Want to boost your company’s bottom line? — Invest in inbound call center technologies that directly impacts FCR rate. That’s the conclusion drawn from a recent study by Benchmark Portal. This in-depth study shows a statistical link between technology maturity and key performance metrics. Sponsored by Cisco, the recent research report indicates that investing in advanced call center technology boosts the bottom line significantly. The report also indicates that investments in new call center technologies frequently pay for themselves within a year. More important, the report indicates that well-chosen purchases of new call center technology optimize company value.
These are three powerful reasons to invest in inbound call center technology. So if you’re call center’s performance isn’t up to speed, technology may have an answer. Or, if you’re outsourcing call center activities, make sure you’re provider takes advantage of the latest technological advancements.
Impact On FCR Rate
Benchmark’s report studied the impact of technology on 7 key metrics including calls per agent per hour, customer satisfaction, queue time, agent satisfaction, and cost savings.
The metrics chosen for the study are metrics most executives consider keys to a healthy call center performance—metrics you should be tracking monthly.
Inbound call center technology had a positive impact on all 7 metrics. But the one metric that really stood out in the study is FCR.
It’s key when it comes to delivering positive financial results and boosting company value. That’s because it’s both a quality metric AND a financial metric.
Not many metrics have the impact on your bottom line as FCR.
In fact, many executives consider FCR a “magic metric.” Why—because it correlates well with customer satisfaction and cost savings.
If you had the resources to improve only one metric in an inbound call center performance, FCR is it.
Improving FCR Rate Substantially
Benchmark’s report indicates that new technologies can substantially impact FCR. In other words, a call center’s technical maturity has an impact on performance.
Here are the 7 technologies having the most impact on FCR and the average percentage increase:
- Contact data analytics (12.99%)
- Skills-based routing (12.41%)
- Call recording & retrieval (12.06%)
- Presence-based expert escalation (11.58%)
- CTI & Apps Integration (11.02%)
- Competency-based routing (9.67%)
- Real-time agent feedback tools (8.80%)
Other technologies impacting FCR included workforce management (8.50%), courtesy callback while in queue (7.72%), web-contact chat (7.50%), automated customer survey (7.50%), and routing by ACD (6.42%).
Impacted Four Key FCR Areas
The report also found that these technologies impacted four key areas of FCR—Route, Queue, Resolve, and Review—significantly. Here’s more detail on what impacted each area:
- Routing: Routing via ACD, skills based, competency-based, multi-criteria, and blended routing
- Queue: Courtesy callbacks, announced waiting time
- Resolve: Presence-based expert escalation, CTI applications integration, agent desk top apps
- Review: Analytics, call recording, real-time agent feedback tools, automated customer surveys, reporting and analytics, call monitoring, cradle-to-grave reporting
Inbound call centers using these technologies had anywhere from a 4% to 13% increases in performance, according to the study.
Three Reasons Why FCR Rate Matters
The report cites three reasons why technology impacts not just these areas but also FCR as a whole and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. Technologies that:
- Route and queue inquiries properly routed increase the probability that these calls will be handled appropriately and resolved quickly.
- Augment desktop capabilities (CRM, CTI systems, etc.) help agents find the answers they need to quickly resolve and close customer inquiries.
- Provide transparency and feedback, such as real-time agent feedback tools, help improve agent performance significantly
Keep in mind that improving FCR boosts customer satisfaction and this in turn boosts customer retention. Boosting customer retention by 5% can increase profits by up to 85%.
So what’s the takeaway from Benchmark’s report? Here are two issues:
- If you’re looking to transform your inbound call center’s performance, invest in new call center technologies.
- If you’re outsourcing call center activities look for providers with the latest call center technological advancements.
In short, investing in new call center technology not only boosts FCR and customer satisfaction, it also improves financial results and enhances company value.
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