First contact resolution (FCR) is one of the key performance metrics of any contact center. FCR is an integral performance indicator, for both the customer experience and for determining the operational efficiency of the contact center. Several factors are responsible for FCR, including complexity of transactions, agent experience, quality of agent training and the tools that the contact center uses. Consider incorporating the following FCR best practices into your strategy.
1. Analyze the repeat contact that occurs across all contact channels. This offers a broad spectrum of insight about the interactions that are happening. Root cause analysis can be used to identify the reasons why customers aren’t having their issues handled during first contact.
2. Analyze customer profiles for predictive contact patterns. Create customer profiles based on this analysis and leverage customer information to provide intelligent service automation and routing. When contact center agents know the prior efforts of a customer, they can provide customized guidance during the interaction.
3. Track contact reasons on various channels. Customers will use preferred channels for specific contact reasons. Staff can be allotted to these communication channels based on expertise and ability to achieve FCR. Additionally, the omni-channel customer experience should include self-service options, but sometimes the customer isn’t able to solve their problem on their own. When communication is routed to an agent, the agent should be alerted to the reason for the call so they can pick up where the customer left off.
4. After reviewing contact patterns and analyzing customer profiles, identify inefficient or problematic contact center strategies. Then, conduct process and policy evaluations to find out which procedures can be changed to prevent future problems.
6. Some contact center managers choose to identify situations where FCR is not possible and then subtract those types of contacts from the equation. For example, if manager approval is required for waiving charges, escalation is necessary and FCR cannot occur. This type of contact is sometimes taken out of the FCR equation.
7. Don’t close incidents and assume that FCR has been achieved until the customer considers the issue closed. Many customers say that one of the main reasons for repeat contact is because they’re not satisfied with the response they received, even if it was actually the correct response. If you don’t take this into account, the contact center’s FCR rate could seem higher than it really is.
It’s not realistic to believe that every single issue will be able to be resolved during first contact. For most contact centers, there are situations that require additional work, research or help. However, to see FCR improve means that the customer experience and the contact center’s efficiency are both progressing.