Here’s the good news: there’s a solution that will solve, or at least limit, all of the problems you face. It’s called first contact resolution.
What is First Contact Resolution?
First contact resolution is a strategy where a business attempts to resolve a customer’s problem on the very first call. This strategy is sometimes referred to as “first contact resolution” since consumers today can use multiple channels to contact a company. With this method, a business tries to limit transferring calls, doing callbacks, and letting calls go to voicemail.
Why First Contact Resolution Works
Consumers have stated that the number-one reason they dislike calling companies is that they aren’t able to speak to a real person right away. First contact resolution answers this issue. Here are a few specific reasons why this is such a powerful method.
Customers love a company that can quickly and easily solve their problems. On the other hand, if it’s difficult and time-consuming for a customer to get their problems solved, the customer will likely jump ship.
First contact resolution helps you keep your customers longer. Not only does this mean more revenue, but it also means you’re creating happy customers who will speak positively about your company.
Win Over a Dissatisfied Customer
Sooner or later, you’ll have to deal with an unhappy customer. It’s difficult to win them over, but one way you can do it is by using first contact resolution. If you’re able to fix a customer’s issue in one short, simple phone call, the customer may change their mind about your company. Reduce the number of customers who leave your business by exceeding their expectations.
Simplify your Workflow
Not only is first contact resolution a positive experience for your customers, but it’s also a great strategy for your staff. It decreases the number of callbacks and voicemails, which prevents tasks from piling up and overwhelming your employees.
On top of that, the strategy also minimizes mistakes. You don’t have to deal with transferring calls to the wrong person, accidentally hanging up on customers, or forgetting to enter incidents.
Best Practices for First Contact Resolution
Now that you understand the benefits of using first contact resolution, here are the best practices to focus on to get the most out of this strategy and maximize profits.
Minimize Routing Calls
When customers make a call, they want to talk to a relevant person as soon as possible and avoid any hassle. With this in mind, create a system of routing calls and touchpoints with minimal transfers.
The best scenario, of course, is for all customers to call the same number and have someone who can solve their problems answer. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible—especially if you have a larger company that offers multiple services. One customer may call about a billing issue, while another customer may ask about a very technical aspect of your services. However, the strategy is still the same: minimize the times a customer is transferred.
Sometimes, the need to transfer is unavoidable, but limiting the number of transfers will still leave the customer with a more favorable impression of your company.
Train all your staff to answer customer calls immediately. Emphasize the importance of answering all questions and problems promptly. With good training, your staff will respond with speed, and customers will appreciate the efficient and attentive service.
Communicate Clear Instructions
If a customer must perform some action or task to get their problem solved, make sure you clearly explain what they must do. Don’t muddle instructions with casual conversation or unnecessary details. Clearly list the specific steps the customer has to take, and then confirm that they understand before moving on.
Document Common Problems and Solutions
As your company solves customer problems, you’ll start noticing frequently asked questions. Once you identify recurring problems and their respective solutions, you can compile them into a document. Make this documentation part of your training.
Having solutions to both simple and complex problems readily available will help your support staff find answers quickly, even if they are new on the job. Not only does this help customers get answers fast, but it also reduces the number of escalated calls.
In addition, the information you collect may be helpful for the rest of your business as well. If you find that many customers say a particular pest control strategy isn’t working very well, for instance, it might be time to change your suppliers, equipment, or methods.
Can a Third-Party Manage First Contact Resolution?
Even though first contact resolution may be the perfect answer to maximizing and retaining customers, it’s difficult to execute. Not every company has the time and money to pull it off. It entails careful strategizing, hiring, training, 24/7 staffing, team management, and documentation.
This is where outsourcing comes in handy. There are multi-channel contact centers—and answering services for home services providers, specifically—that perform first contact resolution and can provide it for both large businesses and smaller home services providers.
The truth is the modern customer is difficult to please. Today’s on demand consumers expect:
- Various channels to communicate with businesses
- Prompt responses from businesses regardless of operating hours
- Respect for their time
- With these expectations in mind, it’s perfectly reasonable to consider outsourcing to a contact center that’s equipped for on-demand consumers.
- Failing to respond quickly at any time is a recipe for losing customers and missing out on revenue. The solution is to answer right away with a first contact resolution strategy to quickly and efficiently meet customer needs. Once you set up a solid system, you’ll start landing more clients, retaining more customers, and increasing your overall revenue.
How Can Slingshot Help?
Slingshot is an all-in-one engagement platform that specializes in 24/7 lead response, sales, support, and communications.
Customers may use phone, text, email, chat, or social media to get in touch with your business. Slingshot specializes in the kind of home services software that can answer them all. They offer both sales and customer support around the clock and on weekends.
To learn more about how the world of customer communication is evolving in the home services industry, download our free eBook, “The Evolution of Home Services Communication.”