First Call Resolution is an important call center metric and a significant aspect of customer relationship management. The term ‘FCR’ is pretty self-explanatory as it refers to the contact centre’s ability to resolve customer issues, queries, or anything they require within the first time they call with no need of a follow-up after. Agents are the first and most important factors in improving first call resolution. This agent KPI lies in handling customer service requests in a single interaction. First call resolution matters primarily because it is proven to have a positive effect on the customer experience.
Most of the customers who phone a call centre expect their issue to be resolved on the first call. For every follow-up call that happens to pertain to a certain issue, customer satisfaction drops a little bit. That’s an understandable perspective as no customer enjoys having to repeatedly follow up with a company on a particular issue.
Listed below are 8 ways to improve First Call Resolution:
1. Make sure to understand the customer’s needs
While interacting with customers, it is important to know exactly what they are saying so that you can fully understand them before addressing their concerns or issues. The more information the agent has regarding the customer online, the better are the chances at resolving the issue in the first interaction itself. At VOIZ, agents are trained and meticulously prepared to ensure that they get adequate information from the customer within a short span of time through a comprehensive training that teaches agents how to ask the right questions to get to the core of the issue. Another way can also be through CRMs which allows the employees to access data including service history within a centralized repository enabling them to pull up information relevant to a service request at a given moment to resolve the issue within the first pass.
2. Set appropriate expectations
Once you have a clear understanding of the customer’s needs, always let the customers know the estimated time it will take to resolve the issue. Be aware of the time certain processes take and convey the same to the caller in the form of reassurance. This can be as simple as saying:
– “I’m looking into your issue as we speak. It should be resolved in five minutes”
– “ This issue is a little bit complicated. Please stay online and I should be able to guide you through the process in a few minutes”
3. Keep the caller informed about the progress of the cal
While you’re on a call with the customer and get started on the resolution of the issue, always keep the caller informed about the progress of the resolution. This way it translates as care and consideration for the caller and the issue they came to the customer support with. It is also important to convey urgency as customers are relying entirely on the company’s support to fix the issue. So it is essential to reassure the customer that their issue has been acknowledged, understood, and in the process of getting resolved. You can convey this by saying:
– “ I completely understand the urgency of the problem. Let me connect my manager to this call to expedite the issue’.
– “ I understand the need to get this resolved at the earliest. I will do my best to resolve it as fast and as effectively as possible”
4. Escalate, transfer, or conference in specialized personnel whenever necessary
When you know the answers or solutions to the caller’s queries or problems, be confident in your ability to convey that. Focus on saying:
- “I’m sure this should fix your issue”
- “Don’t worry. This issue can be fixed in no time.”
In case you’re not sure about certain things, don’t guess or make assumptions about them. Take the time to research or look up the solution in the database or conference with a senior agent or a manager. It is okay to not know how to resolve a customer’s issue, make sure to learn from that experience while you connect that call with a more seasoned agent or a specialist.
5. Eliminate the wait
As a remote CX agent make sure to always have a steady internet connection so there is no time lost in getting connected. That is an important aspect of the customer journey. Customers have enough to worry about and the addition of poor network or internet connection can’t be an accompanying issue as well. By creating an environment where there is clarity and free flow of conversation, both the customer and you, are relaxed and there is more focus on the issue that needs to be resolved.
6. Don’t just show – Teach & Demonstrate
There is nothing worse than getting connected with a support agent only to get a confusing response to the customer’s inquiry. If such a situation occurs, there will most likely be a follow-up call. The agents must be concise and clear in answering customer queries or giving instructions to avoid or eliminate confusion leading up to a faster resolution. At VOIZ, it is believed that as an agent, you must focus on walking the customer through the resolution process; not only increasing the chances of first call resolution but also preparing the customer to replicate the process on their own should it occur a second time.
7. Make sure the issue has been addressed and adequately resolved.
A call isn’t over unless the customer says it is over, which is why ‘quick resolution’ needs to be implemented because another customer is waiting at the end of this line. Once the resolution is done, it’s in the call center’s best interest to quiz the customer regarding two aspects.
- “Have I fully resolved the issue?”
- “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
These two questions delivered in this order can assure you and the company that the issue has been addressed and resolved and that there are no additional issues for the customer to follow up on.
8. Ask for feedback before closing the call.
So once the resolution has been achieved, how can we make sure that customer satisfaction has also been attained? Always ask the customer directly about the experience, no matter how you think you’ve handled the call.