EQM and the Impact on First Contact Resolution (FCR)

Author: Dr Jodie Monger: Call Center Metrics

Date: 1st July 2013

Contact center leaders are deluged with different Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions that promise to reduce costs, heighten customer satisfaction and loyalty, improve productivity and do more with less. But no matter which CRM solution or program you choose to implement, you must remember the most critical factor to your contact center and for your company’s existence -- people.

Many of these initiatives come from top-level executives, who are usually far removed from customer interactions, and many of the solutions presented appear to be the perfect answer to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty by increasing First Contact Resolution (FCR). What to focus on with respect to the center’s performance is often based on benchmark data attempting to show that the contact center is in line (or not in line) with others. The most important thing to keep in mind is that while there are several ways to benchmark the performance of your contact center, when all is said and done, it’s the customer that has the final say if you have best practices. Although companies may have initiated several solutions that are supposed to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, many are flawed because of their neglect in bringing the customer into the mix. One way to insure that these relationship management strategies are effective for the bottom line is to have a good voice of the customer experience measurement program in place.

The goal of our centers today and a main driver of cost via repeat calls and the implication on customer satisfaction (actually dissatisfaction) is to provide First Contact Resolution. This is one of the most important metrics to us, and yet is also the most illusive and miscalculated metric in a contact center. Contact centers have employed various types of technology and manual solutions to help calculate their FCR rate. While some of the data that is collected internally are useful, the reality is that none should or could answer the question on behalf of the customer. The customer is the one experiencing the possible pain from your service strategy and is your single best source to determine this metric.

Beyond knowing the metric by going directly to the source (your customer), being able to link caller evaluations to the agent has a profound impact on First Contact Resolution (FCR) rates and allows you to focus your training and coaching to the agents that need it most. In addition it helps to identify root causes that are strategic or systemic in nature and allow for corrective action. At the individual level, having this information at hand allows the contact center to provide the right training and coaching at the right time, to the right agents, adding up to not only a higher ROI for the Voice of the Customer program, but also a higher ROI on your training and coaching efforts. Increased FCR percentages yield higher contact satisfaction and contribute directly to customer loyalty.

To prove this point, Customer Relationship Metrics (Metrics) conducted a research project that provides evidence that real-time agent-level customer feedback has a significant positive impact on First Contact Resolution rates and creates a significantly higher ROI for your Voice of the Customer measurement program, the results of which are described in this paper.

Savings chart highlighted in the research

Leading the research was Dr. Jodie Monger in conducting the study

Read the full paper below

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