First call resolution has become the Holy Grail of customer service in recent years. Its benefits are well documented: improved quality, reduced costs and improved customer satisfaction, all at the same time. Sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it?
At a very simple level first call resolution just means that the customer’s objectives are met from a single contact event. This might mean doing so during a voice call or responding to an email that then satisfies the customer first time.
We are probably all agreed on this but before looking at the challenge of media channels other than voice, exactly how successful has first call resolution been with voice calls, the traditional way of customers making contact?
We’d love to know, but we have a sneaking suspicion that many of the claims made for it are a bit stretched. Why? Because technology often just doesn’t deliver. It would be great to think that a first time voice call can be handled in its entirety by the first agent to pick it up. But there are many exceptions and often a call needs to be requeued. And that’s where the frustration starts! The second person to pick up the call doesn’t have the caller’s details and insists on asking for them again. That’s if you are lucky. Or systems just aren’t joined up so the caller has to call back or leave their details for a follow-up call. Still work to do on the technology front, then.
So how has the advent of other media channels such as SMS, email and chat changed this? Hugely!
If the contact is offline, as in the case of email, then there is no scope for an immediate exchange of information to pin down exactly why the caller is making contact. Companies need new strategies for coping. But there is a common element here.
And that is providing simple and easy to follow guidelines (especially web-based) that callers can follow so that when they make contact, for example by email, they provide as much relevant information as possible.
We expect many different metrics to be used to measure how successful companies are in the future in satisfying their customers. The one key element they will all have is effective communication; explain what you offer clearly and make it easy for consumers to do business with you.
And by the way… Amazon, we love you.