Solving a caller’s problems quickly can significantly improve their perception of your organization’s overall quality and competency. However, achieving the fastest possible resolution speed – over the course of a single call – can prove to be more complicated than it seems.
There are many variables involved in handling customers’ calls efficiently enough to resolve them without need for additional contact to be made on their part. Improvement strategies targeting everything from internal business operations to technological integrations can have a powerful effect on your first call resolution rate. To help you sort through the noise, we have put together some helpful ideas below.
Read on to discover some of the things that you can do to directly improve your first call resolution rate.
Improving a major metric like first call resolution involves carefully keeping track of it and various others to accurately inform your decisions. Once you begin accurately tracking this metric, you can take measured steps towards raising it using the rest of the ideas in this article.
Following are the main figures worth tracking to help you boost your first call resolution rate:
Track Common Problems
Keeping a running list of the most common reasons people call your company can contribute exceedingly valuable insights for your team to leverage. With the top concerns your agents are likely to encounter clearly defined, you can provide stronger training in these areas and tailor tools to match the demand for more specific solutions.
Demographics grant extra insight into the needs of your company’s customers, telling you a bit about their personal, cultural and geographical history. Such information often forms the basis of improvement strategies for routing and training processes within your organization.
Track Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction comes into play as a valuable metric in making calls shorter and more efficient by informing you on whether callers have had a positive experience with your team or not. Higher scores correlate strongly with a high first call resolution rate, signaling an appropriate level of knowledge and competency among your agents.
To learn about how speech analytics can help boost customer satisfaction, download our white paper, Reduce Churn and Increase Customer Satisfaction with Speech Analytics.
Track Customer Effort
The higher your customer effort score, the more difficult the process of interacting with your representatives is for individual callers. Keeping this metric at the forefront of your considerations keeps overall ease of interactions clearly defined for you to make improvements on gradually.
If you are already tracking the necessary performance indicators and metrics mentioned above, then your next order of business lies with implementing an effective training plan for your agents. Below are a few key ideas on how to handle this important process more effectively:
Improve Agent Knowledge
Achieving a high first call resolution rate is tough but asking your agents to do so without ensuring they fully understand the products and services they are helping callers with is pretty much impossible.
Customer support representatives need to know enough about the topics they are assisting people with to answer questions and pick through problems with reasonable certainty.
Product and Service Information
Taking into account what you have found to be the most common concerns as well as the most complex issues that your team members encounters, you can provide strategic training plans to boost specific areas of understanding among them.
Although your agents may understand the details of your company’s products and services, those of your business’s internal processes could still be enough of a mystery for them to effectively handle certain calls on their own.
Informing your team of the important intricacies of internal processes that concern customers can dramatically improve their ability to sort out confusion autonomously, boosting your first call resolution rate in the process.
Encouraging cooperation among your agents allows them to make the most of one another’s individual strengths and proficiencies.
Encourage Agents to Investigate Clients’ Issues More Deeply
Instead of deferring more complex problems to other teams entirely whenever they arise, agents should be encouraged to push forward in solving each caller’s issues so long as they are reasonably capable of doing so.
Where your company’s operational practices are concerned, there is ample opportunity for augmenting your first call resolution rate. Here are a few particularly powerful avenues worth exploring:
Keep Transfers to a Minimum
Transfers tend to contribute greater complexity to calls rather than simplify them. Although certain departmental transfers are necessary, additional transfers beyond those tied to domain of expertise are often not.
Cutting down on transfers can be as simple as restructuring your center’s routing processes to be more efficient – pairing customers with representatives who are most likely to understand their needs and possess the knowledge to satisfy them.
Route by Multiple Factors
You can incorporate the following factors into your routing decisions to set callers and agents up for success from the start:
- Skillset: This goes without saying, but callers should be matched to agents within an appropriate department and with a suitable skillset to attend to their issues. For example, customers with billing concerns should never be routed to user experience experts instead of agents experienced in handling billing requests.
- Demographic: If you have been tracking demographics, then this routing technique may serve you especially well. Pairing female callers, for instance, with female agents can help in improving comfort and communication.
Follow Up with Callers
Although spending additional time on the lines interacting with callers may seem counterintuitive when you have performance goals to reach, implementing this strategy on a temporary basis can help in discovering pain points your callers may have encountered when they first contacted your center.
Improving the technological base of your company’s infrastructure can yield impressive performance results among your agents in a relatively quickly. One simple way that you can do this is by leveraging knowledge base software.
Patching up gaps in your agents’ knowledge of important details by placing an on-demand knowledge base at their disposal can give them the edge they need to accommodate questions with more intricate answers than they would normally be able to figure out.
Speech analytics solutions provide valuable insights on first call resolution and other metrics, as well as sentiment analysis that can reveal insights about why some inquiries aren’t resolved on the first call. Armed with these insights, call center leaders can better prepare their agents to resolve customer concerns on the first contact.
Download our white paper, The CX Pro’s Guide to Speech Analytics, to learn more about how speech analytics can help you improve the customer experience.
Consistently solving customers’ problems on first contact is tricky, but not impossible. Working with the ideas laid out in this article should put your call center on the right track towards achieving your goal.
How has your organization improved its first call resolution rate?