FCR: Coaching with a Side of Prediction

As first call resolution has evolved into first CONTACT resolution, organizations are tossing aside their “repeat caller” reports and finding that handling the customers issue right the first time spans the complexities of multiple channels such as web, email, social and self-service. And as much as we coach our call center agents to offer the “anything else I can help you with today” at the end of every call, first contact resolution has become a combination of preventing the next call and predicting the jump from one channel to the next. Most of the time it isn’t fair to place blame on the call center agent for channel to channel deflection, rather it’s the job of the entire organization to take a much larger view of the entire customer’s journey.  So where to begin?

Map the Journey

According to the recent NICE Consumer Preferences survey, 55% of customers are using your website at least once a month and 50% of those unable to accomplish a taste on the website will contact a live agent. You must map the customer’s journey across all channels to find out why they deflected and why they chose the next channel. The first contact resolution of the website should be measured by not only the amount of self-service interactions it handles, but by the level of deflection it can avoid. 

Analyze the Patterns

The customer journey is a combination of Lifecycle Events and Contacts.  Lifecycle events are things such as a purchase, a first bill, a collections letter, an email promotion, or even an address change; contacts are the connected ways that customers choose to handle those lifecycle events when service is needed.  If a lifecycle event occurs with no interaction, that could be a good sign; however, the pattern of channel usage is often a key factor of the interaction and in a majority of calls to the call center, the call center wasn’t the first stop.  Starting points in retail stores, on websites, in mobile apps and countless others are driving your customers to take the next step on the journey and accomplish a task. Only by using cross channel analytics can you measure the frequencies of these patterns and uncover if you have a coaching issue, a technical issue or a process issue. 

Make an Impact in All Channels

Start with coaching issues and insure that agents are adequately informed about previous channel activity.  For example, if you knew that purchasing a new smartphone online could lead to technical email synchronization problems in most cases, start by educating the customer at the point of sale. As you track the frequency of contact to the call center, then leverage on-screen, real time guidance to consolidate channel activity and offer next-best-action solutions to tackle the issue in real time. If real time guidance isn’t available, use your interaction and contact-level analytics tools to pinpoint coaching moments and educate them on the signs of customer deflection from other channels and their root causes.  Educating agents on these patterns will help them find resolution faster, and understand that a customer’s recent trip to your website, or your store or even your Facebook wall can shed new light on the context of the interaction and insure that this is the final stop on the journey.

This article was originally published in Contact Management, the customer experience magazine. www.contactmanagement.ca

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