first call resolution guide

9 Secrets to Improving First Call Resolution

One of the most important statistics a contact center can measure is FCR or first call resolution (Note: with the expansion of communication channels like chat, email, text, and social media, FCR might be better described as first contact resolution). That’s the rate that examines whether or not a customer had his or her issue solved on the first interaction with your team. In general, contact centers want to keep this percentage as high as possible because it shows a consistent ability to route customers to the right agent, indicates that you are supplying your agents with sufficient information, and demonstrates that your team members are being equipped and empowered to solve customer issues.

A frequent pattern of multiple calls or contacts from the same customers means customer service isn’t being handled properly. Not only does it reflect poorly on both the contact center and the company it’s representing, but it’s costly: the more contacts coming in, the more resources needed to cover them. And, from the customer’s perspective, it’s extremely frustrating having to make a second or even third contact about the same problem.

Getting a handle on your contact center’s first call resolution rate can improve customer satisfaction and reduce operating costs--it’s just a matter of tackling the problem with the right tools. In our recent 9 Secrets to Improving First Call Resolution whitepaper, we outline the successful strategies that the world's leading contact centers are leveraging to boost their FCR rates.

With a robust recording platform, add-on modules for quality monitoring, evaluation forms, desktop recording, customer feedback surveys and speech analytics, NICE can put you on the path to first call resolution success in no time. Here are nine secrets to use with our Workforce Optimization software that’ll improve first call resolution.

1. Find Repeat Callers, Evaluate Current FCR Rate

Within NICE CXone Workforce Optimization, the query tool lets you establish rules to capture and count the amount of calls from the same phone number, account number, or case number within a specific time frame. From there, you can specify how the calls should be summarized and reported (by agent, team, site, etc.) Then, divide the number of repeat calls by total inbound and you should arrive at your first call resolution Lastly, decide how you want the data regularly reported.

2. Start a Closing Code Protocol and Review the Results

Agents should be trained on how to identify a repeat call and report it. When they do see one, they should tag it so it can be collected for future reporting and QA purposes. Tip: Repeat calls can also be identified and captured with the search tool.

3. Use Post-Call Survey Questions that Indicate FCR

Polling customers can be another great way to identify repeat callers, especially ones that may have phoned in before you started measuring FCR. Upon the completion of calls, for instance, ask customers questions like, “Have you previously called about this issue” or “Has our customer service representative completely answered your questions today?”

4. Employ Survey Questions to Find Frequent Causes of Repeat Calls

Quality surveys can also be a good opportunity to collect responses from customers about first call resolution. If a caller indicates they’ve phoned in before about the same problem, give them a list of common issues to choose from that may be causing the issue. That can help you identify some common threads in the calls.

5. Utilize Speech Analytics to Discover Repeat Calls

Our speech analytics tool can also help improve first call resolution. With the speech analytics module, you can search for caller keywords like “called before,” “last time I called,” “spoke with before,” etc.

6. Leverage QM to Locate Issues Contributing to Repeat Calls

Researching some of the common reasons for repeat calls can also help you get to the root of the problem. So study up on samples at your call center and figure out what are some of the biggest causes.

7. Pinpoint Calls Requiring Additional Follow-Up or Resources Through Keyword/Phrase Spotting

With the speech analytics feature, create categories around frequently-used words or phrases in calls such as “return policy,” “billing problem,” etc. Then, receive notifications when the terms appear and reveal a repeat call.

8. Keep Track of FCR as a QM Evaluation Metric

Once you’ve collected all this data, include FCR as a metric for call quality evaluations for staff to stress the importance of resolving calls on first attempt.

9. Integrate FCR Techniques Into Your Coaching Program

When training new hires, make sure they understand the importance of FCR and ways to improve the metric. Coach new agents on call control, new products, and other factors that can contribute to repeat calls.

Increasing your first call resolution rate is incredibly important if you want to provide the best customer service possible. With a robust voice recording platform, add-on modules for quality monitoring, evaluation forms, desktop recording, customer feedback surveys and speech analytics, your contact center should be able to improve first call resolution dramatically.