When buyers encounter a problem, they'll probably call your B2B company's support team for assistance. Maybe a buyer received the wrong product, or perhaps a service wasn't completed according to the buyer's specifications. Some buyers are bound to encounter problems such as these. By improving your B2B company's first call resolution rate, however, you can keep them satisfied so that they are more likely to stay with your B2B company. What is first call resolution rate exactly, and how do you improve it?
The Basics of First Call Resolution Rate
First call resolution rate is a metric for the percentage of buyers whose problem or problems you are able to resolve during their initial call. Not all problems can be resolved in a single call. Depending on the type of problem a buyer is experiencing, as well as the service quality of your B2B company's support team, it may take several calls to resolve it. Regardless, first call resolution rate reflects the percentage of buyers whose problem or problems are resolved after a single call.
Research shows that the average first call resolution rate is about 74%. In other words, for every four buyers who call your B2B company's support team for assistance, you should be able to resolve three buyers' problems during the initial call. Even if your B2B company's first call resolution rate is lower than the industry average, though, there are ways to improve it.
With a high first call resolution rate, your B2B company will benefit in the following ways:
First Call Resolution Rate vs First Contact Resolution Rate
There's also first contact resolution rate. It's similar to first call resolution rate, with both metrics reflecting the percentage of buyers whose problem or problems you are able to resolve. Nonetheless, first call resolution rate isn't the same as first contact resolution rate.
The difference is that first call resolution rate focuses specifically on call-based support inquires, whereas first contact resolution rate encompasses all support channels. With calling being the most common method by which buyers seek support, you should strive to improve your B2B company's first call resolution rate. You can still measure, as well as optimize, your B2B company's first contact resolution rate. But it's first call resolution rate that ultimately reveals whether buyers' problems are being resolved.
Keep Records of Support Inquiries
You can improve your B2B company's first call resolution rate by keeping records of support inquires. When a buyer calls your B2B company's support team for assistance, record his or her information. You should keep records of buyers' names, when they called for assistance, the problem or problems that they've encountered and whether your B2B company's support team was able to resolve them. In doing so, you'll have first-hand knowledge regarding which problems are most common among buyers. You can then optimize your B2B company's strategy to minimize these otherwise common problems.
Whether your B2B company sells products or services, you should double-check buyers' orders. Before delivering products to buyers or completing services for buyers, for instance, make sure it matches their orders. Delivering the wrong product to a buyer or completing the wrong service for a buyer will inevitably lead to problems, some of which can't be resolved during a single call. As a result, double-checking orders can improve your B2B company's first call resolution rate.
Steer Clear of Call Transfers
When possible, avoid transferring buyers to other support team members during their initial call. The more times a buyer is transferred, the greater the chance he or she will hang up. And if a buyer hangs up during his or her initial call, you won't be able to resolve the buyer's problem. The buyer's problem will persist, resulting in a lower first call resolution rate. For a higher level of buyer satisfaction, as well as a higher first call resolution rate, try to avoid transferring their calls to other support team members.
Incentivize Your B2B Company's Support Team
Another way to achieve a higher first call resolution rate is to incentivize your B2B company's support team. Incentives, of course, are performance-based rewards. You can offer incentives to members of your B2B company's support team so that they are more eager and willing to resolve buyers' problems during their initial call. Incentives are a form of motivation. They will motivate your B2B company's support team to resolve buyers' problems. The end result is a higher first call resolution rate.
You can incentive support team members based on how many problems they resolve during buyers' initial call. Some B2B companies even use tiered incentives for this purpose. Support team members who resolve 50% of buyers' problems during the initial call may receive a first-tier incentive, whereas those who resolve 75% of buyers' problems may receive a second-tier incentive, and those who receive 80% or more of buyers' problems may receive a third-tier incentive.
Follow Up With Buyers After Their Initial Call
Don't forget to follow up with buyers after their initial call. After waiting 24 to 48 hours, call buyers back to ensure that their problem was resolved. Making follow-up calls such as this can have a positive impact on your B2B company's first call resolution rate. You can ask buyers whether the resolution worked, and if didn't, you can offer additional advice.
Send a Buyers a Call Transcript
A lesser-known tactic for improving first call resolution rate is to send buyers a call transcript. You can offer the perfect resolution to a buyer's problem, but if he or she doesn't remember it, all your hard work will be eliminated. The buyer's problem will persist, which may prompt him or her to call back for assistance a second or even a third time. Sending the buyer a call transcript can prevent this from happening. A call transcript is a text log of a buyer's call. You can email a call transcript to the buyer, which he or she can reference for a solution.