This is the third step in the deployment of a world-class customer contact strategy. Coming out of the holidays, a time in which I never fail to eat myself into oblivion, I have food on the mind. As I think about the three steps and how they all fit together, I feel the need to use a food analogy, as follows:
1. Proactive Engagement — This is the appetizer. It sets the stage for an amazing customer experience and sets the foundation for a strong customer relationship. It leaves the customer wanting more from your company in the form of additional, value-added communications, services and products.
2. Intelligent Self-Service — This is the main course. Intelligent self-service is where you meet and exceed the customer’s expectations, creating intimacy through an incredible customer experience.
3. First-Contact Resolution — This is the dessert. It’s what not all customers leave room for, but it’s always something they expect as an option. If they do choose it (transferring to a customer service representative), then they expect it to be fairly quick, painless and extremely satisfying.
Step 3: First-Contact Resolution
I’m sure you’ve probably never thought of first-call resolution (FCR) as “dessert” before, but you have to admit the analogy works.
You have, at some point, experienced an interaction with a customer service representative. You’ve probably also experienced the “pleasure” of speaking to not just one but maybe two or even three representatives before you actually got your issue resolved.
Measuring and effectively managing FCR has been a challenge in contact center operations for many years. As customers become less and less tolerant of poor customer service and switching products and service providers has become easier and easier, it’s critical to ensure that proper focus and investment are placed in resolving the FCR issue.
If the first two steps in the deployment of your customer contact strategy are followed, then addressing the FCR issue becomes much easier.
- Step 1, or proactive engagement. If you leverage a preference management solution, then you will capture critical data about your customers and how they prefer to interact with your company. This is data that you can use to augment your CRM system, your marketing databases, and other systems of record that you leverage to track, monitor and improve FCR. Better yet, if your customers opt in for proactive notifications when they register their preferences, then you can reach out to them before they reach out to you, removing the need for an agent/CSR transfer in the first place.
- Step 2, or intelligent self-service. If you employ the key elements of interaction intelligence (refer to my blog on Step 2 if you’ve forgotten what these are), then you will gain more information from your customers in the self-service environment. This allows you to use this intelligence to send that caller to a CSR best suited to handle that customer’s specific issue.
Like a good dessert, I hope this leaves you satisfied and ready to go implement these concepts in your business.