Is the Customer’s Call Resolved?
Many SQM call center clients have their agents ask customers “if they have resolved their call reason?” at the end of the call. This practice slightly increases call length. However, the real benefits of the agent asking the customer "if their call reason has been resolved” is that it increases agent awareness and accountability to resolve customer calls, improves first call resolution (FCR) and customer satisfaction (Csat).
Furthermore, at SQM, we consider the agent asking the customer if they have resolved their call reason to be an external FCR and call resolution measurement method because the customer determines if the call is resolved. Conversely, an internal FCR measurement method is where the organization determines if FCR is achieved.
It is imperative to mention that many agents do not like asking the call resolution question. The main reason for this is that if the agent cannot resolve the call, they do not want to ask the call resolution question.
We have several clients who have discontinued the call resolution question practice because their agents did not like asking that question. When those clients discontinued this practice, their FCR and Csat performance decreased in most cases.
A best practice is to ask the call resolution question at the end of the call to improve FCR and Csat performance. Many call centers’ end of call practices have agents ask customers, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” We consider this a poor practice because it assumes that the agent has already resolved the customer’s call.
At SQM, we consider the following to be best practices for using a call resolution question at the end of a customer’s call:
- Agent summarizes vital aspects of the call and next steps
- Agent must ask call resolution closing question
- Every customer must be consistently asked the call resolution closing question
- Agents use the following call resolution closing questions:
- “Have I resolved the reason for your call today?” (90% of the time the agent asks this version) or
- “Have I given you an option to resolve your call today?” (10% of the time the agent asks this version) Note: This option should be used when the agent cannot resolve the call.
Note: The following are not call resolution questions and should not be used: “Have I answered all your questions/concerns” or “Are you satisfied with the resolution” or “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
- Agent captures a “yes” or “no” response on a CRM system; for the “no” response, the agent can use a drop-down menu on the CRM system to tag the reason for the call being unresolved
- If a customer says “no,” the agent can ask the customer, “Why do you think I have not resolved the reason for your call?”
- Train agents on how to handle customer’s “no” responses to the call resolution question
- If the agent cannot resolve the customer’s call, the agent can transfer the call to an escalation agent
- Many call centers use speech analytics or QA monitoring to measure if the agent asked the customer a call resolution question and accurately documented the customer’s response
- QA team tracks agent call resolution performance for identifying opportunities for FCR improvements
The agent asking the call resolution question for measurement purposes can inflate FCR and call resolution because the customer can be reluctant to answer the call resolution question. However, this method can help motivate an agent to go the extra mile to resolve a customer’s call.