Imagine this situation: You buy a new printer but can’t connect it to your router. You call the manufacturer, go through the phone diagram, and a representative walks you through the process. The next morning, you try to print something. You receive an error message: Disconnected from the router. You sigh and call the help desk again when your workday is about to end. If only your problem was completely solved the first time you called. If you’re an entrepreneur, CEO, or other business leader, a first contact solution (FCR) should be as important to your company as it is to you as a consumer.
This metric, as shown in the example above, affects your customer satisfaction rates and thus your bottom line. If you can ensure that your customers are getting their questions answered thoroughly as part of a positive brand interactionyou will cultivate devotion brand loyalists.
In an era where customer service is increasingly frustrated around, creating a positive and productive experience is a smart investment. One of the surest ways to improve FCR is to use data to understand where your team can improve. Here are some tips on how to do so.
1. Check the data you already have.
The first step is to test yourself to determine what data you already have. Often, businesses treat data as a situation of “a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear”; Many businesses have tons of data but don’t actually use it. Has your business collected quality assurance (QA) data, generated scorecards for each of your agents? Do you collect average processing time (AHT) and capacity usage (the amount of time each agent spends interacting with customers)? Understanding your collected data and associated benchmarks gives you the opportunity as you work to improve your first contact resolution.
2. Consider the tools you may need.
Use technology like WHO can improve first call resolution (FCR), as well as average processing time (AHT) (statistics often have an inverse relationship). Assess your needs for other tools. You may need to invest in specialized training for your agents, a rich knowledge base, an effective classification system, and possibly some data collection and analysis tools. You can even purchase tools that you can use for different departments at your company, saving everyone time and money.
3. Prioritize the right metrics.
When you’re ready to set (or reset) your data priorities, make sure the metrics you’re using are driving to your desired side. If your primary goal is to improve first contact resolution, then collect keywords from multiple contacts and CSAT scores from long versus short calls. Review customer behavior on your website before and after they contact your chatbot. Get input from your team on what can directly help them.
4. Use a tool that can collect metrics – and use them in context.
Collecting data from your team’s interactions can be a headache, but a tool like MaestroQA can automate QA data collection, save everyone time. QA data serves as a check to ensure that your agents are following your FCR best practices. It is also key to display new insights to increase first contact resolution even further. Once you have your QA data, use it, and other metrics, to get the full story behind agent performance.
5. Personalize your service to your customers.
Not all of the data you use needs to originate from your service center. Consider your customer demographics. Borrow insights from your marketing team. Who are you selling to? What pain points is your company addressing? How does your product or service solve a customer need? Once you put yourself in your customers’ shoes, you’ll better understand what they want from their interactions with your service. You too will be able to get better personalized each interaction.
6. Listen to what customers tell you.
If you want to know what customers think about their experience with customer service, ask them. You can include short surveys at the end of chat interactions, such as email follow-ups, phone or text follow-ups, etc. But just asking is not enough. You have to ask the right questions depending on your goals. Is a one-question CSAT-style survey what you need? Or do you want to know about a particular aspect of their contact? Then, once you have some data, consider what changes you can make based on the hard points and frustrations (or triumphs and joys) your customers share.
7. Pay special attention to multi-contact data.
When customers contact your team multiple times to resolve the same or similar issues, ask: Why? Look at the QA scorecards from those contacts; listen to or read recordings and conversations; Talk to agents who have handled particularly difficult situations. Do employees need faster access to answers in the knowledge base? Do customers need tracking documents? Learn from what happened so you can make smart changes for the future.
8. Use the QA scorecard to gauge the agent’s level of understanding.
Reviewing your QA data using a platform like MaestroQA can reveal the cracks in your training and best practices and give you a starting point for training. Perhaps your employees don’t understand a particular SOP. It’s possible that your knowledge base has slow load times, resulting in agents guessing the best answer. Digging deep into your QA scorecard can uncover a number of operational issues, leading to solutions that will improve your first contact solution.
9. Introduce coaching to your agent.
If you don’t already have a training program, consider implementing one. Coaching allows individual agents to improve based on their own metrics and the company’s overall metrics. A well-run coaching program allows agents to take ownership of their role and feel equipped to advance their career at your company. It allows data dashboards to be used on a very real, on-premises level. It also helps your team understand why you’re asking them to prioritize certain aspects of customer service, inspiring more purchases.
10. Use site data to help solve repetitive problems.
Get to know your web team and ask them about bounce rates, conversion rates, and frequently visited pages. If people spend six minutes looking at a manual for a particular product online, make sure your team is well trained in that particular product. (It is possible to feed that information back into research and development!) If you have website visitors searching for a certain topic after using your chatbot, provide information about the topic. it as part of your general monitoring plan. Your customers don’t live in vaults, so neither should your data.
11. Use data to guide better questioning.
When you look through your data, you can find topics related to why people contact in succession. Use this information to help your agents (or your AI) know when to ask follow-up questions. Simply, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” Ending every contact is a good start. But you may also notice that there is a root cause related to multiple contacts. If you can guide your agents to get to that root cause, they will be able to help more customers understand what they need. They can then address their root problem on first contact.