Companies can reduce customer churn by 67% if they succeed in solving customer issues during first-time interactions. This is what makes first-call resolution such an important factor for every organization. But what is the first call resolution? What factors influence first-call resolution? How can you ensure a good first-call resolution rate?
If you’re seeking answers to all these questions, you’re in the right place. Throughout this article, we have explained everything encompassing first-call resolution. So, have a read of this article and understand everything you need to know about first-call resolution.
What is First Call Resolution?
First Call Resolution, as the term itself explains it, is the ability of a call center to solve customer issues, problems, queries, or requests in the first call itself without any need for a follow-up.
This is an important metric for call centers because it determines the call center executive’s ability to efficiently help the customers while also helping deliver customer satisfaction and garnering customer loyalty. In fact, good customer service is one of the primary factors in building customer trust and loyalty for a company. So, you need to maintain a good level of first-call resolution to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
How to Calculate First Call Resolution?
First Call Resolution is an important metric focused upon by call centers because it determines the level of customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as the efficiency of employees.
There’s a simple formula to calculate this metric.
First Call Resolution = (Number of Cases Resolved in the First Call / Total Number of Cases) *100
So, for instance, if you have 100 cases in total and your executive resolved 60 of them in the first call, your first call resolution rate would be 60%.
What is the Importance of First Call Resolution
Given the level of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty that first-call resolution drives, one can clearly understand how essential it is for any organization to maintain a good first-call resolution rate.
Hereinbelow are some more points that detail the importance of first call resolution.
1. Track Agent Performance
First-call resolution shows how efficient your agents are in resolving customer queries at the first instance without the need for a follow-up. The higher these numbers, the better your agents’ performance.
So, by keeping a check on first call resolution, you can constantly keep a check on your agents’ performance and take actions to improve the same as well, because evidently, 54% of the customers globally feel that customer services in organizations require improvements.
2. Provides Better Sales Opportunities
When customers are satisfied with your company, they tend to purchase more from your company. Statistics reveal that good first-call resolution improves cross-selling rate by 20%.
So, you get better sales opportunities which in turn increases business profits.
3. Improves Net Promoter Score
When the customers like your services and are satisfied with the way you solve their problems quickly and expeditiously, they are more likely to recommend your organization to other people they know.
As per research, a customer experience promoter has a lifetime value to a company that is 600 to 1400% more than the lifetime value of a detractor.
So, you get an increase in the lifetime value of the promoters, and that works great to increase your business profits.
4. Provides Agent Satisfaction
Just like customers don’t like coming back call after call for the resolution of their issues, call center agents like it no better to deal with the same customers repeatedly. The faster they are able to solve customer issues, the happier they are, as their performance is measured as efficient, and they also get perks at their job. So, good first-call resolution also promotes higher agent satisfaction which creates a positive work environment.
5. Reduce Customer Churn
85% of customer churn is caused due to poor service that could have been easily avoided. One way to avoid customer churn is to increase the first call resolution rate. When customers have a good experience with customer service, they tend to like the service and would want to come back, which garners customer loyalty and reduces customer churn.
What are the Factors Influencing First Call Resolution?
First Call Resolution is an essential metric, and you need to reach at least the standard percentage for that metric. However, what influences your first call resolution rate? It’s essential to know these factors so that you can work on improving the first call resolution rate for your organization.
Hereinbelow are nine factors that essentially influence your first call resolution rate.
1. Work Environment Complexity
The work environment greatly influences an employee’s work in the organization. So, the more complex the work environment, the more difficult it is to maintain a good first-call resolution rate. These complexities include the level of authority, company policies and procedures, red tape, etc. It’s essential to keep things simple to attain a good first-call resolution rate.
2. Team’s Role in First Call Resolution
The team and agent knowledge role matters in first-call resolution. The better the team and agent support one another, the higher the first call resolution rate. It’s essential that the team and agent both understand the company policies, procedures, etc. and also have knowledge about the latest promotions, offers, etc., to efficiently answer the customers and solve their queries.
3. Multiple Channels
The channels being offered to customers for getting customer service and support also matter for first-call resolution. There are multiple channels depending on what channel the customers use to access the support.
If the customers use live chat support, it’s easier and faster to resolve their queries and questions.
However, if they use ticket systems, it may take some time to answer them, and there may be an exchange of a few emails as well. Here are a few examples of how to respond to support tickets so you can cut down on the number of emails it takes to find the root of the customer’s problem.
So, first-call resolution highly depends on the use of channels as well.
4. Lack of Authority to Solve Problem
The authority of an agent to solve the customer problem also influences first-call resolution to a huge extent. For instance, if a customer is asking for a refund, however, the agent lacks the authority to grant the refund, and there is no way that the agent will be able to resolve the call in the first instance. There will have to be a follow-up call with a person who has the relevant authority.
So, authority matters a lot when it comes to first-call resolution, and the lack of same affects the first-call resolution rate negatively.
5. Agent Communication Style and Skill
The way the agent communicates with the customers also influences the first call resolution rate. The agent must know how to impress the customers and must always talk in a positive tone that makes the customer feel like the agent is on their side and working efficiently to solve their problems.
Sometimes, it’s mere communication skills that solve all customer queries, and you’re able to close the call at the first instance.
6. Level of Training of Reps
Training is essential to build communication skills and impart the agents with the necessary knowledge about delivering support to the customers. When the agents are trained well, it reflects in their calls, and they are able to increase the first call resolution rate.
7. Level of Training Imparted to Agents
How well the agents are trained for the calls influences their first call resolution. The agents who are trained well and are imparted practice before they can go live are more equipped and skilled to solve customer queries in the first call than those who are not trained well and are not given enough practice before putting them on actual calls.
8. Level of Authority to Solve the Problem
Authority to solve a problem greatly influences the first call resolution rate. It’s essential that the agents have the required authority to solve customer queries, concerns, and requests instantly rather than waiting for their superior authority to authorize them for action.
9. Company Policies & Procedures
The policies and procedures of a company also influence first-call resolution. If the company has stringent policies and a lot of red tape, it’s likely to have a lower first-call resolution rate. So, it’s essential for a company to maintain flexible policies and procedures so that agents are able to play by the rule book while also efficiently resolving their customer queries and questions.
Best Practices to Improve First Call Resolution Rate
There are multiple factors that influence the first call resolution rate. Based on those factors, there are also practices that can improve your first call resolution rate.
Here are all such practices explained in detail for your understanding.
1. Observe the Complete Picture
You must look at the entire customer journey as they approach the support. While it may be their first call, their requests may be second or even third because they might probably have tried finding solutions through your self-service resources.
If that is the case, resolving the problem in the first call becomes more important because the customer has already become quite frustrated with the self-service resources not working.
When you look at that customer journey, you get an idea about how much effort you need to put into call resolution, and you handle the call accordingly with your full efficiency.
2. Find Common Issues for Delayed Resolution
Sometimes, some calls are resolved late due to the same issues at the end of customer service agents. It could be a lack of authority, lack of training, policies and procedures, or anything else. It’s best to identify such common issues for delayed resolution and work on them so that such common problems no longer remain the reason for calls not being resolved.
3. Leverage Interaction Analytics
All the customer call interactions are recorded, and you can use those records for data interpretation and analytics purposes. Leverage all the analytics that you can. You can see which calls went well and which calls need improvement, and based on the analytics, you can design further training programs for your agents while also creating resources for commonly asked questions and using good interactions as examples for training the employees.
4. Measure FCR Performance
Constantly measure the first call resolution performance. Measuring the performance will give you an idea about where you stand, and you can take steps for improvement based on the performance measurement reports so that good performance can be made best and bad performance can be analyzed. You can take steps to improve the same.
5. Effectively Respond and React to Customers
Responding to customers efficiently, effectively, and quickly is the key to maintaining a good first-call resolution rate. Take the calls confidently, understand customer queries and respond effectively to the customers, ensuring that their issues are truly resolved.
6. Create follow-up Surveys
Asking the customers for their feedback on the call will help you know and understand how good and efficient you are in solving customer queries. Create follow-up surveys to be shared with the customers for their feedback and make it a point to ask the customers to fill up those surveys so that you can get ratings for your calls and you can use the insights from the customers to improve your first call resolution rate.
7. Observe the Complete Customer Journey
You must always look at the complete picture. You must know what your customer has gone through before finally reaching out to you. While it may be their first call, it’s possible that they have tried reaching out to you before or that they have tried your resources but didn’t get a satisfactory solution.
When you look at the complete customer journey, you understand their experience so far and can work on providing them with the solutions that actually work for them.
Platforms that Help in Providing Better Support to Customers
First-call resolution is essential to every organization, and you don’t want to leave any stone unturned to improve that metric. The best way to ensure good customer support is to use the best customer support software that helps provide great customer support.
Here are some of the platforms that you can use.
Custify is a customer success software for SaaS which allows you to reduce customer churn and grow your revenues by enhancing your sales.
You can easily identify customer behavior and patterns which further help identify the opportunities for sales and help grow revenue. The platform is also great for integrating your other tools. You get predictive analytics and insights into customer behavior and employee performance, which further helps you build strategies for the future.
You can contact them to get a custom quote for the software.
Zonka Feedback is a customer support tool that allows you to create exciting and engaging customer surveys and feedback forms so that you can get insights into what your customers have experienced from your services.
Based on that feedback, you can improve your services and launch new products that meet customer needs.
Additionally, you can create workflows to better manage your operations and track the performance of your agents.
Essential – $24/month
Starter – $44/month
Professional – $79/month
Growth – $169/month
Enterprise – $429/month
Podium is a customer service management tool that helps you connect with your customers and build better relationships with them. Besides that, it also has different tools integrated into it that help manage workflows and ensure business growth and revenue.
Essential – $289/month
Standard – $449/month
Professional – $649/month
Are You Ready to Improve Your First Call Resolution?
So, that was all about first-call resolution, and it’s clear that it is a very essential metric for your organization’s performance, especially when it comes to keeping up customer trust and loyalty. While there are many factors that influence it, there are many ways to manage those factors and improve your first call resolution rate.
We hope this article was helpful and gave you a complete understanding of first-call resolution for you to work on constantly improving the same.