First Call Resolution and Happy Customers – How to Strike the Balance

Author: Simon Black, CEODate: 2020/05/14

There have been plenty of famous quotes over the years highlighting the importance of happy customers. Bill Gates famously said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” and Alibaba founder, Jack Ma advised, “Forget about your competitors, just focus on your customers”.

As we become more connected than ever before, providing the best in customer services and experience has never been more important. Your contact centre is at the heart of your company’s customer services. It’s usually the first point of call for customer queries so it’s important to ensure that your first call resolution (FCR) processes are more than fit for purpose. As this blog highlights, first impressions really do count!

Making sure that the communication between your agents and customers are as simple and as mutually understandable as possible is critical. From a customer point of view their interaction with your business often means minimum effort on their part and maximum reward (for them, from you). Indeed, Gartner recently highlighted that 94% of customers with low-effort interactions intend to repurchase compared with 4% of those experiencing high effort.

These numbers aren’t really a surprise and, as those of us in the contact centre market know, it only takes one good or bad experience to make or break a relationship. In a world of over-sharing your customers are likely to recommend or complain about your business, products or service across their social channels, within minutes. As Amazon CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos puts it, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000”. The good news though, according to PWC, is that when it comes to making a purchase, 42% of all consumers would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience – which is why First Call Resolution (FCR) so important.

FCR, or sometimes referred to as ‘one-touch resolution’, isn’t just about the average number of support tickets your agent resolves on the first response or interaction with a customer. It may be a popular benchmark to measure metrics such as response rates and resolution time so that you can run your call centre team efficiently but there’s more to FCR. Well, if you really value the customer experience (CX) and their journey.

As the statistics highlight dissatisfied customers not only cost you time and money but if you lose a customer it’s going to cost even more to replace them. In fact, it’s common knowledge that it can cost five times as much to acquire a new customer versus retaining existing ones. That’s why you need to equip your agents with the best possible tools to resolve calls, where possible, the first time.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), the secret to exceptional FCR

The good news is that the technology is now in place to support and improve these FCR interactions. By incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into your contact centre you can better support your agents and provide them with the right tools for resolution and a more seamless customer journey. As a recent survey by PointSource highlighted, 49% of customers are willing to shop more often when AI is present. Furthermore 34% of customers will spend more money, and 38% will share their experiences with friends and family. Essentially, AI makes people shop more, spend more and share more. So, with today’s technology there is every reason and every opportunity to get the customer experience right.

According to IDC, $13.9B was invested into CX-focused Artificial Intelligence (AI) and $42.7B in CX-focused Big Data and analytics during 2019, with both expected to grow to $90B in 2022. You don’t need much more of an argument that now might be the time to look at how AI can support and enhance the experiences of your customers and become the game changer needed in your contact centre customer relations.

To find out how conversational analytics and CX-AI can dynamically change the interaction between customers and your representatives while delivering an outstanding customer experience click here.

How to Increase First Call Resolution

  • Understand your customers’ issues – collect information and analyse the data so you can quickly identify trends and patterns across customer interactions that are causing you problems and inhibiting the customer experience

  • The right tools for the job – give your agents the right tools and training

  • Anticipate your customers’ needs – get to know your customers – who are they and get to know their needs

  • Monitor agents’ performance – know the strongest and weakest sides of your agents and vastly implement processes to improve it

  • Feedback is key – encourage your agents to share customer feedback. They spend most of the time with your customers so they should know the issues best.

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