How to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction while lowering your overhead

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No, the title is not lying to you. You can actually increase efficiency while at the same time improving the rate of customer satisfaction and all that with fewer expenses. The formula is simple. Solve the problem on the first try. First call resolution a.k.a. FCR is a metric we use to measure the rate of success of our agents on their first interaction with the customer. Research has shown that increase in FCR equals the improvement in customer satisfaction. Bottom line is that with higher FCR we’ll get happier customers and save a lot of resources.

Here are 5 steps you need to take:

1. Measure

Measuring FCR is not always an easy task. Many companies use surveys, but customers are not always certain if the problem is solved until they really see the results. On the other hand, some companies often practice call tracking for a certain customer for a set time period which results in lower FCR rates. No technique is perfect, but there is always one that will show the best results for you.

We at Jatana recommend frequent checks of the general state of your help desk as well as their performance. Our tools can drastically help you with FCR. We start with the suggestion of the best answer to every support request so that your agents don’t have to write one manually every time to boost agent productivity, reduce processing time with automatic replies which result in increased customer satisfaction.

2. Train and support

What seems like an obvious step is actually the most overlooked one. Experienced and properly trained customer support agents make a major difference when we get to the bottom line and look at results. A well-organized knowledge base and the implementation of tribal knowledge system in it is essential to having all your agents perform at the top level.

While proper training in customer service is necessary, we must never forget to introduce agents with company’s products and/or services and make sure they have a deep understanding of everything the company offers. Only when their knowledge is at the top level in both areas will they be able to understand customers’ problems and solve them within a single interaction.

3. Monitor

Everyone is recording on their calls, but are they using those recording for the right purpose? Regularly listen to the calls and try to note and understand where are agents getting stuck and what are the most repetitive requests from your customers. You’ll have more insight into both sides and you’ll know how to improve customer service as well as to improve the agents’ performance.

4. Empower

Once we have agents that are properly trained and experienced in what they’re doing, it is time to give them the authority they need to handle more complex customer problems. Customers don’t really want to speak to the manager or supervisor, they want the person who can actually help them with their request. Let them decide on what’s the best next step and see what they need to do to to solve the issue. An agent with more autonomy will feel as a more valuable part of the company, making him more satisfied, while at the same time customers will also be happy they’ve finally spoken with the right person.

5. Reward

Keep reminding customer support agents why FCR is important and why we prioritize taking care of the problem during the first interaction. Reward your staff. We all know money can be a great motivator, but so can extra benefits, days off and other perks can work as well.

All in all, first contact resolution is of huge importance to the success of a business, it’s worth the time and resources you plan to invest in it.

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