As I work with contact centers across all sizes and vertical markets, I hear a consistent theme focusing on serving customers in excellence. So why aren’t more customers raving about their experiences? And why do some centers excel in service while others only talk the talk? While there are no simple answers, I can offer up one differentiator that separates the “best” from the rest. Top centers take First Contact Resolution (FCR) seriously and align their metrics and technologies around it to deliver a superior customer experience.
It’s not just about phone calls anymore!
While FCR started as First Call Resolution, it has evolved to reflect contact effectiveness in whatever channel (calls, emails, chat, mail, etc.) customers choose, and whatever teams they contact. The definition can vary based on the applications served. For straight-forward transactions, FCR generally presumes resolution with the first person assisting the customer. In more complex environments, resolution may involve a transfer to a subject matter expert (SME). However defined, agents and/or SMEs must be equipped to resolve questions or issues without the need for follow-up, and management must drive the operation toward continuous improvement.
Just five years ago, FCR wasn’t even considered a top center-wide KPI. Now it sits aside metrics such as Service Level, quality, and cSAT. In fact, top performing centers diligently focus on FCR in their balanced scorecards. Kudos to customers who demanded contact centers consider the customer experience. And kudos to the management teams that have reaped the cost savings that a high FCR makes possible!
No one process or technology ensures success. Your people need adequate training and access to knowledgeable resources (human and system). You need better reporting and analytics to track performance. And you need accurate, relevant, timely customer feedback. All of these things depend on enabling technologies to deliver results.
I’ve published a couple of articles – Set Your Sights on FCR and FCR… Is Your Customer First or an Afterthought – to fuel discussion and planning on this topic. I invite you to download these articles now and/or contact us if you’d like more information.