First Call Resolution: How Front Door Assurance Can Lead to CX Success
Picture this: It’s chili night and you’re out of kidney beans. You stop off at the grocery store after work. You know—confidently striding through the entrance—that kidney beans are there, but you don’t know which aisle or section holds them. You don’t have a lot of time because the clock is ticking for daycare pickups, so you rush to the nearest clerk and ask for directions. They point vaguely from your position in Produce across the sea of aisles and say, “try aisle eight.”
“Thanks,” you breathe, heading off to find aisle eight. At the head of the aisle you see Canned Fruits and Vegetables listed on the suspended sign. You head down the aisle only to discover everything BUT kidney beans. In fact, there are no beans at all in that aisle. You snag another clerk and ask them, explaining your situation, and they respond with, “Try Aisle 4, in the Tex-Mex section.”
Nope. No kidney beans. You start frantically pacing the aisles, searching for the familiar look of canned kidney beans, but to no avail. Finally, encountering a third clerk, you relate the situation again, to which they cheerfully state, “Oh yeah! We moved all the beans out of the aisle to a display over by the chilled meat section for a promotion.”
Thanking them profusely for their help, you speed over to secure your kidney beans and head to the checkout counter.
The ever-important front door experience
This real-life experience (yes, it really happened), is similar to what many customers encounter in the CX universe. They call into contact centers and end up incorrectly routed by automated systems to agents who aren’t equipped to handle their concerns. This results in the customer having to repeat their concerns to multiple agents, spend more time on-hold, and risk getting dropped from the system during busy cycles, or worse yet, they abandon the call out of sheer frustration.
When a customer calls into your system for any reason, they expect to be greeted by simple menu options that pertain to their reason for calling so they can reach the appropriate agent as swiftly as possible. In turn, they expect those menu selections to send them to the correct agent. They expect a first call resolution (FCR), because the last thing they want to do is start the whole process over again—on this, both you and the customer are on the exact same page. If your voice system is not operating as expected, providing a positive customer experience through the front door becomes even more challenging than it already is.
SQM Group released their Call Center FCR Benchmarking Results for 2021 report, which finds that even a 1% increase in FCR reduces customer experience costs by 1%. Conversely, up to 15% of customers may shift to a competitor if an issue is not resolved during their first call, based on a 2020 report by VOIP-info.org. That may not seem like a lot, but when you consider that FCR boosts customer retention and, according to Bain and Company, even a 5% increase in customer retention can boost revenue by 25–95%, the case for increasing FCR is quite strong.
Little things can have a big outcome
You might be asking yourself, “what does CX testing and monitoring have to do with FCR?” It’s the snowball effect in action. Much like a 1% increase in FCR can lead to improved customer retention and substantial profit boosts, even small improvements in CX technical assurance can lead to positive experiences, resulting in financial gains.
Offering a solid, verified front door experience to your customers streamlines and simplifies their initial contact with your contact center. Ensuring call paths, menu options and voice prompts result in customers going to exactly the right agent first, means the customer only sits in a queue once, explains their issue once, and hopefully, achieves resolution and only calls once.
Streamlining the front door experience not only works to reduce the load on your system during busy periods, it means lower operating costs, increased revenues, and most importantly, supports positive outcomes for your valuable customers.