Top 5 FCR Improvement Tips
It is often said that it is hard to measure FCR accurately but even harder to improve FCR. FCR research will support that argument, with only 5% of call centers improving 5% or more in a given year. Below are the steps to the top five tips for improving FCR:
1. Measure and Evaluate FCR Rate
A best practice to measure and evaluate FCR is to use both external and internal FCR measurement methods on an ongoing basis. Common examples of internal and external FCR measurement methods are post-call surveys, agent logging, speech analytics, quality monitoring, tracking of reopened issues, and repeat call tracking. Alternatively, using speech or interaction analytics to determine repeat call reasons or workforce tools can be an effective method to find repeat callers and evaluate the FCR rate.
2. Identify Repeat Call Reasons
A best practice to identify repeat call reasons is to use a post-call survey to identify customers who did not achieve FCR and ask them open-ended questions as to why they were not able to resolve their transaction on the first call. Also, make use of CRM software to review and analyze callers that experienced a repeat call. Develop repeat call reason categories, review customer survey and CRM feedback of repeat callers, and then tag into repeat call reason categories (e.g., billing, status of the inquiry, complaint, agent knowledge, etc.). Alternatively, make use of speech or interaction analytics to determine repeat call reasons.
3. Determine Repeat Call Reason to Improve
A best practice to determine which repeat call reasons to improve is to leverage the data identified in the repeat call reason categories. A gap analysis between each repeat call reason category's frequency and customer satisfaction determines the targeted opportunities for improving FCR. It is not uncommon to use 25 or more repeat call reason categories for this analysis; therefore, it is important to focus on improving on only 2 to 4 repeat call reason categories to ensure the successful improvement of FCR.
4. Develop Action Plan to Improve First Call Resolution
A best practice in developing an action plan to improve FCR is to base the plan upon the targeted opportunities for FCR improvement. The action plan should include the 5 W's (i.e., what, when, who, why, where) and how. The plan will need to be reviewed and championed by senior management or an FCR steering committee.
5. Determine FCR Goal
A best practice to determine your FCR goal is to benchmark your FCR rate using an external FCR measurement method with a 3rd party FCR/CX research firm. Then, based on your current FCR rate, establish an FCR rate improvement goal for the call center. A moderate FCR improvement goal is 1% to 4%, and an aggressive FCR improvement goal would be 5% or more. A best practice is to hold all employees accountable to the FCR goal.
It is crucial to remember Agents are essential for improving FCR. Therefore, they must know the importance of FCR and have a comprehensive understanding of what they can do to improve it.
About The Author
Nader Ghattas, MBA, is the Chief Customer Experience Officer at SQM Group, an organization dedicated to helping call center clients improve FCR. Nader brings over a decade of experience in CX and EX improvement consulting and is a thought-leader for first call resolution. He is a chief spokesperson for SQM’s powerful customer and employee experience improvement offerings in software innovation, best practice consulting, and awarding.