Ask the Experts: What Are Your First Call Resolution Best Practices?

Recent data shows that 80% of business executives view customer loyalty as their primary marketing initiative for the next year. Which metric accurately corresponds to customer loyalty? First call resolution (FCR) – often considered the most important KPI to measure and track within a call center– is directly linked to a consumer’s level of satisfaction and allegiance to a business.

Understanding FCR is crucial to the success of your contact center as it drives customer satisfaction, profitability and overall workplace efficiency. It comes to no surprise then that call centers should have metrics in place to properly monitor FCR – given its immense value. We turn to the experts on how your call center can most efficiently attain FCR through this compilation of tips. Enjoy!

1. Train Well

“Your agents must be well equipped to handle the diverse needs of the caller. This means they should be proficient with your software, procedures, communicating with clients, be well informed of policies, etc.”

(Source: Talkdesk)

2. Utilize Social Media Feedback

“Social media is useful for identifying FCR failures. “[It] is easier to be positive to someone over the phone, but people are much tougher in social media feedback.”

(Source: Call Centre Helper)

3. Measure Contact Reasons on Multiple 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.”

(Source: CRMXchange)

4. Develop Incentive Programs

“Develop an agent incentive plan for obtaining an FCR goal. Properly incentivized, agents will work harder to resolve issues and confirm issue resolution with the caller.”

(Source: Benchmark Portal)

5. Put in Place Concise Program Goals

“Have the steering committee define program goals and desired outcomes. For example, an FCR improvement rate should be specified by call center site or call type. The committee should specify the areas where applying FCR can improve performance and customer and agent satisfaction.”

(Source: ContactCenterWorld)

6. Set Realistic Customer Expectations

“Create a centrally monitored turnaround and backlog report. Online updated pop-up timelines should be provided to advisors’ desktops. Also have advisors quote dates instead of days and weeks for turnaround expectations. This ensures customers aren’t calling back too early looking for the resolution.”

(Source: ICMI)

7. Continuously Track Performance

“Companies that consistently measure FCR are seeing major performance improvements. According to research conducted by The Ascent Group, 60% of companies measuring FCR for a year or longer reported a 1% – 30% improvement in their performance. With results like these, you cannot afford not to track FCR. In order to be effective, measurement of first call resolution must be reliable, consistent, and accurate.”

(Source: CallMiner)

Final Thoughts

While 51% of customers said they would only try to reach out for support once, it is imperative for contact centers to achieve resolutions within that first attempt. Not attaining FCR results in your customer taking their business elsewhere – negatively impacting your bottom line.

However, understanding and properly tracking FCR can better position your contact center for success in the long run. We hope this list helps provides insight on FCR best practices and can ultimately help foster customer loyalty.


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The Forrester New Wave™: AI-Fueled Speech Analytics Solutions, Q2 2018