Nearshore Americas

First Call Resolution: How to Define, Measure and Improve

A typical customer will not call back a call center.  Not only does this keep costs high, but it decreases customer loyalty and increases turnover.SQM Group suggests there is a 20 percent drop in customer satisfaction for each additional call required to resolve the issue.  Additionally, customers who did not get their call resolved are 5 times more likely to defect than those who had their call resolved according to SQM Group’s report.

In a study by the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) it was reported that 65 percent of all repeat calls are the result of agent errors.  An example is if the employee:

  1. Doesn’t give a confident answer
  2. Doesn’t set the proper expectations
  3. Doesn’t follow through on a commitment
  4. Simply gives the wrong answer

Research tells us that more than half of all phone contacts have a self-service interaction related to them either before or after the call. Additionally, 25 percent of customers who use the Web subsequently use a full-service channel to complete a transaction.

Ultimately, customers are more concerned with issue resolution rather than call resolution—the call is just the means to the end.

Best practices for measuring First Call Resolution (FCR) are:

  1. Ask your customer – ultimately s/he is the determining factor.
  2. If the customer completes a survey, include questions that ask, “Was your call resolved?” and/or “How many calls did you make to resolve your call?”
  3. If the customer said the call was resolved in one call, then that customer experienced FCR.
  4. If the call is transferred and the next person resolves the issue – without the customer having to call back – it is still FCR, the customer only made the one call.

And finally, I believe that first call resolution is a training issue.  If your personnel have the communication skills, the knowledge base, and true empowerment, you can eliminate those second and third calls, as well as any misinformation.

Here’s what improving FCR can do:

  1. Reduce overall customer calls (data from part one)
  2. Decrease rework
  3. Improve service
  4. Enhance customer satisfaction
  5. Up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
  6. High value customer interactions
  7. Take customers from satisfied to loyal

Don’t be one of the 50% or 60% of organizations not measuring FCR.  Remember what gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets better.

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Rosanne D’Auslio, Ph.D., President of Human Technologies Global, Inc., and known as “the practical champion of the human,” is an industrial psychologist, consultant, master trainer, bestselling author, executive coach, and customer service expert. She also writes the complimentary tips newsletter How To Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch!



Nearshore Americas

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