Half of all customers with unresolved issues are at risk of leaving or have already decided to leave a company, according to a recent American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) study.
This finding underscores the importance of resolving customer issues on the first call. It also underscores the importance of First-Contact Resolution (FCR) as a metric.
So if FCR isn’t among your key inbound call center KPIs, it should be.
FCR is a powerful and valuable metric. It serves as a KPI for not only great customer experiences but also operational performance and efficiency.
In addition, FCR supports customers’ desires to resolve issues immediately and it helps save money. Few KPIs impact a company more than FCR.
But FRC is among the hardest KPI to correctly assess. That’s because of the challenges involved in measuring it.
As a result, some organizations do a shoddy job of measuring FCR. Other organizations feature lackluster FCR ratings because of a lack of emphasis.
If you’re in either of these camps, you should do three things right now.
- Exam the five internal efficiency factors FCR impacts at your organization
- Review the top factors influencing FCR resolution at your inbound call center
- Put everything together and build a solid business case for creating an FCR improvement program
Having done all this, pitch the program to senior management.
FCR’s Impact On Internal Efficiency
FCR affects many operational efficiency factors. But only a few are readily quantifiable. The 5 factors listed below are all in this category.
- Cost of repeat contacts
- Increased opportunities to sell
- Improved employee satisfaction
- External effectiveness impact
- Improved customer experience
Of these, one is especially critical for building a business case for FCR: cost of repeat contacts Obviously, the more repeat contacts the more costly the effort to resolve the issue. The average range within the call center industry is 35%.
After examining these factors, do a cost impact analysis on your inbound call center. Then establish a realistic improvement target with periodic improvement measurements or baselines to track trending.
Finally, incorporate all this information into a business case to help justify the investment in improvement.
Top Factors Influencing First-Contact Resolution
This information is also good to build into your efforts to create a business case for an FCR improvement program.
According to a survey by Dimension Data, the top five factors that pull down FCR in inbound call centers are:
- Systems and information access
- Agent knowledge
- Lack of end-to-end processes
- Accessibility to experienced staff
- Routing to the right agent
Of these factors the most critical is the first. The chance for FCR improvement lies buried within your systems and information. Data there can help you learn more about your customers and their escalation patterns.
Analyzing customers’ contact patterns is critical to improving FCR. But you need to fully harvest the data points from your systems to make this effort work.
Define FCR At Your Organization
Another key step when building a business case for an improvement program is to develop your own definition of FCR and the appropriate measures to gauge it at your firm.
Later on if your improvement program is approved, you can syndicate your definition across business units and sites to maintain integrity, saving time and money
It doesn’t take much these days for customers to defect. High FCR ratings can help you combat these defections.
FCR is a powerful metric. It serves as a bellwether KPI for not only customer satisfaction but also internal operational performance and efficiency.
So if First-Contact Resolution isn’t among your organization’s KPIs, it should be. It can help you increase customer satisfaction, enhance customer service, and dramatically cut costs.
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