5 Steps to Improving First Call Resolution


First call resolution is when an agent properly addresses and resolves a customer concern the first time that they call, eliminating the need for the customer to call in a second time. This key performance indicator is essential to maintaining high customer satisfaction levels and call center efficiency.

First call resolution directly impacts both customer and agent satisfaction. Customers are more likely to continue doing business with a company that can solve their problems right away. And, fewer follow-up calls mean more manageable call volumes for your agents.

In this post, we’ll discuss 5 of the best ways to improve first call resolution, based on our observations over nearly 20 years of providing call center software for customer service and other inbound teams.

1. Utilize an IVR

An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can be set up to ask your customers a variety of questions to better understand their needs. Based on their prompts, the IVR system be delivered to the employee best suited to assist them, hopefully eliminating the need for them to be transferred to someone else or for a follow-up call.

2. Implement Skills-Based Routing

Skills-based routing ties into your IVR system, and helps you route customers to an agent with the skills needed to address a particular concern. Rather than being placed in a generic queue with other callers, skills-based routing puts customers in the queue for an agent that has been specifically trained to assist them with the problem they’re calling about. This eliminates the need for transferred calls and follow-up calls.

3. Develop an effective script

Whether or not you're using an automated IVR system, an effective script can do wonders for first call resolution. A script can standardize the following elements of every call:

  • How you would like your customers’ issues addressed
  • The information you’ll need from your caller to best assist them
  • How your agents will guide them through a solution to their problem

Without a script, your employees may stumble over answers on the phone and seem like they don’t understand the product or the customer's concerns. A script can eliminate confusion for both parties.

4. Cross Train Your Employees

First call resolution is all about making sure your customers are successfully assisted the first time they’re connected with an employee. Because of this, it may make sense to cross train your employees. If you have a small company and every employee is trained on troubleshooting, there are many more experts available to help a customer with an issue. No matter who answers the call, the customer will be connected with someone able to help them.

5. Consider a Knowledge Base

Many customer questions can be addressed without the need for a phone call. If you know the most frequently asked questions or concerns, you might consider creating an online knowledge base that your customers can access at any time.

Knowledge base: a collection of materials that dives into the specifics of your product and offers support on popular features or common issues.

These materials will help you manage your first call resolution because fewer customers will need to call for assistance after using these helpful guides.

The Benefits of Optimizing First Call Resolution

You want your customer service levels to soar. By making first call resolution a priority, you’ll be able to ensure that your customers are not only using your product efficiently, but are happy, too.

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