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How To Improve First Contact Resolution & Reduce Contact Center Cost

How To Improve First Contact Resolution & Reduce Contact Center Cost

If you haven’t paid attention to First Call Resolution, or more importantly, to First Contact Resolution (probably you have by now, because you are reading this article), it is time to do it now.

Why? By improving your FCR rate, you are getting the best of two worlds at the same time: reducing cost and increasing customer satisfaction.

When the FCR rate is low, your customers are frustrated because they aren’t transferred to the correct department, because they need to make several calls, or use several contact channels to get an answer or solution for their problem, and at the same time your cost increases because your contact center personnel is being distracted from their activities to respond the same questions to agents several times a week or in a day. Your supervisors and managers won’t have time because the agents keep transferring and escalating calls.


But don’t worry, you can increase your First Contact Resolution rate in many ways. Let us help you. Here are 7 ways you can improve FCR in your contact center:


Identify Why & What Is Affecting Your FCR Rate

This will be your guide to help you develop an action plan to improve your FCR rate. It’s very important to not only know what it is affecting it but why. For example, you look into it and discover that there are many calls being escalated. Now, ask yourself why. It could be because of several reasons, like poor training, an unnecessary process, or insufficient agent empowerment. To identify the causes of a low FCR rate, you need to ask and investigate it with the correct questions. These are some of the questions you can make:

  • What is the percentage of calls transferred?
  • Why were they transferred?
  • Who are they being transferred to?
  • Why were they escalated?
  • What contact point has the lowest FCR?
  • Are customers contacting the wrong department?


Emphasize Its Importance

Everyone in the contact center and in the company needs to know the importance of FCR for them to participate in improving it. Communicate it in a meeting, mention it in training and coaching sessions with your agents. Just like customer experience, promote it to make it part of the culture and make them feel motivated to do it.


Provide The Correct Training And Tools For The Agents

Your customers want answers and solutions. For the agents to be able to help them, they need to be equipped with the right tools. Are you giving them proper training? What more should they know? Do they have access to general information? Is the supervisor or manager available to answer a question? Does your contact center software provide customer history? Include FCR techniques in your training program. Improve product knowledge and give your agents updates on new products, services, and promotions. Get better software that allows agents to see information and analytics in real-time, such as their own FCR rate. Making information available for the agents and implement an internet chat for managers, supervisors, and agents. These are just some of the improvements you can make.


Read: 5 Effective Ways To Improve Your Agents’ Product Or Service Knowledge


Empower The Agents

What if the agents had the tools but they could not use them? Empower your agents to make their own decisions so they don’t have to transfer or escalate a call when it’s not necessary. There might be some things you need to do before, such as making sure that they have the correct training and that you are giving them the right tools, just like we said before, and fix or change processes.


Fix And Improve Your Processes

Are there any processes, policies, or procedures that make your agents need to transfer or escalate calls, emails, etc.? Maybe your agents can help the customer, but the policy does not allow them to. Or maybe the procedure dictates that they need to transfer to another department when the agent has the time to answer a customer’s inquiry. Or what if your process makes your customers reach the wrong department? If you see that a process, policy, or procedure is one of the reasons why your FCR is low and making your customer feel frustrated, then it’s time to fix and improve it.


Read: Why Attrition In The Call Center Costs More Than You Think


Increase Self-Service Options

Sometimes the problem it is not only in the contact center floor. How can we help the customer help us improve the FCR rate and reduce cost? You can set up, increase, and improve self-service options. From providing more information on your website, to having chat bots that can answer simple and common questions, to having IVRs that help them reach the correct person.


Now, start analyzing your contact center and introduce these strategies to start increasing customer satisfaction and reducing cost by improving First Contact Resolution.


Want to know something more that can help you reduce cost and maintain or increase customer satisfaction? A Nearshore contact center in Mexico. Call Center Services International allows you to establish a high-performing yet cost-effective Contact Center in Mexico that becomes an extension of your existing operation and is managed by your U.S. team. Discover more about partnering with CCSI here.


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