First CALL ResolutionReading up on call center metrics, you will most likely encounter the acronym FCR, which stands for First Call Resolution. FCR scores track if customers’ needs were properly addressed the first time they call. Of all the metrics used by call centers to measure performance, the FCR sits high on the list of the most important.

For an agent who takes dozens of calls an hour, for several hours, day in and day out, it is easy to sound like a voice recording, which ultimately dehumanizes the entire customer-agent communication process. So, it’s important to look at the call, the C in FCR, and why it happens in the first place.

Below are some things that you might be overlooking on that customer call…

…and why you should always remember that a call center exists because of it.

  1. There is a person on the other end of the contact line who needs help, and she needs another person to respond to her concern/s. Yes, prepared scripts for common, usual or recurring concerns save time and resources. But if efficiency and cost are the only considerations, why put up a contact center in the first place? Priority number one should be about establishing the ideal customer experience.A simple “Hi, this is Jodi how may I help you today?” may seem like a perfunctory opening line for many agents but to a customer who made that call, a sincere greeting and introduction can set the tone of the whole encounter. In this day and age of digital and impersonal, sincerity is still important.
  2. That person on the other end of the contact line is calling with legitimate concerns. You may have heard them dozens of times; for this customer, this is probably the first time he’s having such concerns. How many times does an agent lose patience or dismiss a call as a nuisance out of the assumption that the fellow at the other end is not doing what, to the call center agent, would be the obvious first steps to getting help? There is hardly any information that you can’t find online. But not everyone is created the same and not everyone has the inclination to do things by themselves when they need help. So if a person makes that call, realize the call is important enough for him to make the extra effort of asking you.
  3. That person on the other end of the contact line expects you to have the answers. When the customer asks, the agent better know the answers. There is nothing more frustrating than being forced to listen to some elevator music while being put on hold for minutes, or being tossed around because the guy who took the call doesn’t know what to do.

Along with communication skills, competence is equally important in the whole process.

It is always important to go back to the basics and reorient your thinking to that of the customer that you seek to satisfy. Only when you look at that “call” in First Call Resolution more closely can you actually look at the ways you can improve your FCR scores. Resolving a customer service call on the first effort is a good thing. Constantly reviewing practices, customer key words, frequently asked questions, etc, that set you up to assist in that resolution, helps your company be a successful customer service organization.