Did you know that, for every 1% improvement in first call resolution rate, contact centers will see a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction rates and a 1-5% improvement in employee satisfaction?
The opinion that your customers hold of your company, its employees, and its goods and services, has a direct and profound impact on the long-term health of your business. Simply put, if your customers aren’t happy, you need to make some drastic changes before it digs your company into a hole you can’t get back out of.
Customer Satisfaction also plays a huge role in how many other customer service metrics are measured; this includes First Contact Resolution (FCR), the percentage of reported issues or support tickets that are resolved on the very first interaction with the customer. However, it’s important to have an understanding of the connection between the two metrics in order to effectively track and improve over time.
In a recent article from ICMI, the author discusses how FCR is measured, why it’s so critical, and how customer satisfaction is a key driver in promoting a better FCR. With this information under your belt and the right tools to help you tackle it all, you can more actively take the steps you need to start tracking and improving these important metrics. Here’s just a segment of the article:
For a contact center, FCR is the percentage of contacts that are resolved on the first interaction with the customer. For live calls or web chats, this means that the customer’s issue is resolved before they hang up the phone or end the chat session. Calls or chats that require a customer callback or are escalated to another source of support do not qualify for first contact resolution. For emails and web submitted tickets, which now account for a significant percentage of all customer contacts, the de facto standard emerging in the industry is that resolution within one business hour of receiving a customer email or web ticket counts as FCR.
FCR is typically measured in one of two ways:
1. The agent checks a box on the trouble ticket at the conclusion of the call or chat session to indicate if the interaction was successfully concluded on the initial contact.
2. Customers are asked in follow-up customer satisfaction surveys whether their call or chat was resolved and concluded on the initial contact with the service desk.
The first method requires periodic audits to ensure that agents are accurately reporting FCR on the tickets they handle. This is done by reviewing a representative sample of tickets each month to determine if the tickets designated FCR by an agent are, in fact, being resolved on the first contact with the customer. Neither method of measuring FCR is perfect, but it is one of the most important KPIs to track and trend.
Why It’s Important
A high FCR is almost always associated with high levels of customer satisfaction. FCR is a measure of how effectively your contact center conducts its business and is a function of many factors, including the complexity and types of transactions handled, the experience of your agents, the quality of agent training, and tools such as knowledge management and remote control. The metric is most often measured monthly because a monthly timeframe is long enough to provide statistical significance. But it can also be measured annually, weekly, daily, or even hourly.
The figure below shows the relationship between FCR and customer satisfaction for a representative cross-section of service desks worldwide. This strong cause-and-effect relationship should come as no surprise. As stated above, we all want closure on the first contact with our service providers!
Key Drivers of FCR
As shown above, FCR is a key driver—in fact, the most important driver—of customer satisfaction. But what drives FCR? If a contact center wants to improve FCR, how would they go about doing it? If we go back to our cause-and-effect diagram for service desk KPIs, we can see that agent training hours are the biggest driver of FCR.
Here at Zingtree, one of our primary areas of focus is to provide a platform where customers can help themselves with self-service support, helping to improve first contact resolution and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. Additionally, with standardized and perfected agent scripts in place, agents and representatives can quickly match customers to the right solution through an interactive guide, making it much more simple to improve these key metrics over time.
For more on using decision trees to improve call centers:
Want to hear more about how interactive decision trees and call scripts help improve FCR and customer satisfaction every day? Get in touch with our team, and check out our example decision trees for call centers and support teams.