baseball player hittingIt may be the best customer service metric your organization isn’t yet measuring: first contact resolution. And stats show FCR is a game changer:
- 12% of customers leave if it takes two or more calls to resolve their issue. (International Customer Management Institute)
- For every 1% improvement in FCR, you get a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction. (Service Quality Management Group)
- If a customer’s inquiry or problem is resolved in the first call, only 3% of those customers are at risk of going to a competitor, while 34% of customers who don’t get their inquiry or problem resolved say they’re likely to switch to a competing brand. (Service Quality Management Group)
- Almost two-thirds of consumers say they would be willing to spend more with a company following an excellent customer service experience. One in four (26%) cite being shuffled from representative to representative with no resolution of their issue as the top reason for switching brands. (2012 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer)
Benchmarking Against the Pros
A recent Aberdeen multichannel customer service trends report sponsored by Parature shows the spread between best-in-class service providers and the rest when it comes to FCR, and the numbers are pretty significant:
- First-call resolution on voice: 82% best-in-class vs. 56% all others
- First-contact resolution on email: 68% best-in-class vs. 46% all others
- First-contact resolution on chat: 45% best-in-class vs. 28% all others.
On a related note, customer satisfaction and customer retention also show a widening gap:
- Customer Satisfaction: 91% best-in-class vs. 71% all others
- Customer Retention: 92% best-in-class vs. 72% all others.
4 Ways to Even the Score
It’s a challenge to consistently hit one out of the park on first contact resolution because the pitch could come from anywhere, whether that’s phone, live chat, email, help desk ticket or another channel. But here are four ways to increase your batting average when it comes to FCR:
1. Don’t penalize CSRs for longer support times if they are achieving first contact resolution. Consumers participating in an annual ClickFox Customer Tipping Points survey listed having to speak with multiple agents, starting over, and not achieving a service resolution on the first try as three of their biggest customer service frustrations. Give the CSR that accepted flexibility to take a few extra minutes if it means he or she can answer the consumer’s problem or question on the first try.
2. Use routing to match customers with the best CSR. With effective routing rules and capabilities, customers submitting a help desk ticket, engaging in live chat, or posting a question on social media can successfully be matched with the best customer service representative for them based on select criteria such as customer support tier, the CSR’s product or service expertise, past customer feedback and more – increasing the chances of a better experience and first contact resolution.
3. Give your CSRs the training and knowledge they need. What has worked in your organization or another to consistently achieve first contact resolution? Collect best practices and incorporate them into CSR training.
Aberdeen’s recent report makes the case for empowering agents with service training and better information. According to the report, 61% of best-in-class service providers versus 47% of all others frequently train their service agents on issue diagnosis, escalation and resolution procedures; and 57% of best-in-class provide CSRs access to a resolution knowledgebase versus 41% of others.
According to a global consumer study commissioned by NICE, one third of all respondents report high customer satisfaction after interacting with knowledgeable service representatives. In addition, employees who are knowledgeable and engaged deliver a better customer service experience – which is reflected in the fact that these employees also close 33% more related or follow-on sales (Bluewolf).
4. Give your customers the knowledge they need. Beefing up your self-service content helps customers achieve first contact resolution and provides an extra level of satisfaction from being able to solve issues themselves. Great customer content also plays a key role in efficiency. Not only does self-serve first contact resolution help the organization by deflecting a majority of daily calls, emails and other high-touch interactions; it gives the customers the answers they need in a timeframe convenient to them.
It’s the top of the inning. Your star CSRs are up. Do they have what it takes to hit a home run for your customer service team?
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