Within customer service, First Contact Resolution (FCR) is very important. FCR indicates how many customer queries are resolved at first contact, without further follow-up. A higher FCR means that customer service is efficient and effective. This ensures satisfied and loyal customers. Improving the FCR therefore contributes to providing good customer service.

In this blog, we share 7 tips for improving your First Contact Resolution. Implementing these strategies can not only increase your customers’ satisfaction, but also improve the efficiency of your customer service team.

What is a good First Contact Resolution?

By industry standard, 75% of customer inquiries should be resolved in the first call. This means that 30% of customers will have to contact them again for their problem.

In general, an FCR rate of 90% is good, while a rate below 47% is bad. The higher the FCR share, the better the service. However, the measured FCR rate varies widely by sector, depending on the complexity of the service.

How do you measure your First Contact Resolution?

To measure your FCR, track the number of queries resolved with one contact. If customers make multiple contacts, subtract the resolved (FCR) contacts from the total number of contacts to get an accurate number.

In Steam-connect, you can create dashboards to continuously monitor your FCR.

Improving your First Contact Resolution: 7 tips

The chances of having an FCR of 100% are slim, there is always room for improvement. But how do you tackle that? We offer 7 tips.

1. Invest in employee training and development

To achieve higher First Contact Resolution, it is important that your agents are well trained and have the right skills and expertise. This ensures that customer inquiries can be answered more quickly and efficiently.

To help customers effectively, it is important that your customer service team has adequate product knowledge, communication skills and problem-solving abilities. They should also be aware of the latest developments within your organization and industry so that they can provide customers with timely and accurate information.

Make sure your employees stay up-to-date by holding regular training sessions and workshops. This can range from training focused on specific products to workshops in which employees learn how to improve their communication skills or deal with difficult situations.

Offering cross-training allows your employees to understand multiple aspects of your business and handle different types of customer inquiries. This makes your team more flexible and better able to solve a wide range of customer problems at first contact.

2. Make sure your customer contact colleagues have access to the right information

It is important to ensure that your customer service team has access to the relevant information at the right time, so they can answer customer questions quickly and come up with an efficient solution. Therefore, make sure your employees have the necessary tools and information.

  • Use an up-to-date knowledge base: A knowledge base is an important repository of information about your products, services and common customer questions. It is important that your knowledge base is up-to-date and easily accessible to your customer service team. This allows them to quickly find the right answer and help customers effectively.
  • Take advantage of software: Contact center software – such as Steam-connect – can help your staff gain a better understanding of each customer. By having access to customer interaction history, purchase data and other relevant information, your staff can understand customer needs faster and improve their First Call Resolution.
  • Make sure you have quick and easy access to customer data: Make sure your employees have easy access to customer data during interactions. This can be accomplished by using interfaces that are user-friendly and integrating systems that share information seamlessly between departments. Quick access to customer data enables your team to work more efficiently and increase FCR.

3. Implement clear processes and procedures

To improve First Call Resolution, it is essential to have clear processes and protocols. Implementing structured and well-documented processes ensures that your customer service team has a clear understanding of what is expected of them and how to effectively resolve customer inquiries.

  • Standardize your customer service: When you standardize customer service, you ensure consistency and uniformity in addressing customer questions and problems. That way, customers get a consistent experience regardless of the employee they deal with. By developing standard protocols and procedures, you can also train new employees more easily and quickly.
  • Document processes and procedures: Make sure you document all processes and procedures in writing and keep them in an easily accessible place for your customer service team. This will help them quickly find the right steps to resolve customer queries, improving efficiency and FCR. By establishing processes and procedures, you can also identify and address any bottlenecks or inefficiencies.

It is important to regularly evaluate your customer service processes and procedures and adapt them to changing business and customer needs. Get feedback from your employees on what is and isn’t working and make adjustments as needed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of different channels of your customer service.

4. Take advantage of technology and tools

Using advanced technologies and tools can improve FCR in your organization. Invest in the right technology solutions and your customer service team can work more efficiently and effectively.

  • Implement chatbots and AI for simple requests: Chatbots and customer service platforms powered by AI can help handle common and simple customer requests. Automating these requests allows employees to focus on more complex issues, resulting in faster and more efficient handling of customer inquiries and higher FCR.
  • Use automated systems for routine tasks: Automating routine tasks with automated systems, such as sending confirmation emails or updating customer data, can save time and resources. This allows the customer service team to focus more on solving customer problems and improving First Call Resolution.
  • Integrate multiple communication channels: Offering different communication channels, such as phone, email, chat and social media, makes it easier for customers to contact your customer service team. Make sure these channels are well integrated so that customer information is shared automatically and employees can respond to customer requests quickly and efficiently.

Steam-connect helps you streamline your customer service processes, support your team with advanced tools and integrate your communication channels, ultimately leading to a higher FCR.

5. Monitor and analyze performance indicators

It is important to monitor and analyze performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of your customer service team and improve First Call Resolution. By regularly setting and evaluating key KPIs, you can identify problem areas and make plans to continuously improve your customer service.

Determine which performance indicator is most relevant to your organization and customer service. Some standard KPIs for the FCR include the percentage of customer questions resolved during the first contact, average length of calls, customer satisfaction scores and escalation rates. Tracking these KPIs provides insight into your customer service team’s performance on First Contact Resolution.

Finally, be sure to regularly analyze the performance of the customer service team based on the established KPIs. This allows you to identify trends and patterns, pinpoint bottlenecks and assess overall customer service effectiveness.

Use the results of your analyses to make improvements in your customer service processes and strategies. This may involve making changes in your training programs, adopting new technologies and tools or refining existing ones, or revising your processes and procedures to achieve better results at first contact.

6. Commit to proactive customer service

A proactive approach in customer service can bees of solving at first contact. This can be achieved by the for in support to customers before they contact them, by anticipating and addressing problems. This increases the likelihood that customers are already helped with their questions or problems during the initial contact without further follow-up steps.

Analyze your customer service data to discover common problems and questions. Use this information to improve your knowledge base and FAQ section so that customers can easily access solutions before contacting your customer service team. This can increase the likelihood that problems will be solved immediately, as customers find a solution before they even ask for help.

Be proactive and inform customers of potential problems. Give them the tools to prevent or solve problems. This includes providing updates, frequently asked questions and solutions to known problems. This proactive support can reduce customer queries and improve FCR.

Ensure that customer service representatives are trained in active listening and empathy. This will help them better understand the customer’s needs and empathize with their situation. This allows them to find a solution faster and increase First Call Resolution, which will improve the overall customer experience.

7. Ask for feedback and learn from your customers

It is important to collect and analyze customer feedback to improve initial customer service interactions and increase the percentage of issues that are resolved immediately. By listening attentively to customers’ experiences and opinions, you can discover what is going well and where improvements are needed.

  • Conduct regular customer satisfaction surveys: To receive feedback on customer service and the extent to which customer queries are resolved promptly, it is important to conduct regular customer satisfaction surveys. This can be done, for example, by sending a survey after each customer contact, conducting telephone interviews or collecting feedback through social media and other online channels.
  • Analyze carefully: Spend sufficient time carefully analyzing all feedback and complaints collected. Try to identify trends, patterns and repeated problems customers have. Focus especially on feedback related to FCR, such as complaints about long wait times, repeated contact times to resolve a problem or insufficient solutions.
  • Keep improving: Use customer feedback to improve your customer service. This may mean updating your employees’ training, reviewing your technologies and tools, or adjusting your processes and procedures to achieve better results. Measure the results of your improvements to determine if they are effective in increasing customer service quality.

Summary

It is important to improve First Contact Resolution to provide good customer service and product and increase customer satisfaction. In this article, we discussed 7 tips to improve your FCR:

  1. Invest in employee training and development
  2. Ensure access to the right information
  3. Implement clear processes and procedures
  4. Use advanced technologies and tools, such as Steam-connect
  5. Monitor and analyze performance indicators
  6. Commit to proactive customer service
  7. Ask for feedback and learn from customers

It is essential to realize that customer service is a constantly changing and evolving field. To be successful and maintain a high FCR, companies must constantly work to improve and adapt.

This means regularly evaluating your customer service processes, listening to customer and employee feedback, and continuing to invest in the latest technologies and customer service best practices.

By following these 7 tips and encouraging a culture of continuous improvement and adaptation, First Contact Resolution in your organization can be significantly improved. This will result in an excellent customer experience that will promote customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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A little more depth?

How do you make sure your internal and external communications are so strong that you turn customers into fans? In this ebook, we discuss the ten greatest communication challenges facing today’s contact center and offer practical solutions to overcome these challenges.

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