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Guest Post: 7 Factors Influencing First Call Resolution

This week we feature an article by Jason Grills, Customer Support Expert at ProProfs, a company that provides software that empowers organizations to deliver happiness to their customers and employees. He shares the best practices for improvement that can make a huge difference to your first call resolution rate.   You don’t want to wait around for […]

This week we feature an article by Jason Grills, Customer Support Expert at ProProfs, a company that provides software that empowers organizations to deliver happiness to their customers and employees. He shares the best practices for improvement that can make a huge difference to your first call resolution rate.  

You don’t want to wait around for your queries to be resolved. Any waiting period would frustrate you. This is why the first-call resolution is so important for call centers. 

However, while every call support organization strives for a great first-call resolution rate, they struggle to maintain it. The reasons are the multiplicity of factors that influence first call resolution. 

Walk through this article as we discuss those factors and talk about ways to improve your first call resolution rate. 

But before that, let’s clearly understand what the first-call resolution is. 

What is First Call Resolution? 

First Call Resolution is an important call center metric to determine the effectiveness of your call support staff. 

It is the rate at which your customer support executives can resolve the customers’ problems and concerns at the first instance, the customer reaches out to the call center. Such calls are resolved without needing any next call, follow-up, iterations, or waiting period. 

Importance of First Call Resolution 

First Call Resolution is a metric that shows the quality of your customer support, and it’s very essential that it has great quality. 

Customers always have high expectations from businesses. Statistics reveal that 54% of the customers agree that their expectations from customer service professionals have increased over the year. 

With a good first call resolution rate, businesses can meet these higher expectations of the customers. Moreover, first-call resolution is also important for the reasons enlisted below. 

  1. Reduces operation cost 
  2. Improves customer satisfaction 
  3. Increases employee satisfaction 
  4. Improves net promoter score 
  5. Increase selling opportunities 

7 Factors Influencing First Call Resolution 

Now that you know what first call resolution is, let’s move on to study some of the most important factors that influence the first call resolution rate. 

Company policies & procedures 

The company policies and procedures sometimes restrict the call support executives from performing certain activities that are essential for first call resolution.  

For instance, if a customer asks for a refund, but the call support executive is not authorized to permit the refund request and goes to the manager instead, there’s no chance that the call will be resolved without follow-up. 

So, it’s essential that the company’s policies and procedures are flexible enough to allow the call support executives to perform some acts without iterations. 

Tools & access to information 

The information and the tools that the customer support executive have to access relevant information about a call will influence the first call resolution. 

For instance, if the call is about a previous order, it would help if the customer support executive already has the information about that order or has a system from which such information can be accessed. 

In fact, in a survey, 72% of the customers said that they expect the customer support executives to know about them in advance when they call. So, access to information is of utmost importance for good customer experiences. 

The difficulty level of the call 

Sometimes the query or concern in question is too difficult to be resolved without any escalations. For instance, if a technical issue requires expert support and the customer service executive is not well trained to offer such support, the call will have to be transferred to more experienced personnel who knows the technical details. 

Level of training imparted to agents 

Training is at the core of enhancing your first call resolution rate. If you put up less trained employees in the customer support call handling, they’re likely to affect the entire quality of the call support system and performance, let alone the first call resolution rate. 

So, it’s always wise to have your employees undergo rigorous training, skill development, and even some practice calls before directly dealing with the customers. 

Complexity in products & services 

The complexity of the products and services will determine how soon you can resolve your customers’ queries. If the products and services are too complex or, for instance, need an in-person visit from service technicians, the calls are likely to escalate, and there’s no way to avoid follow-up calls in such cases. 

Effectiveness of call routing system 

Call centers use a call routing system to assign calls to different call center executives. An effective system will determine the nature of the call and accordingly assign it to the executives who are best fitted to handle and resolve the call immediately. 

Call center agent turnover rate 

Call centers with a high agent turnover rate tend to have a low first call resolution rate as new agents will require training, and they won’t be able to deliver as good a first call resolution rate as the old agents at first. 

Best Practices to Improve First Call Resolution Rate 

It’s essential that your call center has a high first-call resolution rate to offer the best customer experience. Here are some practices to follow- 

Find common issues for delayed resolution. 

Some common issues always require follow-ups and iterations, for instance, a technical problem or a complex product or service.  

If you identify such common issues, you can incorporate a collective solution. 

Create follow-up surveys 

Knowing customers’ experience on first calls can help improve first call resolution. So, it works if you take their feedback through follow-up surveys. 

For instance, creating a follow-up survey to understand customer responses on an email drip campaign software will help resolve customer issues more expeditiously. 

Record and review support interactions  

Recording support interactions help understand customer responses, and you can use them for training customer support executives to improve the first call resolution rate. 

Let’s Improve Your First Call Resolution Rate 

Many factors affect first-call resolution. However, knowing those factors and following the best practices for improvement can significantly impact your first call resolution rate.  

We hope this article gave you useful insights and that you’d use them to enhance your first call resolution rate. 

Jason Grills is a Sr. Technical Writer currently associated with ProProfs Chat. He enjoys writing about emerging customer support products, trends in the customer support industry, and the financial impacts of using such tools. Jason likes traveling extensively to learn about new cultures and traditions in his spare time.

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