It has been over four years since we last published this post, but FCR (First Call Resolution) is still important to many call centers. With the increase in communication channels utilized by customers, such as phone, chat, email, and twitter, FCR has evolved into OCR. This acronym was coined by the SQM group, which stands for One Contact Resolution because not all customers contact support only via phone.
FCR, or OCR depending on how your business communicates with your customers, is a key metric to track in improving not only agent efficiency, but also increased customer satisfaction. Take a look at our post from 2013 (below), and you will see not much has changed. The customer is still important, the way we resolve their problems is still important, and in fact, the importance of FCR is more pertinent today than in 2013 because of all the communication tools available to customers. These tools allow more customers to interact with you, but they also allow more interaction with fellow customers or prospect via reviews or complaints.
Blog Post from 2013 with small updates
Can you imagine increasing sales by 20% without spending more money on marketing? Sounds too good to be true, but according to studies done by SQM group, a leading research group for optimizing call center efficiency, there’s one thing you can start doing today to make this happen.
It’s called FCR. It stands for “First call resolution.” According to consumers, FCR should be one of your top company goals, especially if you want more sales, higher profit margins, and sustainable growth.
Why is FCR Such a Big Deal?
According to a white paper released by the SQM group in 2012, they studied and monitored medium-sized companies and discovered that even a measly 1% improvement in your FCR rate can create as much as a quarter million dollars in operational savings.
In today's overcrowded marketing world, social media and email marketing is a tough sell for many businesses. The old verse that “it’s a lot less expensive to maintain current customers than get new ones” is still true to this day. Your current customers are always going to be the marketing channel that generates the best response with the least amount of spending. So why not take advantage when a customer calls in with a service issue? But trying to make an upsell offer to a customer whose problem hasn’t been resolved is like trying to do dental work on a hungry crocodile. Thus, the importance of improving your FCR rate. It was found that when a customer’s problem is solved, the customer is 20% MORE likely to say yes to an upsell offer.
By having your agents focus on improving first call resolution instead of only increasing the number of calls they take per day, the numbers across the board go up. Not only does your customer satisfaction go up, your upsell opportunities go up, and as a bonus, your employee retention rate goes up. When your customer service reps are pushed to make upsells to unhappy customers, they’re less likely to feel great about coming to work, aren't they?
FCR is the Key to Retention AND Word of Mouth Marketing
FCR can do more than just increase your upsells and improve your employee satisfaction. It can also help you keep your customers from going to your competitors and it can explode your new sales through word of mouth marketing.
According to data released by the AmEx, 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer, one of the primary reasons customers leave and go to competitors is because someone tried to pressure them to buy something.
Some of the other leading reasons were:
- Rude customer service reps.
- Being shuffled from one department to another.
- Having to make multiple phone calls to solve one problem.
Are you starting to see a pattern?
YOU want to grow your business and make more sales. But your customers want their issues resolved quickly. Some sales managers see this as a paradox, but it’s not. When you raise your FCR, you’ll increase your upsales, retain more customers and give them a reason to tell their friends about you.
Do You Know YOUR FCR?
According to the SQM group, 70% is about an average FCR. But if you don’t know your FCR, you can’t improve it. This is why a solid tool in place to track this is important for overall growth within your business. The easiest way to calculate is to count the number of calls where the customer called in only once (assuming one call their issue was resolved), and divide it by the total number of calls that month. Although this is not 100% accurate, it is a great starting point to make sure you are on track.
Call Recording and Monitoring Software
Call recording and monitoring software can also be utilized to help track this number. All calls are recorded, and call details can also be captured, such as dialed number or caller id. This data can be run each month to assist you with tracking FCR. Additionally, many call recording solutions offer QC, which in turn allows you to help train your agents so they can adjust and improve their skills in seeking first call resolution. Using real-life situations and interactions help agents better grasp concepts and common frustrations of your customers and best methods to resolve the issue.
If you want to grow your sales by 20%, increase customer loyalty and employee satisfaction, lower your operational costs, ALL without spending another penny on marketing, you need the technology to measure what’s happening in your call center and to train your customer service team to improve FCR.
What would call recording technology do for your business? If your goal is to create more stability and growth without spending more on marketing, now is a good time to find out