First contact resolution (FCR) rate is a metric used by call centers in measuring the number of times a complaint or concern gets resolved during the first interaction between the customer and the customer support representative. High FCR rates signify the effectiveness of the contact center in providing the best solutions to customers’ problems and reducing the amount of time they spend in asking for assistance.
Call centers strive to gain a good FCR standing because it says a lot about their ability to deliver quality customer service. Resolving customers’ concerns at first attempt also helps both the call center and customers to save money and time. Here are some strategies that you can use in your call center to get better FCR results:
1. Train agents to resolve issues systematically
Some agents tend to panic, give wrong answers, or conduct unnecessary escalation calls to other departments when they are under pressure or intimidated by the scenario presented to them by customers. No matter how knowledgeable your agents are about the solutions to all types of customer concerns, this expertise won’t be of use if they don’t try to specify the actual needs of the person on the other line. Teach your agents how to deal with issues step by step. They should propose a solution only when they have all necessary information.
2. Provide agents with the necessary resources
Agents can only do so much if they are not equipped with the right customer support tools. They must have a complete view about everything for them to help customers effectively. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems allow agents to learn more about the customers, their past interactions with the contact center, and other necessary details. Knowledge resources, such as reference guides, cheat sheets, and knowledge bases must also be accessible and constantly updated.
3. Avoid setting conflicting expectations
There are many call center metrics that you can use in evaluating your agents’ performance. If you want to achieve greater productivity, time per call and work volume are most likely your priorities. However, if you set these as expectations, you will have a hard time reaching higher FCR or customer satisfaction rates. Reducing the time per call could mean agents rushing to end the call as soon as possible, leaving them with insufficient time to fully respond to other customer concerns and issues.
4. Analyze calls that end up being unresolved
The best way to prevent low FCR ratings is to understand why some customer concerns don’t get resolved at first contact. List down the types of calls that require escalations, and see what you can do to minimize them. If the problem lies in your agents’ customer service skills, a refresher training course would be your best action plan. Other solutions include optimizing customer support procedures, adding self-help options, and eliminating communication barriers.
5.. Incentivize hard work
Being able to resolve concerns during the first attempt requires continuous effort to learn and willingness to improve one’s skills. Agents who consistently get higher FCR rates must be rewarded for hitting the desired goals. This will motivate them to keep up the good work and inspire others to do the same. Some common incentives include bonuses, gift checks, and paid leaves.
Aiming to help customers with their concerns in a single contact can lead call centers to achieving less costs and higher customer satisfaction. Following the steps above can help you achieve favorable FCR rates, which is an ingredient to a solid call center reputation.