- First call resolution measures your ability to resolve customer issues on their first interaction with your organization
- First call resolution is one of the most important metrics for your contact center
- The right contact center software makes it easy to boost first call resolution rates
How often do your contact center agents manage to resolve a customer’s problem on the first try? If your first call resolution metrics leave something to be desired, read on to learn six tips to help your contact center improve first call resolution metrics across all its channels.
What is first call resolution, and why does it matter?
“First call resolution” (also known as first contact resolution) measures a company’s ability to resolve customer issues across all channels during the first interaction. Here’s why it’s important: the first call resolution rate helps you understand how effective your agents are at handling customer problems. If a customer needs to reach out repeatedly to handle a single issue, customer experience suffers, which can lead to increased customer churn and reduced revenue for your company.
Tips to improve first call resolution
There are six best practices to improve first contact resolution:
- Measure first call resolution across all channels
- Pinpoint problems
- Provide better training if necessary
- Give agents the resources they need to help customers
- Make it easy for agents to collaborate with their coworkers
- Implement self-service tools so customers can get the help they need faster
1. Measure first call resolution across all channels
The first step to improve first call resolution is to measure it across all channels if you’re not doing so already. First call resolution isn’t just about telephone channels; it matters for contact center live chat, video conferences, and email.
Here’s the formula to measure first call resolution:
First call resolution = Total resolved cases solved on first contact/Total number of cases
Market-leading contact center software features built-in analytics for first call resolution measurement across all channels. At a glance, you can understand how your agents are handling customer interactions through each of the channels you offer.
2. Pinpoint problems
Once you start measuring first call resolution for each channel, the next step is to figure out why these metrics are the way they are. What problems exist that prevent you from achieving higher first call resolution rates?
You might discover that there is a combination of issues. Perhaps employees need better training, or they don’t have the right resources to help customers. Once you’ve figured out what hinders you from achieving better first call resolution rates, you can start addressing those problems.
3. Provide better training if necessary
Maybe your agents can’t help customers on the first try because they haven’t received adequate training. You can rectify that situation by providing enhanced training to them, even if they’re working remotely. Best-of-breed contact center software features:
- Video conferencing
- The ability to monitor calls and on-screen interactions
- Whisper coaching and barge-in functionality, so a supervisor can join a call to prevent it from going off-course
Poor agent training has an impact on both your first call resolution rates and your contact center as a whole. PwC research shows that 46% of customers will abandon a brand if they feel employees don’t know how to meet their needs.
4. Give agents the resources they need to help customers
While training is an important part of boosting first call resolution metrics, agents need the right tools to solve customer problems.
One useful tool is an internal knowledge base. An internal knowledge base is a compilation of information agents need to do their jobs, including policies and procedures. With an internal knowledge base at their fingertips, it’s easier and faster to find the information they need to help customers.
Another resource that agents need is access to customer information. It’s difficult to help someone when you don’t understand that person’s purchase history, or how many times they’ve called previously. The right contact center software integrates with your favorite business tools, such as CRMs, so agents have the knowledge they need to solve customer problems.
5. Make it easy for agents to collaborate with coworkers
Even when agents have received the necessary training to do their jobs and they can access a knowledge base when they need a refresher, there are times when agents need to turn to their colleagues outside the contact center for more information or assistance.
It should be simple for agents to collaborate with their colleagues across the company. The right contact center software enables that collaboration. It features an internal directory with a presence indicator, so an agent knows if a colleague is available to help out. Moreover, agents can collaborate with their colleagues through video conferencing, telephony, and chat.
They can also share screens and files, making it easier and more effective to solve customer problems on the first try.
6. Implement self-service tools so customers can get the help they need faster
Eighty-eight percent of customers around the world expect a brand to have self-service capabilities. It’s not hard to see why – when customers can find information on their own, they get the answers they need faster. That improves the customer experience.
Moreover, providing a self-service option leads to better workforce optimization overall. Since two-thirds of a contact center’s expense is associated with labor costs, a self-service option that frees up agents to deal with more complex issues is a better use of employee time.
Boost first call resolution metrics with RingCentral’s contact center software solutions
RingCentral’s contact center solutions offer the features you need to boost first call resolution metrics: monitoring across all channels, training tools, an internal knowledge base, integrations with your favorite business applications, collaboration tools, and self-service capabilities. To learn more, get a demo.
Originally published Jun 29, 2021, updated Dec 30, 2022