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How many times should a customer have to call or email to address a concern? Leaders in customer experience have increased their focus on first contact resolution (FCR). This means addressing customer concerns in the initial interaction—including any “warm handoffs” (a transfer to another department with the agent still on the phone).

Beyond the Arc worked with a Fortune 500 financial services company that needed help to improve FCR efforts to prevent callbacks and unsatisfied customers. As the bank had not been able to pinpoint which issues resulted in multiple calls and why, we helped them gain actionable insights by gathering metrics from customer feedback with Voice of the Customer (VoC) analytics.

We combined VoC and text analytics to aggregate, classify, and analyze customer feedback from multiple sources such as email, chat, surveys, call center transcripts, and social media. The objective was to capture insights on how to better resolve issues when they’re first identified.

Key takeaways from using a VoC program to improve First Contact Resolution

  • Focus on the details. The better your employees understand customers, the more committed they’ll be to improving the customer experience. Collect metrics that help you understand how customer interactions are handled at the line of business and call center levels. A Forrester® article on Voice of the Customer, “How to Drive Action with Your VoC Program” explains that such data connects employees to customers and helps them understand how widespread—and, in some cases, how avoidable—some issues are.
  • Think long term. A well-organized customer experience measurement program driven by the customer’s voice helps define what’s working, what’s broken, and what’s improved. You’ll need a focused effort to collect the data and a basic database to drive ongoing dashboards and reports, so you can monitor improvement. Some call centers pair quantifiable metrics such as handling time with qualitative follow-up surveys to gain meaningful insights about customer satisfaction over time.
  • View FCR in context. Focusing solely on first contact metrics can be beneficial during initial stages of customer experience improvement (the “find and fix” stages), but don’t just look at FCR in isolation. PC company Lenovo combined feedback from various platforms to create Lenovo’s Early Detection (LED) system, a product that identifies common issues (e.g., system shutdown errors) and proactively notifies Lenovo. Listening to customer comments enabled Lenovo to resolve issues more quickly, and reduce warranty costs and further calls to the contact center.
  • Remember what works. While it’s natural to focus on what’s broken, don’t forget to track your successes. Knowing what you’re doing right can ultimately be helpful in figuring out how to replicate those successes across the board.

Bottom line: A Voice of the Customer program can equip your organization to maximize first contact resolutions. It’s not just about improving customer experience; it shows customers you’re making their needs and concerns a top priority. And in this age of the customer, that’s a key way to build a CX strategy that helps to differentiate your company.