Level Up Your Service: How to Improve First Call Resolution Rates
First Call Resolution, or FCR, is the metric that measures how efficiently your customer service infrastructure has been able to resolve an issue. The goal is to be able to resolve the problem with no more than one call, so to speak. Of course, not all customer service is done through the phone nowadays, so this metric can also be referred to as First Contact Resolution.Meeting this goal ensures not only customer satisfaction and increased repeat purchase rates, but it could also be an important indicator that your agents are content and not only do they know what they’re doing, but they feel like they’re good at their job as well. Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than having to waste precious time dealing with customer support, especially because expectations are usually very, very, low—which of course will not make them any less frustrated. In turn, it might make them feel a sense of pleasant surprise when all of their needs are swiftly met.Therefore, we can agree that high FCR rates can translate into more profit, less churn, and happier customers and employees overall.So, how can you hone in on this aspect of your customer experience? Let’s get into it.
Provide Adequate Training
As we have stated, confident employees deliver efficient results. So it is pertinent that they receive proper, well-rounded training before facing real issues. They should know your product or service like the back of their hands, as well as an understanding of how all of the support channels function so that they can better guide clients in their requests. It’s also important that they understand what issues are common and how to resolve them, and that they feel equipped to face more complicated ones as well. Feeling knowledgeable about your job inspires proactivity and can inspire trust in customers. Make sure you also have internal support options available so that if any single customer service employee can not handle a situation on their own, there is always a resolution within reach, so to speak.
You should always have options available that can anticipate a client’s needs. This limits churn and improves client satisfaction. Easily accessible FAQ pages can be extremely helpful. Chatbots are also a commonly used tool today for customer service. In addition to this, your employee training should include a well-rounded understanding of who your clients are including periodic updates on what new issues have arisen and how the product/service has changed. As far as virtual and AI automated options go, it is important that these are well programmed and that they are updated and monitored regularly or as needed.
Get to Know Your Customer
Compiling data and analytics can be a valuable tool in many scenarios, but it can also help you provide a better customer service experience. Understand your key demographic, their interests, needs, and common problems and requests. Location, income level, and internet access can be important factors to take into account when anticipating their needs. Age is also an interesting variable because it can tell how tech-savvy your client base is and this can help curate a resolution path that is executable and understandable.
Provide Specialized Support
Another useful option is providing specialized support, meaning having different kinds of agents available for different issues. For example, some can be tech specialists and engineers, and others can focus on things like scheduling. This can reduce burnout for your employees by not making them wear too many hats, and it will make your customers feel like their issues are being handled professionally.
Encourage Collaborative Efforts
A common issue that clients have to face when dealing with customer service is the “always being passed along” phenomenon. Encourage your staff to not delegate or pass along any issues to their colleagues or superiors. Holding times can be stressful and it can seem unprofessional. Instead, agents can engage in collaborative efforts to solve problems. This means being present from start to finish, and bringing in other specialists to work with them rather than instead of. This will feel more like a personalized experience and it will give the impression that more effort is being put in.
Decrease Hold Times
Make sure you have enough well-equipped and readily available customer service agents on the line. Odds are that if you have AI software in place to address commonly asked questions, your customer has already had to spend some time on that and does not want to waste anymore. Keeping track of your internal schedules and being on top of any staffing issues is incredibly important when attending to customers’ needs.
Utilize Integrated Software
In addition to providing things like chatbots and FAQ pages, the internal end of your operation should be easy to navigate and seamlessly integrated with calendars, scheduling and search engines, and anything else that you may need for digital operations. This will reduce latency in answers, as employees will have no problem finding what they need and being able to provide any information needed as well as facilitating communication within and between sectors of your organization.
Assess and Measure Performance
Another type of useful data you could compile is present and past performance rates. This will help you assess and understand where you are at and give you a baseline from which to grow. You can measure different aspects of the support process like different phases and channels used, how long these took individually, and what were the common issues present in each one. With this information, you can get a better scope of what next steps need to be taken to improve overall resolution rates.
Reward Positive Results
Proactivity, speed, and personalized reviews are just a few aspects of an agent’s performance that can be rewarded. This can boost morale and act as an incentive to continue working in this manner and providing adequate results. Make sure these rewards are things that will benefit your employees or just generally make them happy. You can employ the help of the HR department or specialist for this. Public or personalized recognition can also make your specialists feel special and seen.If you are looking to improve your first contact resolution rates, you should take a holistic approach to your customer service platforms and options. There are always things that can be improved upon, and these can translate into better FCRs. A great goal to set is that your organization’s customer support service is widely recognized as being efficient, friendly, and professional. This can lead to better public reviews online and through word of mouth that will contribute to an overall better brand image. FCRs are an essential cornerstone of customer satisfaction analysis and should be treated as such. Make sure you keep it in mind when looking to level up your business.
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