Oct 7, 2013 10:40:00 AM

Taking Action on First Call Resolution

Posted by Niccole Muraca

For many companies, first call resolution (FCR) is an important metric and can be a valuable predictor of customer satisfaction. Yet, if FCR is so important, why don’t more operation managers focus improvement efforts on this metric?  Unfortunately, the answer is simple: FCR is difficult to measure, manage, and improve… unless you have a tool like the AVOKE Call Browser.

Many companies attempt to tackle FCR by searching their database for the same ANI showing up within a period of time, for example, two weeks. Unfortunately, this approach often fails to produce actionable results.  Many calls are not actually repeat inquiries regarding the same issue. And simply searching for duplicate calls doesn’t help with reducing first call resolution.

AVOKE uses an alternative approach to FCR that employs speech analytics and full text search capabilities to mine calls for customers mentioning they have called before. To improve any metric, but especially, first call resolution, agents and leadership need to understand what resolution looks like from the customer’s perspective.   By analyzing subsets of known repeat calls in the AVOKE Call Browser, companies can better understand their callers and identify patterns and behaviors that are at the root of repeat calls. After evaluating these root issues, companies have the necessary data in hand to focus on processes that require change or additional training initiatives.

For example, an AVOKE customer recently wanted to identify highly actionable solutions to improve overall FCR in their technical services path. They conducted a repeat call analysis with AVOKE Analytics, and learned that two of their technical paths were the primary source of repeat calls, representing more than 60% of observed interactions. Of these calls, incomplete troubleshooting was identified as the primary failure point and nearly 70% could have been avoided if handled more effectively. Yet interestingly, the majority of agents on these calls believed that he/she had resolved the caller’s issue the first time around. This pointed to a significant disconnect between caller and agent perceptions of resolution.

Leveraging the AVOKE Call Browser, this company was able to determine that nearly 60% of the studied repeat calls could have been resolved if their agents simply reviewed recommended solutions prior to ending the call. With additional coaching, agents were trained to deliver a higher degree of resolution by verifying next steps and waiting on the line for callers to complete simple troubleshooting instructions.

This study highlights three key take-aways concerning FCR. First, FCR is an extremely important indicator for customer satisfaction. Second, companies should educate agents on first call resolution. As highlighted in the AVOKE customer example above, if the caller and agent are not on the same page, this leads to an increased number of repeat calls. Coaching that targets FCR from the caller’s perspective helps agents align with their customer’s needs and expectations. Third, assume nothing when it comes to your processes. Many companies make assumptions about how their processes are working and this is a big problem. Companies should never assume anything about call handling and especially in the pursuit of improving FCR, should take the time to verify what is really happening on their calls.  

AVOKE Analytics is a cloud solution that records the whole call, end-to-end, and provides companies with the needed analytics to understand their customers and tackle tough metrics like FCR. To learn more about AVOKE, click here

Topics: Customer Experience, Whole Call Analytics, Customer Satisfaction, First Call Resolution