Optimising processes is the quickest way to pull off the magic trick of cutting costs and improving customer satisfaction at the same time. Why then are there still so many businesses operating inefficient processes, highlighted by low FCR?


Well, it’s a quite complex chore and difficult to know what to prioritise. We’re also too busy fighting fires trying to cope with ever increasing call volumes and the complexity of those calls to properly look at why people are calling. If we start adding the question WHY into our monitoring, and not just WHEN (defending service level targets often set too high), we will create a self-learning and self-correcting machine.

In the customer service industry we talk about root cause analysis and call avoidance etc. but the reality is that when Bright is out reviewing contact centres, we find many do not measure the reason for the customers’ calls. At least not in an ongoing and analytical way. And for the centres out there still not measuring FCR, note that it’s not just about quality, there are significant cost savings to be made as well (reducing call backs etc).

By using customer feedback to understand why customers are calling, the contact centre is also able to enlighten other departments on what customers think about their deliveries, websites, pricing or products.

Let us learn from helpdesks to reduce the number of repeat calls. When you call an IT service desk, the support analyst will log two things; 1) what the user contacted them about; “the incident” and, 2) they will start a process to find out what caused it to try to stop it happening again; “the problem”. They are then committed to solving the problem, and ensuring other customers don’t have the same issue by feeding incidents back into product development.

In addition to not asking WHY, we see three more common reasons for low FCR:

  • Mandate – the agent wants to help the customer but isn’t allowed to.
  • Competency – the agent does not have the right training to be able to help.
  • Systems – the technology support (e.g. knowledge database) is not good enough.

Fix this, add a good call routing solution and you are on your way to seriously impressive FCR scores and thus, outstanding customer satisfaction scores.

Bright UK Ltd, August 2013
Bright’s 2 minutes on…

Is a series of short, to the point insights on the most common challenges in customer management. Bright base these insights on their over 100 benchmarking reviews and millions of customer surveys carried out for clients every year. More info here: www.brightindex.co.uk