Post-transaction surveys provide a customer-centric view of when first-contact resolution (FCR) has been achieved. But even with customer surveys, the most common methods often result in companies reporting inflated FCR rates—10% higher, on average, says Mark Miller, senior director of Contact Center Solutions for J.D. Power.
Many contact centers create a false sense of their FCR performance by tracking it through immediate post-call surveys that ask callers whether or not their issue was resolved.
But, as a general rule, Miller says, “the earlier you measure FCR after the interaction, the higher [the rating] and more misleading the information that comes back to you.”
After all, no matter how pleased a customer may have been with the call center agent’s friendliness, conversational skills and apparent knowledge, he doesn’t really know whether his issue has been resolved until that agent either follows through, or fails to follow through, on the next steps.
For instance, if the agent inputs inaccurate information into the system, it may take a few days or until the customer receives his next bill before he realizes that the issue hasn’t been resolved at all. While the customer may have given the agent high marks immediately after the first call, if the company had waited to survey him until after some time had passed, his feedback about that initial call, and the FCR/Csat rating, would have provided a more accurate view of the customer’s experience.
“If you’re trying to understand FCR through data and recontacts, your results can very quickly miss the mark unless you are literally and physically asking the customer after a period of time whether the issue was resolved,” he says.
Miller adds that, while customer experience should be measured within 72 hours post-call to collect the most accurate diagnostic data, first-contact resolution should be measured either 30 days after the call, or after the next billing cycle. “That is typically when most organizations and customers get information that either confirms that the issue was resolved or disavows them of that thinking,” he says.