"You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give." – Winston Churchill
Customers are the backbone of each and every organization. Addressing to the customers' needs the first time they call or inquire is very important. Just imagine that you called a customer care hotline with an issue and they did not answer you or solve your problem in one go. This can be very frustrating.
The customer relations department of the organization is made solely to support the customers inquires and helps them through the problems that they are facing with the product. First call resolution is the process where a customer calls and the query is addressed and resolved in that one call. The customer does not have to call again.
Call center managers have to keep track of the talk time, (i.e. the average time that each agent spends on a call). Fast talk times are desirable and the lesser the number of follow-up calls, the better. High number of follow-up calls indicates that customers are not satisfied. It increases the in-call volume and also the number of call agents that are present.
First call resolution is stressed by all call center managers. It does not matter if the talk time for a particular call increases as long as the first call resolution number also increases. If the number of follow-up calls increase, it shows that the customer is not satisfied and there is always the possibility that the customer will defect to the competitors. There is also the possibility that the customer will inform other customers of the bad experience and will affect the opinion of these customers also.
First call resolution can be monitored by a first contact resolution process. This process involves external and internal feedback. The external feedback is of the customer where as the internal feedback involves the agent’s log, call quality monitoring, and repeat call calculation. Customer feedback surveys can help in determining if the issue has resolved the customer’s query or not. There is no way of knowing if the issue was resolved or the customer decided to give up after trying for the hundredth time.
Organizations have found that many internal feedbacks have not been a good measure of performance. Customers have shown a slightly lower response to the first call resolution process compared to the organization itself. Customers are more focused on getting the issue solved. It does not matter how much time it takes. Therefore, it is important that the issue is kept in mind before taking the customers feedback to heart. For a billing concern, it is obvious that the customer is contacted after the next bill is received, instead of a day after the call to the contact center.
The after contact will let the customer understand if the issue has been resolved or not for sure, else they might keep on assuming that the issue was resolved. It is important that the organization trains the call center agents for all situations, for there could be times when a customer can be angry and say things that are not appropriate. A call center agent needs to stay calm and resolve the customer’s problem in the best way that is possible. For that reason, it is important that call center agents are provided with proper knowledge of the business, so that they can answer the customer queries right away and be given the authority to take decisions that are related to the call. The agent should also be provided with support when needed.