How to Increase First Call Resolution in Your Call Center
When we talk to call centers about which metric is most important, it depends on their overall goals. While there are dozens to choose from, and all of them are important, sometimes one metric sticks out more than others.
In this blog post, I’m going to focus on the first-call resolution metric.
As a content coach, I’ve helped call centers write call flows in ScreenSteps — a knowledge base software for creating and sharing documents — that are easy to follow while an agent is on a call. This helps agents avoid missing steps and resolve the customer’s issue in one call.
Below, I’ll first explain first call resolution and the importance of it in call centers. Then I’ll explain five ways ScreenSteps can help you improve first call resolution, helping take care of your callers efficiently.
What is first call resolution?
First call resolution (FCR) is a metric used to monitor customer service. It measures a company's ability to resolve a caller’s issue in a single call, chat message, email, and other support requests.
Essentially, it means that a customer doesn’t need to call the company back multiple times to resolve the same problem.
It is also known as first contact resolution.
Why does first call resolution matter?
Achieving FCR benefits both your employees and your customers. Some of the top benefits of reaching a good FCR rate are:
It helps you retain customers
When a customer calls in, it’s usually because they’re stuck. They’re trying to do something but they’ve run into a problem and they need help to continue making progress.
And while your customers chose your company for a service, and probably love you dearly, they don’t really want to spend more time than is necessary talking to get unstuck. If they find that they have to make several calls to get their issues resolved, they’re going to be less than satisfied.
When they can spend less time calling your company and issues are resolved on the first call, they are more likely to stay with your company.
If you aren’t receiving return calls, it means your customers are satisfied with the support that you provided them.
It saves your call center time
When your call center agents can fulfill the purpose of the call the first time a customer calls in, it saves your call center time. Agents don’t have to handle as many calls.
Think about the process of a call. Each time a customer calls, you need to go through the intake script to determine the reason for a call. That usually involves explanations.
If your customer has to call back and explain their situation multiple times, that is repeating the same work over again. Your agents have to rediscover the purpose of the call every time. If the call was resolved the first time, then your call center would save several minutes on future calls.
What’s preventing reps from first call resolution?
There are a few roadblocks that get in the way of reps being able to resolve a call the first time. Some of the top reasons we see for missing FCR goals are:
1. Procedures are outdated
If an agent is using an outdated procedure or an unofficial procedure, then they will not be able to completely handle the call the first time around. Outdated procedures cause agents to make unnecessary mistakes. These mistakes bring the caller right back to the queue.
2. Reps are asking the wrong questions
A rep may not be asking the right questions to get to the heart of the problem. After the agent provides advice and the caller hangs up, the caller tries the suggestion and learns that it doesn’t solve the problem.
3. Reps don’t know the answer to the caller’s question
Reps can’t memorize every policy and procedure in your company. And, while they may know that there’s a resource out there that can help, they give out inaccurate information when they are unable to locate that document.
This may result in escalating the call (see other blog post/video), or it may result in the rep trying to wing it the best they can. In either case, the result is that they can’t resolve the call.
The key to increasing first call resolution
The key to FCR is two-fold:
- Get agents the correct information quickly
- Write clear guides that are easy for reps to follow while on a call.
Ideally, a rep should be able to use a guide without putting a caller on hold. Here’s how ScreenSteps helps you do those two things.
5 ways ScreenSteps helps with first call resolution
ScreenSteps helps companies tackle those two keys to achieving FCR. Here are five ways that ScreenSteps helps with first call resolution.
1. It stores resources in one location
ScreenSteps is your one-stop shop for all policies, procedures, product guides, troubleshooting guides, and any information your reps need to handle calls. Your reps don’t have to ask around or look very far because everything is in ScreenSteps.
2. It makes information easy to find
ScreenSteps has a great search engine that makes it easy to find the right information.
The easiest way to explain it is that ScreenSteps is like your call center’s Google. Just type in keywords to search all the articles and in less than three seconds your reps are bringing up the correct resource.
3. It makes guides more readable
ScreenSteps has formatting options that make your guides very readable. They’re so easy to read that reps can use them while handling the call. No need to put callers on hold, decipher what’s written, and then get back on.
Some of the formatting options include different article templates (i.e. checklists, standard articles, and workflow articles). Also, there is a robust collection of content creation tools — like integrated screen capture, links, foldable sections, checklists, paragraph styles, and more — to make it easy to skim/read guides.
4. It clarifies complex procedures with interactive decision trees
This makes it possible for your subject matter experts to capture complex procedures and troubleshooting steps. They write them so any rep in your company can follow the article. Now, your best reps can transfer their knowledge to other reps.
5. It enables you to keep your guides up-to-date and 100% accurate
ScreenSteps enables you to make sure your guides are always up-to-date, accurate, and complete. If your guides are always up-to-date, then it helps your reps avoid making mistakes.
Reps can provide feedback if they’re confused. ScreenSteps sends reminders to process owners when procedures are getting old and may be outdated (called Content Certification). And with usage reports, you can see what reps are searching for to determine if you’re missing a guide that they need.
So, there you have it. The five ways ScreenSteps can help your call center improve first-call resolution. If you’d like to learn more or you have questions about how ScreenSteps could be used in your call center, schedule a time to meet with a member of the ScreenSteps team.
Provide your reps with the resources to achieve first call resolution
Every business has a goal to take care of their customers, which includes resolving customer issues as quickly as possible. In order to improve FCR, you need a system that can support your call center agents.
The ScreenSteps knowledge base makes it easy for your agents to access all the information quickly. Reps know where to turn for questions and have step-by-step instructions on how to help customers.
Think ScreenSteps can help your company improve FCR? Talk to a ScreenSteps representative to see if ScreenSteps could help your call center achieve your FCR goals.