Improving First Call Resolution (FCR): Upstream Works

Author: Rob McDougall: Upstream Works

Date: 1st March 2009

A large number of organizations have heard about First Call Resolution. However, it seems to be a peripheral concern as they look to increase call center efficiencies and handle issues more quickly. Ask yourself – is the impact of First Call Resolution truly understood in your call center?

Make no mistake – improving your First Call Resolution rates is of extreme importance to your business, your agents, and to you personally.

Many businesses operate remotely from their customers – your customers never come down to “the store”. They deal with you online for self service, and they will phone you if they need to.

This means your call center is your store. It is the face of your business to your customers. And since it’s virtual, they are a phone call away from taking their business elsewhere.

Let’s look at car insurance – everyone has it. Ask yourself – what competitive differentiator does your insurance company have over the hundreds of others in the market? Are the rates really better? Are they providing something that no other insurance company is providing you? Likely, that answer is ‘No’.

Your insurance company keeps you as customer for one of two reasons. You stay because they have built loyalty through great customer service. Or, you stay because they haven’t given you a reason to leave.

Too often, companies rely on apathy to maintain their customer base. They have customers – what should be considered the single biggest asset a company can have – and they take them for granted.

As a result, service is poor, and churn is a huge problem.

Call centers today seek to improve productivity by increased efficiency. They are like the sprinter, who trains for years for the big race; weight lifts and runs laps; carefully monitors his diet; chooses his style of clothes and hair cut to minimize wind resistance.

And then, on the day of the race, the gun goes off....

So our sprinter leaps out of the blocks and exerts every ounce of strength and determination he has – draws upon his extensive training. Gets into the proper rhythm of legs, of arms, of breathing. He runs as fast as he can.

But in this race, there are no rules as to what you can and can’t do. There are no referees to cry foul. The first person across the finish line wins.

And the competition passes him on a bicycle. Because the competition just found a more effective way to cover the distance.

The importance of customer service and increasing a call center’s effectiveness crosses all businesses and all boundaries. And implementing a First Call Resolution strategy is the primary way to increase the overall effectiveness of your business.

The question is – how do you get a bicycle?

Simply stated, you need to make sure that you speak with your customers about an issue, and provide great service, once and only once. Make a mistake on the phone, and your customer has to call you back. From that moment forward, everyone starts to lose.

Multiple industry studies show the number of repeat, dissatisfied calls is between 20% and 30% of your total call volume.

Let’s make this really clear: 20% to 30% of every dollar you spend in your call center is spent on fixing what you didn’t do right in the first place.

And your First Call Resolution rates are directly related to your customer satisfaction rates.

Read the full White Paper below;

White Paper

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