers as this element highly impacts the center’s performance score. Some of the common ways in which you can attain a higher FCR for your contact center are as mentioned below:
1. Identify And Fix The Issues
In case of a poor FCR score, identifying the reasons behind any delay in resolving customer queries at the first contact is important. This will not only help in identifying the common causes behind the delay but also in identifying the common trends and inefficiencies, the specific products leading to incompetence, agents’ knowledge and training required to fix the issue, etc.
All this information can be collected by analyzing the data and call logs, talking to the agents and listening to call recordings. Once these issues are identified, it is best to begin fixing the issues and also adopt a preventive approach that can help deter the issues before they actually occur.
2. Comprehend Your Customers’ Needs
For a company, it is always better to know their customers’ needs and preferences. This can be done by analyzing the calls and the interaction that takes place between the customers and the agents. Doing so would enable an easy segmentation of the customers into different groups that will be done on the basis of factors like demographics, education or interest.
Grouping the calls on the basis of these factors can help in understanding your customers better. This, in turn, can make it easier to comprehend their needs and collect the relevant information as required. The information collected can later assist the agents to handle calls better as well as route them to the teams that can handle them better. Adopting this approach can then be used to improve the FCR score.
3. Improve Your Support Structure
Having an improved and well-planned support structure can be a great way to improve the FCR score for an organization. A set of right tools and software combined with a clear understanding of the customers, delegation of each issue to a different support level and alteration of routing algorithm can help in improving the FCR score.
For better productivity and improved FCR score, it is important to delegate each task to a different level of support. For instance, a frontline agent can be requested to solve basic problems, support engineers can be employed to handle multiple technical issues, etc. Cross-training the agents to handle more than one type of calls can also act as a great trick. Doing so would enable the best utilization of the available resources, specifically in case of fluctuating call volume.
4. Total Contact Ownership
Adopting this approach can act as a great tool to avoid the risk of irritating or frustrating your customers. This is the process in which an agent is held responsible for a particular call that he/she manages from the start to the end.
Adopting this approach is certainly beneficial as it may help minimize the risk of calls being transferred from one agent to another. The agents would now be more interested in closing the calls that are handling. Following this approach will not only improve the FCR score but will also inspire the agents to act more professionally, aim towards attaining customer satisfaction and enhance brand awareness.
5. Restructure Your Internal Processes
Restructuring of internal processes is a must if the present structure is negatively affecting the FCR score. This can begin with the process of identifying the inefficient processes and procedures that can be replaced or eliminated for other efficient processes. For instance, your agents, in the current scenario, might be required to transfer all the concerns to the department head. But, eliminating this mandate by empowering them to handle basic queries like billing and promotional discounts can be a great help.
Adjusting the routing of the calls and making sure that every individual’s time is utilized to its best are the best ways to attain an unsurpassed FCR score.
Focus on Attaining Maximum Customer Satisfaction
From working solely towards improving their product line, many organizations have also started to work towards improving their FCR score, Net Promoter Score (NPS) and other metrics that define their performance. This is done after analyzing that focusing solely on a single factor will never reap as impressive results as working towards attaining overall performance improvement. Therefore, dedicate the required time, energy and resources to consistently improve your FCR score and you will surely be able to attain maximum customer satisfaction.