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Considerations in First Call Resolution Rates

First Call Resolution Rates in Help Desk or Call Centers

It is the dream of every business owner to become bigger, better, and to become a necessary staple in the mind and lives of customers. However, some might not consider the changes that go into accommodating this new and improved status. One of these changes will be the management of your phone system and the way your calls are handled. Once a business rises to a certain size, there has to either be an in-house call center or an outsourcing of these customer service calls to another location, preferably within the geographic area. Why is this? When a business receives a rise in their customer base numbers and want to continue this trend, there will have to be adjustments made to better serve this growing demographic by answering their questions and quelling their concerns. This is when either an evolved help desk system or call center implementation becomes necessary.

Quality Assurance

Even with the implementation of a better phone system for customers, there needs to be some kind of quality assurance, or a way by which businesses can measure the effectiveness of the system and customer satisfaction. This is where the idea of First Call Resolution Rates comes into play. First Call Resolution Rates measures the effectiveness of a customer service call center by dividing the number of phone calls resolved upon initial first contact by the number of overall calls received. In addition to this, calls may be monitored by customer service agents, tracked through an implemented computer system, and customers may automatically be called after an appropriate period of time to ensure the problem gets resolved. While some business feel that a simple check of the number of one time phone calls to a help desk may be the best measure, this is not the case. It is important to go the extra mile in following up with customers and getting feedback, because there will always be outliers that cannot be accounted for in a simple formula, or by a computer system that can only record quantitative information.

Variables to Account For

  • Human Error: More often than not, when searching for a customer service number, customers will call the first one they come upon, and it is often the wrong number. After going through a series of call transfers and mistaken prompt selection from the automated machine, there will either be another call made that brings down the resolution rate, or there will be valuable time wasted correcting and redirecting calls on the part of the customer service specialist. Either way, the system is flawed and can be improved in ways that do not unnecessarily tie up your lines or confuse customers.
  • Technology Error & Customer Alienation: While automated systems can sometimes be confusing when someone cannot find the exact prompt they are looking for, the biggest customer complaint seems to be that the systems are either too sensitive to sound, often picking up on noises in the background that take away from the call focus, or that they are not sensitive enough and misunderstand the customer's intentions, causing frustration. While it can be said that most people do not fully listen to prompts before making the proper selection anyway, for those that do, an ineffective system that is stuck on the automated loop response of, "Sorry, I did not get that. Please select one of the following options...," this can lead to customer alienation. If this happens, then yes, the first call resolution rates will seem better off, but only because there are no calls to resolve in the first place.