The Ultimate 7 Tips to Excel at First Contact Resolution

By increasing means of communication (chat, email, text and social media) First Call Resolution (FCR) have become on the First Contact Resolution. While technology has driven ever-changing customer service practices, customer expectations for service speed and efficiency have changed very little. Resolution at first contact is more than ever an essential performance indicator to which call centers must pay the utmost attention. According to studies, 70% of customers consider this item to be the most important factor when interacting with a business. Despite this, only 10% of companies feel they excel in this area.

The higher your first call resolution rate, the more positive your customer experience and the higher your customer lifetime value (CLTV). FCR is also a good indicator of whether your agents like their work. And it directly impacts your center’s bottom line by improving margins, reducing churn, and turning customers into brand evangelists.

Here are seven tips to excel at first contact resolution and totally satisfy your customer’s needs.

 

  1. Well trained agents.

One of the easiest ways to improve FCR is to make sure your agents are right for the job.

Your agents are on the front lines of your customer service. Training your front-line agents in the practical aspects of your business operations might be expensive in the short term, but it will be the best investment you have ever made.  Knowledgeable frontline agents are your best guarantees for a high FCR.

Agents should be well-trained on how to identify a repeat call and report the same. When a repeat call is received, they should tag it. So, it can be collected for future reporting and quality assurance purposes.

 

  1. Understand the needs of the client

To solve customer problems at the first interaction, it is extremely important to understand their needs. It is therefore necessary that the agents ask them specific questions and listen carefully. Although the call scripts can guide and save time, a conversational approach, emphasizing the spontaneity of the dialogue, will help to put the clients at ease and can only increase the chances of a fast resolution. At the end of each interaction, agents must also ensure that customers are satisfied with the proposed solution and that they have no additional questions.

 

  1. Optimize your omni-channel approach

A good start to implementing first contact resolution is to implement an optimized omni-channel strategy. In this way, your brand can identify the preferred channels of the customers and ensure that agents consistently deliver the best services. While it is usually best to stay on one channel to solve a problem, it can sometimes be more appropriate to switch the client to another channel, to discuss with them in a more personal and thorough way. Agents should not be afraid to spend too much time with a customer. It’s better to prolong an interaction and solve the problem than to force an unsatisfied customer to contact your company many times.

 

  1. Solicit customer feedback

After each interaction, ask customers if they are willing to answer a short survey. Make sure you ask them specific questions about their experience, and encourage them to respond freely. By understanding better how to improve your experience it will be easier to solve the needs of your customers at first contact.

 

  1. Take a proactive approach

Through proactive customer service, your company shows that it recognizes that the time of its customers is valuable. By regularly monitoring its channels, your brand will be able to understand where agents can be most useful, and identify technologies that are not working optimally. Similarly, consider keeping your agents in regular training so that they can continue to gain self-confidence and adapt to changing technologies and your business.

 

  1. Incentivize FCR superstars

If managers want to improve the FCR rate they have to institute incentive programs among employees who hit the requisite numbers.  This incentive can be tied in with other perks and can be in the form of bonuses, promotions and recognition.

 

  1. Chat with call center agents

Institute a system of soliciting feedback from your agents.  They deal with customers all day long and can provide insights on what changes can be made to improve FCR rate.  In particular, ask about workflow, systems and processes that need to be tweaked or implemented to achieve higher rates.

Agent feedback is valuable information from the perspective of improving customer service. Identify recurring customer issues and also discuss operational issues within the organization that could interfere with the service. Leverage this information to revise call scripts, streamline service processes, and set goals and procedures for agents to know exactly how to get the best out of themselves.

 

Last considerations…

Increasing your FCR (First Call Resolution / First Contact Resolution) rate is extremely important if you want to provide the best customer service. Setting up the resolution at first contact can be a challenge for many companies because of the multitude of factors that need to be considered. By taking a proactive approach and never neglecting the customer’s point of view when making decisions, your company can better satisfy your customers as soon as they contact you. To deliver the very best in customer services, discover Call Center Pros, a leader in customer service solutions.

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