First Call Resolution Best Practices

May 12, 2022
call resolution
For most contact centers, the past few years have required swift operational pivots, especially when it comes to work-from-home or remote transitions. It’s always been challenging for companies to balance business continuity, customer satisfaction, and employee security. Today, many organizations find that what they once did to improve call center metrics like first contact resolution rate, average wait time, and first call response time doesn’t always lead to success.

Fortunately, enterprises now have more tools than ever to help them transform their call center practices in a way that allows them to offer the quality experiences their customers now demand while differentiating themselves from the competition.

First Call Resolution Best Practices

Organizations looking to improve first call resolution results need to start with an understanding of how first call resolution strategies are tied to customer satisfaction, service efficiency, and costs.

First call resolution metrics let you know how effectively your call center conducts its business. Determining that rate of success includes analyzing many factors, including:

  • The complexity and types of transactions handled.
  • Agents’ expertise.
  • Agent training quality.

Tools like knowledge management systems and a dedicated knowledge base can help your organization deliver efficient, accurate, and useful support to your customers.

Some first call resolution best practices, like making the process as simple as possible for customers, are evergreen. Others require tweaking to meet current support realities. Here’s a look at five best practices that can help ensure your contact center’s ready to provide the omnichannel experiences your customers demand.

1. Identify Root Causes of Slower First Contacts

Getting to the “why” behind your call center’s low first call resolution performance helps you determine which practices are causing obstacles like knowledge gaps and agent inefficiencies. Ask yourself:

  1. Why wasn’t a caller satisfied during a first call?
  2. Why are agents transferring so many calls, and who are they transferring them to?
  3. Why are support requests taking place on the channels they are?
  4. What’s causing calls to be routed to the wrong people or departments?

Analyzing your data, scrutinizing call logs and recordings, and asking for agent and customer feedback lets you continually improve and streamline support processes.

2. Create a Pertinent Data Base

A solid knowledge base is essential to your organization’s customer support strategy. When you provide customers with access to a self-service help center, you’re giving them precisely what they want—a place where they can find answers to common questions without talking to a live agent.

Create a knowledge base that features articles, video explanations, tutorials, and customer questions and answers. By empowering customers to find their own solutions, you reduce call center costs and maximize agent productivity. When setting up a knowledge base:

  • Choose call center software that supports your organization’s specific industry and needs.
  • Organize its contents so customers quickly and easily find solutions.
  • Include content that’s well-written, relevant, and useful.

In many cases you can solve a customer’s pain point by simply providing them with an informative article. First call resolution metrics improve accordingly because customers get the information they’re looking for and have no need to contact you again on the same issue.

3. Offer Omnichannel Support

About one in three customers say they want to be able to contact the same customer service agent through any communication channel they choose. And, according to an American Express survey, over 60% say their go-to channels for simple inquiries are digital self-serve tools like websites, mobile apps, voice response systems, and online chat.

To improve first call resolution, you must meet your customers where they are. Automated solutions, including virtual assistants, help you help your customers in the ways they prefer. They also let you easily track your customers, no matter how they contact you, so their issues can be solved without opening multiple tickets.

4. Ask Customers the Right Questions

Customers get to decide when a call center conversation is over. When they’re ready to get off the line, have your agents ask them some final, quick questions like:

  1. Have I helped you resolve your issue?
  2. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
  3. Are you interested in learning about all our support center options?

Asked in this order, these three questions ensure a customer’s problem has been addressed and resolved to their satisfaction and there’s nothing else they feel they need from the agent. It also gives them an opportunity to learn about your database for future problem-solving.

5. Empower Your Agents—Wherever They Are

Informed employees are effective employees. The less information or knowledge agents have at their fingertips, the less likely they are to resolve a support call on the first try.

Equip your agents with the tools, knowledge, and training they need to confidently and accurately handle any call they receive. The training should be thorough and hands-on, and new employees should be presented with multiple practice scenarios before they begin accepting calls. Keep your knowledge base updated and document answers to frequently asked questions and common problems. Because when you make your agents’ jobs easier, you not only improve first-call resolution rates but also boost employee satisfaction.

KMS Lighthouse: Knowledge Management Systems for Call Centers

We live in a digital world that’s rapidly evolving in unprecedented ways. While today’s call center best practices tend to focus on technological solutions, these new tools and approaches exist to support time-tested contact center best practices like customer satisfaction and agent performance.

KMS Lighthouse is a call center knowledge management system that helps your organization manage its knowledge better, empowering agents to provide the highest level of customer service.

It did just that for Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, assisting the financial giant in driving sales opportunities and boosting customer satisfaction by 15 percent. An AI-driven knowledge platform that integrates seamlessly with your existing system, Lighthouse is simply the easiest way to give your agents the essential tools needed to wholeheartedly address customer demands.