How to Really Improve Your First Call Resolution Metrics

By Monica Kohn   |   August 14, 2019
How to Really Improve Your First Call Resolution Metrics
You have a plethora of first call resolution (FCR) metrics to document your call center performance. But those metrics don’t tell you how to improve first call resolution numbers. The first call resolution (FCR) metric remains a critical method of performance measurement because it clearly provides an overview of your customer service team’s impact on the bottom line.
Ways to Improve First Call Resolution

Let’s consider the many factors that contribute to poor performance

  • Problems with interactive voice response (IVR) and self-service channels
  • Inadequate training
  • Problems with services or products you sell
  • Hardware/software issues

Pinpoint these issues by reviewing call recordings, call logs, and customer surveys. You can gather additional information from your agents as well.  After identifying the issues, you can improve FCR by addressing gaps in service, training, inefficiencies, and policies. You can also consider the following tips we recommend on how to improve first call resolution metrics.


Best Tips on How to Improve First Call Resolution Metrics

 

Upgrade the Software in Your Contact Center

Technological innovations have come a long way.  Contact center software has improved considerably with multiple tools to assist agents and improve first call resolution. These tools include unified desktops with information on personal data and social media profiles. Now your agents have much more knowledge about the customer’s preferences and needs to resolve issues quickly.

Review Any Routing Issues

Many centers still rely upon voice-centric systems with limited queue-based routing.  This routes your customers to random queues with no rational basis. Consider upgrading to a session initiation routing (SIP) system that supports omnichannel engagement. If this is not currently in your budget, integrate a skills-based routing system that works with your legacy infrastructure.

Adopt a Workforce Management Solution

When you are creating a strategy to improve your call center metrics, take a look at implementing a workforce management solution.  This automates workforce scheduling to optimize your staffing at peak periods.  It will also help improve employee performance, productivity, and satisfaction.

Invest in Training

Your agents will perform better when their knowledge is deeper and faster.  Invest in training them in software, procedures, product information, communication skills, and policies. They will need consistent updates on product recalls, technical support issues, sales, and other events to improve customer interactions.  In addition, a fair and positive work environment that encourages a promotional system for good work is always a good idea to have.

Review First Call Resolution Metrics Regularly

Addressing first call resolution metric standards should be a continuous process. You need to establish procedures to continually improve your agent’s abilities to resolve customer problems. One key to better metrics is the quality of the call.  Do your agents have adequate knowledge and training?  What can be improved?  Regardless of your preparation and planning today, never be complacent. It is crucial to refine your procedures and systems continually to improve first call resolution metrics. Ultimately, this leads to much better customer experiences.

Final Thoughts on Technology

Many of your customers have had poor experiences with call centers at some point in their lives.  Perhaps not yours, but they always have the expectation of expecting a poor experience.  You have the ability to change this expectation by providing correct routing, speedy contact with a live agent, not putting the customer on hold, and never transferring a customer to another department.  With today’s innovative technology, it is completely possible to provide a happy and successful experience with call centers.

Investing in call center software is a must to organize and optimize your operations. With the  tools now available in today’s world, you can greatly reduce the time it takes for non-call tasks like researching customer transaction history and analyzing customer demographic data. Your agents can be much more prepared when they pick up a call.

Use the tips we discussed as a guide to create procedures that can best support your team and objectives.  Make great customer service your top priority and improved first call resolution metrics will follow.